PhD position – Robotic system design for handling of agro-food products.

University of Twente
March 12, 2023
Offerd Salary:€ 2.541
Working address:N/A
Contract Type:Other
Working Time:Full time
Working type:N/A
Ref info:N/A

Improving the biological diversity in agriculture systems has shown to boost resistance to pests and diseases, and subsequently increase farm yields. However, this requires production strategies, such as intercropping or pixel- farming, that are inclusive for ecology but do not neglect economic constraints. The Synergia and FlexCRAFT research programs initiates and supports a transition away from the “upscaling by mechanization”-paradigm by using flexible and adaptive robot systems. These robots will deal with intricate tasks, such as disease and weed-control or greenhouse harvesting that are either still large-scale, indistinct processes or in the domain of human labour.

Although, robots have entered the agro-food production chain, they often still rely on industrial pick-and-place technology that does not have the required flexibility to deal with the varying natural environments or complex manipulation tasks of fragile produce. In this PhD project we aim to integrate compliant (flexure-based) grippers with data and physics driven adaptive algorithms to obtain high-fidelity interaction control of fragile agro-food products in harsh environments.

Job description

We are looking for a highly motivated PhD candidate to strengthen our research. In this PhD you are responsible for the mechatronic design of robotic systems to handle food products. Specific point of attention is the integration of multiple data streams such as vision and tactile data with dynamic models to obtain accurate estimates of relevant object parameters and interaction forces. In this project you will collaborate within a nation-wide research teams that unifies various backgrounds such as robot vision, ecology and biology to bring about ecology-based farming systems.

Your profile
  • A MSc degree in Mechanical Engineering, Control Engineering, Biomedical, Physics, or a related field.
  • Proficient in written and oral English.
  • Excellent skills and practical experience in: non-linear mechanical modelling, system dynamics and control, mechatronics, or mechanical design.
  • A high degree of responsibility and independence, able to collaborate with colleagues, researchers, and other university staff.
  • Experience with finite element libraries and numerical methods would further strengthen the application.
  • Our offer

    The UT provides a dynamic and international environment, combining the benefits of academic research with a topic of high industrial relevance, excellent working conditions, an exciting scientific environment, and a green and lively campus.

    We offer:

  • A full-time 4-year PhD position;
  • Excellent mentorship in a stimulating research environment with excellent facilities;
  • An offer for a personal development program within the Twente Graduate School;
  • A gross monthly salary of € 2.541 in the first year, increasing each year up to € 3.247 in the fourth year;
  • A holiday allowance of 8% of the gross annual salary, and a year-end bonus of 8.3%;
  • A minimum of 29 holidays per year in case of full-time employment;
  • Full status as an employee at the UT, including pension and health care benefits;
  • Information and application

    Please submit your application before March 12, 2023 and include:

  • A cover letter of at most 1 page A4, explaining specific interests, the motivation for the application and why you qualify for this project.
  • A full Curriculum Vitae, including contact information for at least two academic references
  • Transcripts from your Bachelor and/or Master degrees
  • Interviews will be held on Tuesday, 28 March 2023

    Additional information about this position can be acquired from Jan de Jong ( [email protected] )

    About the organisation

    The Faculty of Engineering Technology (ET) engages in education and research of Mechanical Engineering, Civil Engineering and Industrial Design Engineering. We enable society and industry to innovate and create value using efficient, solid and sustainable technology. We are part of a ‘people-first' university of technology, taking our place as an internationally leading center for smart production, processes and devices in five domains: Health Technology, Maintenance, Smart Regions, Smart Industry and Sustainable Resources. Our faculty is home to about 2,900 Bachelor's and Master's students, 550 employees and 150 PhD candidates. Our educational and research programmes are closely connected with UT research institutes Mesa+ Institute, TechMed Center and Digital Society Institute.

    Want to know more Jong, J.J. de (Jan)

    Assistant Professor

    Jong, J.J. de (Jan)

    Assistant Professor

    Do you have questions about this vacancy? Then you can contact Jan for all substantive questions about this position and the application procedure. For general questions about working for the UT, please refer to the chatbot.



    Email:[email protected]

    How to apply Step 1

    Apply. When you see a vacancy that appeals to you, you can apply online. We ask you to upload a CV and motivation letter and/or list of publications. You will receive a confirmation of receipt by e-mail.

    Step 2

    Selection. The selection committee will review your application and you will receive a response within 2 weeks after the vacancy has been closed.

    Step 3

    1st interview. The 1st (online or in person) meeting serves as an introduction where we introduce ourselves to you and you to us. You may be asked to give a short presentation. This will be further explained in the invitation.

    Step 4

    2nd interview. In the second interview, we will further discuss the job content, your skills and your talents.

    Step 5

    The offer. If the conversations are positive, you will be made a suitable offer.

    Your Colleagues
  • Hakvoort, W.B.J. (Wouter)
  • Personal page

  • Brouwer, D.M. (Dannis)
  • Personal page

  • Dijkstra-van der Veen, T.J. (Tjerkje)
  • Personal page

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