PhD Position in machine learning for nonlinear dynamical systems

PhD Position in machine learning for nonlinear dynamical systems

Published Deadline Location
23 May 20 Jun Delft

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PhD Position combining learning and dynamical systems. Explore low-dimensional models of high-dimensional systems, and apply cutting-edge techniques for new scientific insights and applications.

Job description

We are excited to announce a fully funded Ph.D. position financed by the European Pathfinder grant EMERGE (, providing a unique opportunity for aspiring researchers.

Combining the power of (deep) learning with the rich theoretical framework of nonlinear dynamical systems holds tremendous potential for advancing our understanding of complex phenomena. By seamlessly integrating these two fields, we can unlock novel insights into the dynamics, patterns, and emergent behavior observed in various domains. A Ph.D. position in this cutting-edge research area offers an exceptional opportunity to contribute to the forefront of scientific discovery and shape the future of artificial intelligence and dynamic systems theory.

This position will be dedicated to exploring the realm of low-dimensional models within the context of high-dimensional dynamical systems, encompassing areas such as soft robots, natural and artificial swarms, and opinion dynamics, among others. The selected student will delve into two key aspects: learning models that accurately describe these complex systems and generating systems that exhibit behavior consistent with given low-dimensional models. Our approach will combine cutting-edge techniques, including deep learning, symbolic regression, and insights from nonlinear dynamical systems, forging new pathways at the intersection of these fields. As a Cosimo Della Santina's group member, the Ph.D. candidate will be part of a collaborative and dynamic research environment. The group's portfolio spans diverse domains, ranging from abstract topics like nonlinear control theory, dynamics, and machine learning to practical applications in agriculture robotics, control of fluids, and healthcare. Within this vibrant setting, the candidate will collaborate closely with a dedicated team of two other Ph.D. students and one postdoctoral researcher, all committed to the success of the EMERGE project.


Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)


The ideal candidate for this position should possess the following qualifications. However, we encourage you to submit your application even if you don't meet all the requirements. Nobody is perfect!

  • MSc. degree in machine learning, control theory, applied mathematics, physics, robotics, mechanical engineering, or a closely related field.
  • Strong background in either nonlinear dynamics or machine learning, with at least a basic knowledge of the other.
  • Proficiency in mathematics.
  • Proficiency in using Matlab and Python.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills in English. Non-native speakers can demonstrate their proficiency through IELTS or TOEFL scores or by completing a master's program taught entirely in English*.
  • Candidates from under-represented groups are particularly encouraged to apply.

* Please note that proving your fluency in English in the mentioned ways is a firm requirement for all Ph.D. candidates at TU Delft, although it is not necessary at the time of application.

Doing a PhD at TU Delft requires English proficiency at a certain level to ensure that the candidate is able to communicate and interact well, participate in English-taught Doctoral Education courses, and write scientific articles and a final thesis. For more details please check the Graduate Schools Admission Requirements.

Conditions of employment

Doctoral candidates will be offered a 4-year period of employment in principle, but in the form of 2 employment contracts. An initial 1,5 year contract with an official go/no go progress assessment within 15 months. Followed by an additional contract for the remaining 2,5 years assuming everything goes well and performance requirements are met.

Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities, increasing from € 2541 per month in the first year to € 3247 in the fourth year. As a PhD candidate you will be enrolled in the TU Delft Graduate School. The TU Delft Graduate School provides an inspiring research environment with an excellent team of supervisors, academic staff and a mentor. The Doctoral Education Programme is aimed at developing your transferable, discipline-related and research skills.

The TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, discounts on health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged. 

For international applicants, TU Delft has the Coming to Delft Service. This service provides information for new international employees to help you prepare the relocation and to settle in the Netherlands. The Coming to Delft Service offers a Dual Career Programme for partners and they organise events to expand your (social) network.


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 as one of our core values and we actively engage to be a university where you feel at home and can flourish. We value different perspectives and qualities. We believe this makes our work more innovative, the TU Delft community more vibrant and the world more just. Together, we imagine, invent and create solutions using technology to have a positive impact on a global scale. That is why we invite you to apply. Your application will receive fair consideration.

Challenge. Change. Impact!


Faculty Mechanical, Maritime and Materials Engineering

From chip to ship. From machine to human being. From idea to solution. Driven by a deep-rooted desire to understand our environment and discover its underlying mechanisms, research and education at the 3mE faculty focusses on fundamental understanding, design, production including application and product improvement, materials, processes and (mechanical) systems.

3mE is a dynamic and innovative faculty with high-tech lab facilities and international reach. It’s a large faculty but also versatile, so we can often make unique connections by combining different disciplines. This is reflected in 3mE’s outstanding, state-of-the-art education, which trains students to become responsible and socially engaged engineers and scientists. We translate our knowledge and insights into solutions to societal issues, contributing to a sustainable society and to the development of prosperity and well-being. That is what unites us in pioneering research, inspiring education and (inter)national cooperation.

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? These videos will introduce you to some of our researchers and their work.


  • PhD
  • Engineering
  • €2541—€3247 per month
  • University graduate
  • TUD03980


Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)

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