PhD position on genuine collaboration with industrial robots (sponsored by LEGO Systems A/S)

SDU Robotics, part of the Maersk Mc-Kinney Moller Institute, University of Southern Denmark (SDU), invites applications for a PhD candidate in the area of agile human-robot interaction with multi-robot systems in industrial assembly tasks. The position will be vacant from 1. September 2020, or as soon as possible thereafter, and is for a 3-year period. Main work location is Odense/Denmark.

Research environment The candidate will be integrated in the unit SDU Robotics that is at the core of the Odense Robotics Cluster involving 130+ startups and established companies in robotics. We are specialized in robot solutions involving modelling, simulation and control of advanced robot technologies (systems and services) for industrial, welfare and medical applications.

The group is involved in a variety of national and European projects and features a strong network of academic and industrial partners. We solve challenging research problems from real applications and implement novel robot solutions together with end users such as LEGO. In particular, the candidate will contribute to designing, developing, integrating and testing methods and tools for interacting and collaborating with cobots as well as standard industrial robots.

Job description The candidate will play a central role in our projects with MADE, the Manufacturing Academy of Denmark. The candidate is expected to design and develop model- and simulation-based methods for i) monitoring workspaces shared by worker, robot, tools, etc. to ensure the worker's safety and ii) supporting "natural" bi-directional communication between worker and robot. This involves the robot communicating its intent (current status, next planned action, etc.) and allowing the worker to control the robot and/or collaboratively negotiate next steps.

Profile and requirements The candidate is expected to have most of the following qualifications:
  • Documented knowledge in robotics and simulation
  • Documented practical experience with database technologies (particularly MongoDB)
  • Strong programming skills (particularly in C/C++, Python, Matlab and Qt)
  • Strong mathematics skills and practical knowledge in 3D modelling
  • Ability to work independently as part of an agile team, with a strong sense of responsibility
  • Willingness to bridge the gap between academia and industry
Additionally, the candidate is expected to have a Master’s degree (equivalent to a Danish master's degree) in Robotics or similar. 
Contact information
For further information, please contact Professor Christian Schlette via email (chsch@mmmi.sdu.dk) or on LinkedIn (www.linkedin.com/in/christian-schlette/).

Conditions of employment
Applicants are required to have a master’s degree (equivalent to a Danish master's degree) at the time of enrollment and employment. Employment as a PhD fellow is a 3-year salaried position (start salary amounts to approx. 3.378,- EURO per month incl. supplements).

Employment of a PhD fellow can only happen after the Head of the PhD School has approved the candidate for admission to the PhD school. Employment and enrollment will cease without further notice at the end of the period.

A PhD fellow is not allowed to have any kind of sideline employment, while enrolled as PhD fellow at the faculty.

Employment is governed by the Protocol on PhD Research Fellows signed by the Danish Ministry of Finance and the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. Please check links for more information on salary and taxation.

The successful candidate will be enrolled at SDU in accordance with Faculty regulations and the Danish Ministerial Order on the PhD Programme at the Universities (PhD order), read more here. 

The assessment process
Read about the Assessment and selection process.

Application procedure
The Faculty expects applicants to read the Faculty information for prospective PhD students and How to apply before applying.

The application deadline is 5. August 2020. 

The application must be in English and must include - the required forms must be found at the above mentioned Faculty website:
  • Completed TEK PhD application form for 5+3 applicants.
  • Motivation letter stating your specific interest, motivation and qualifications for the project in question (max. 2 pages). Upload in the field called “Project description”. 
  • Detailed Curriculum Vitae, describing research, publication and teaching experience, computational skills and including personal contact information.
  • Verified copies of the official bachelor diploma and master's diploma and transcripts of exams.
  • Completed TEK PhD form for calculation grade point average. Upload in one of the fields called “Publication”. 
  • An official document describing the grading scheme of the awarding universities (if not Danish). Upload in one of the fields called “Publication”. 
  • An official and verified written assessment of the thesis or dissertation project from the grade giving institution, if the thesis/examination project is evaluated by approved/passed. The statement must clearly state that the candidate has been among the top 30 pct. in the graduation class for the study programme.
  • References, if any. You're welcome to use the form for reference letter at the Faculty website.
  • List of publications and maximum 2 examples of relevant publications, if available. Please attach one pdf-file for each publication. 
The University wishes our staff to reflect the diversity of society and thus welcomes applications from all qualified candidates regardless of personal background.


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