Postdoc: Learning for Self-Healing of Multi-Machine Systems
Delft University of Technology Faculty Mechanical, Maritime and Materials Engineering

Postdoc: Learning for Self-Healing of Multi-Machine Systems


Department/faculty: Faculty Mechanical, Maritime and Materials Engineering

Level: Doctorate

Working hours: 38.0 hours weekly

Contract: 1 year

Salary: 3255 - 4274 euros monthly (full-time basis)

Closing date

    June 1, 2019


Faculty Mechanical, Maritime and Materials Engineering



The 3mE Faculty trains committed engineering students, PhD candidates and post-doctoral researchers in groundbreaking scientific research in the fields of mechanical, maritime and materials engineering. 3mE is the epitome of a dynamic, innovative faculty, with a European scope that contributes demonstrable economic and social benefits.


The Department of Maritime and Transport Technology (MTT) studies how to develop, design, build and operate marine, dredging and transport systems and their equipment. New generation transport and marine systems require the further development of the knowledge of the dynamics and the physical processes involved in transport, dredging and marine systems, the logistics of the systems and the interaction between the equipment and control systems.


The Department of Cognitive Robotics (CoR) develops intelligent robots and vehicles that will advance mobility, productivity, and quality of life. The mission of CoR is to bring robotic solutions to human-inhabited environments, focusing on research in the areas of machine perception, motion planning and control, machine learning, automatic control and physical interaction of intelligent machines with humans. We combine fundamental research with work on physical demonstrators in areas such as self-driving vehicles, collaborative industrial robots, mobile manipulators and haptic interfaces. Strong collaborations exist with cross-faculty institutes TU Delft Robotics Institute and TU Delft Transport Institute), our national robotic ecosystem (RoboValley, Holland Robotics) and international industry and academia. 


For more information on the research activities of the departments, please see: and


Job description


The goal of this project is to design novel methods to ensure the normal operation of multi-machine systems for transport and logistics, in the presence of multiple defective components and high system uncertainty.

The post-doctoral researcher will conduct fundamental theoretical and algorithmic research on multi-agent reinforcement learning for fault-tolerant control with applications to maritime transport systems.  The researcher will join a multi-disciplinary team led by Dr. Vasso Reppa, Assistant Professor with the Department of Maritime and Transport Technology, and by Dr. Wei Pan, Assistant Professor, with the Department of Cognitive Robotics.


The post-doctoral researcher is expected to bridge the expertise of the two departments by integrating cognitive fault tolerant control and decentralized multi-agent reinforcement learning techniques for the self-healability of multi-machine systems in the maritime transport domain (e.g. autonomous ships, automated container terminals).


[1] Wen, Y., Yang, Y., Luo, R., Wang, J., & Pan, W. (2019). Probabilistic Recursive Reasoning for Multi-Agent Reinforcement Learning. International Conference on Learning Representation (ICLR).


[2] Reppa, V., Polycarpou, M. M., & Panayiotou, C. G. (2015). Decentralized isolation of multiple sensor faults in large-scale interconnected nonlinear systems. IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control


[3] Ferranti, L., Negenborn, R. R., Keviczky, T., & Alonso-Mora, J. (2018). Coordination of Multiple Vessels Via Distributed Nonlinear Model Predictive Control. In 2018 European Control Conference (ECC).




We are looking for a talented post-doctoral researcher with background and interest in control theory and machine learning; a track record of publications in high-quality journals and/or conferences; and an excellent command of the English language (knowledge of Dutch is not required). Additional knowledge on motion planning, distributed control and/or maritime transportation will be an advantage.


Conditions of employment


TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, a discount for health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged. An International Children’s Centre offers childcare and an international primary school. Dual Career Services offers support to accompanying partners. Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities.


Information and application


For information about this position you can contact Dr Vasso Reppa, Assistant Professor, email: , or Dr Wei Pan, Assistant Professor, email: For more information about the selection procedure please contact Nathalie van Benthem, HR advisor, email:

To apply for this vacancy please submit:


    a letter of motivation explaining why you are the right candidate for this project


    a detailed CV with a complete publication list


    a copy of your top two publications


    the names and contact addresses of two or three references


to by 31 May 2019.

When applying for this position, please refer to vacancy number 3mE19-21.



Enquiries from agencies are not appreciated.

If you apply for this position please say you saw it on Engineeroxy


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