Phd Position: Wearable Soft Actuation Systems Based On Pneumatic Driving

Universities and Institutes of Italy
October 20, 2022
Offerd Salary:Negotiation
Working address:N/A
Contract Type:Temporary
Working Time:Full time
Working type:N/A
Job Ref.:N/A
  • Organisation/Company: University of Florence
  • Research Field: Engineering › Biomedical engineering Engineering › Mechanical engineering
  • Researcher Profile: First Stage Researcher (R1)
  • Application Deadline: 20/10/2022 23:00 - Europe/Brussels
  • Location: Italy › Florence
  • Type Of Contract: Temporary
  • Job Status: Full-time
  • Hours Per Week: 40
  • Eu Research Framework Programme: H2020 / Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions
  • Marie Curie Grant Agreement Number: 101072920
  • The PhD student will be a member of the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions Doctoral Network SOFTWEAR. The network will comprise 12 PhD students from 10 European Universities. SOFTWEAR is a highly interdisciplinary Doctoral Network in the emerging and rapidly growing field of wearables, with a unique focus on soft actuators for wearables and exoskeletons. The primary objective of SOFTWEAR is to train young researchers in the multidisciplinary science of soft actuators for integration in wearables and augmenting textiles. This will be achieved by merging chemistry, physics, mechanics, electronics, textile technology, design, human-technology interaction and ethics in a truly interdisciplinary manner, while teaching essential skills in ethics, product development, IPR and industrial realisation, thus providing a unique added value to the careers of the Researchers. This will be accomplished by on-the- job training on innovative research projects developing beyond-the-state-of- the-art soft actuator technology and integrating this into active garments and soft exoskeletons. The research will be carried out at leading academic groups and by immersion in applied projects at the industrial partners. The position will require traveling to participate in Training Schools and secondments of several months to academic and industrial associated partners.

    For more information see www.


    The PhD student will develop new fully wearable actuation systems based on pneumatic driving. The actuators will use compressed air to inflate wearable soft chambers, via wearable miniature custom-designed compressors. The soft chambers will be hosted in special pockets created within garments. In order to ensure closed-loop control of the actuators, wearable soft sensors will also be developed, by exploiting dielectric elastomer-based capacitive stretch sensing. The sensors will consist of silicone-made screen-printed stretchable capacitors, shaped as thin stripes and disks, coating the garments at the level of the actuators. The combined actuators and sensors will be tested on volunteers, for iterative validations and improvements, following an approval from the concerned Ethics Committee. By the end of the project, the Researcher will gain high competence and skills on pneumatic actuation and dielectric elastomer sensing, whose application could be extended in the future to other systems.

    Host university: University of Florence

    PhD Supervisor: Prof. Federico Carpi (www.

  • Full-time employment contract for 36 months;
  • Very attractive salary plus a possible family allowance package according to the Marie Sklodowska- Curie Action (MSCA) Doctoral Networks rules and personal circumstances (family status) of the applicant. Th exact salary will be defined upoon the appointement and is dependent on the country correction factor. For further information, please vist the European Union MSCA website;

  • Enrolment in a PhD Programme;

  • Shared research and innovative multidisciplinary and multisectoral training by experts and experienced trainers from two sectors (academia and industry);

  • Secondments at other institutions within the SOFTWEAR consortium;
  • A structured training programme consisting of soft skills courses, targeted workshops, meetings and networking within the SOFTWEAR consortium;
  • Gaining experience abroad;
  • Opportunities for participation in international conferences;
  • Enlarged professional network and opportunities for career development in academia and private sector.
  • Eligibility criteria
  • Eligible candidates must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in Italy for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to their recruitment by the University of Florence (i.e. 3 years preceding the starting date indicated in the employment contract/equivalent direct contract).
  • Eligible candidates shall not have been awarded any prior doctoral degree.
  • Eligible candidates must have a Master's degree in Biomedical Engineering or Mechanical Engineering or an equivalent degree that would entitle them to initiate doctorate studies.
  • Successful candidates must have a good level of proficiency in English, which will be assessed during the interview.

    Selection process
  • In order to apply, send your CV (no recommendation letter is needed) by email to the President of the selection Committee, Prof. Federico Carpi: The subject of the email should mandatorily read as follows: ‘SOFTWEAR PhD application'. The CV should be a PDF file (max size: 5 MB).
  • Application deadline: 20 October 2022, 23:00 – local time (Italy).
  • Invitation to interview: by 23 October 2022.
  • Communication of the final results: by 5 November 2022.
  • Tentative start date of the contract: January 2023.
  • Offer Requirements
  • Engineering: Master Degree or equivalent

  • ENGLISH: Good


    See the Eligibility criteria.

    Specific Requirements

    See the Eligibility criteria.

    Contact Information
  • Organisation/Company: University of Florence
  • Department: Industrial Engineering
  • Organisation Type: Higher Education Institute
  • Website: https:// www.
  • E-Mail:
  • Country: Italy
  • City: Florence
  • State/Province: Tuscany
  • Postal Code: 50139
  • Street: via di santa marta, 3
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