Postdoc Safety of Dynamical Systems under Uncertainty

Postdoc Safety of Dynamical Systems under Uncertainty

Published Deadline Location
12 Jul 15 Sep Delft
Challenge: Enable control and decision algorithms to perform safely in real world scenarios
Change: Develop a new numerical scheme to propagate and account for uncertainties
Impact: Make fully autonomous systems a reality

Job description

Background: An automatic rover exploring a distant planet; a self-driving vehicle trying to reach human-like autonomy; a smart grid, regulating itself while avoiding failures due to unexpected faults or cyber-attacks. These are examples of systems that are so remote, fast or complex that their full potential, in terms of performance and safety levels, cannot be reached by requiring a human to always be in the loop.

Problem: Still, autonomous planning, decision and control algorithms face a formidable challenge, due to the tremendous amount of uncertainty present in the environment where they operate, and in the dynamic characteristics of the systems themselves. Current methods for propagating the effects of uncertainties in nonlinear dynamical systems suffer from poor scaling and accuracy and are unsuited to track low probability events that can hinder the system safety.

Goal: To address this, we aim at bringing a paradigm shift in the way we do filtering, diagnosis and control for nonlinear, non-Gaussian dynamical systems.  This will enable decision and control algorithms to strike the optimal tradeoff between performance and safety, thus making fully autonomous systems a reality.

What you will do:  You will carry out research together with Dr. Riccardo Ferrari, who is leading a young, dynamic and diverse group of researchers focusing on fault tolerant control, with applications in automotive and aerospace diagnosis, in safety and security of industrial control systems and in renewable energy generation. You will also be co-supervised by Dr. Manon Kok : she is a NWO VENI grantee and an expert in probabilistic modelling for sensor fusion, signal processing and machine learning.

You will focus on research topics like:

  • develop novel stochastic nonlinear filtering algorithms;
  • use such algorithms to design decision and control schemes with probabilistic guarantees on safety and performances;
  • study the issues of scaling to higher dimensions and compare your solution to existing approaches based, for instance, on Particle Filters;
  • explore the possibility to use Machine Learning approximations to reduce computational complexity.

The department

The department Delft Center for Systems and Control (DCSC) of the faculty Mechanical, Maritime and Materials Engineering, coordinates the education and research activities in systems and control at Delft University of Technology. The Centers' research mission is to conduct fundamental research in systems dynamics and control, involving dynamic modelling, advanced control theory, optimisation and signal analysis. The research is motivated by advanced technology development in physical imaging systems, renewable energy, robotics and transportation systems.

Specifications

Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)

Requirements

  • You have obtained a PhD degree in a field related to the project, such as Systems & Control, Electrical, Electronics Mechanical or Aerospace engineering, Applied Mathematics.
  • Or are going to obtain it before the starting date of the position.
  • You have a good command of the English language.
  • Do you also have a background in Numerical Analysis, Stochastic Differential Equations, Fault Diagnosis/Prognosis, Optimal and Model Predictive Control, Stochastic Monte Carlo methods or Sensor Fusion? Then you are especially encouraged to apply

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: 1-3 years.

Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities (salary indication: € 3.703 - € 4.670 per month gross). The TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, a discount on health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged.

For international applicants we offer the Coming to Delft Service and Partner Career Advice to assist you with your relocation. An International Children's Centre offers childcare and there is an international primary school.

The position will start as soon as possible and run for a total of three years, subjected to a positive evaluation at the end of the first year.

Employer

Delft University of Technology

Delft University of Technology is built on strong foundations. As creators of the world-famous Dutch waterworks and pioneers in biotech, TU Delft is a top international university combining science, engineering and design. It delivers world class results in education, research and innovation to address challenges in the areas of energy, climate, mobility, health and digital society. For generations, our engineers have proven to be entrepreneurial problem-solvers, both in business and in a social context. At TU Delft we embrace diversity and aim to be as inclusive as possible (see our Code of Conduct). Together, we imagine, invent and create solutions using technology to have a positive impact on a global scale.

Challenge. Change. Impact! 

Department

Faculty Mechanical, Maritime and Materials Engineering

The Faculty of 3mE carries out pioneering research, leading to new fundamental insights and challenging applications in the field of mechanical engineering. From large-scale energy storage, medical instruments, control technology and robotics to smart materials, nanoscale structures and autonomous ships. The foundations and results of this research are reflected in outstanding, contemporary education, inspiring students and PhD candidates to become socially engaged and responsible engineers and scientists. The faculty of 3mE is a dynamic and innovative faculty with an international scope and high-tech lab facilities. Research and education focus on the design, manufacture, application and modification of products, materials, processes and mechanical devices, contributing to the development and growth of a sustainable society, as well as prosperity and welfare.

Click here to go to the website of the Faculty of Mechanical, Maritime and Materials Engineering. Do you want to experience working at our faculty? This video will introduce you to some of our researchers and their work.

Additional information

For more information about this vacancy, please contact Dr Riccardo Ferrari, r.ferrari@tudelft.nl.

For information about the application procedure, please contact Hilma Bleeker, HR Advisor, application-3me@tudelft.nl

Specifications

  • Postdoc
  • Engineering
  • 36—40 hours per week
  • Doctorate
  • TUD02561

Employer

Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)

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Location

Mekelweg 2, 2628 CD, Delft

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Application procedure

Are you interested in this vacancy? Please apply by 15 September 2022 via the application button and upload:

  • motivation letter,
  • curriculum vitae,
  • research statement,
  • list of publications,
  • transcripts of courses with grades and obtained degrees,
  • contact information for three academic references
  • up to 3 research-oriented documents (e.g. thesis, conference/journal publication).

The available position will be filled as soon as possible (i.e. once a suitable candidate is found). This means that the selection of candidates will already start before the application deadline.

A pre-employment screening can be part of the selection procedure.

You can apply online. We will not process applications sent by email and/or post.

Acquisition in response to this vacancy is not appreciated.      

Application procedure

Application procedure

Are you interested in this vacancy? Please apply by 15 September 2022 via the application button and upload:

  • motivation letter,
  • curriculum vitae,
  • research statement,
  • list of publications,
  • transcripts of courses with grades and obtained degrees,
  • contact information for three academic references
  • up to 3 research-oriented documents (e.g. thesis, conference/journal publication).

The available position will be filled as soon as possible (i.e. once a suitable candidate is found). This means that the selection of candidates will already start before the application deadline.

A pre-employment screening can be part of the selection procedure.

You can apply online. We will not process applications sent by email and/or post.

Acquisition in response to this vacancy is not appreciated.      

Make sure to apply no later than 15 Sep 2022 23:59 (Europe/Amsterdam).