Three PhD Scholarships in Autonomous Technology for Marine Craft

DTU Electrical Eng
Monday 08 Apr 19

Apply for this job

Apply no later than 14 May 2019
Apply for the job at DTU Electrical Eng by completing the following form.

Apply online

The Automation and Control Group at DTU Department of Electrical Engineering seeks highly qualified motivated candidates for a number of PhD positions. Applicants are invited to apply for a specific project from the list below. Additional information concerning individual project proposals can be obtained from the contact persons listed below. The procedure for applying is described below.

A total of five PhD projects are part of the ShippingLab Autonomy Work Package (WP). Three of these vacancies are advertised below. The ShippingLab Autonomy research will be a joint effort between senior faculty with Professor Mogens Blanke as Principal Investigator, experienced developers and navigators from partners, four PostDocs and five PhD candidates.  The Autonomy WP is a joint effort between DTU (Kgs. Lyngby), SIMAC, Wärtsila-Lyngsø Marine, Logimatic Engineering, Danelec Marine, TUCO Marine, DFDS, Danske Færger and a Harbor Bus Operator. The Autonomy WP will provide the research and development necessary to obtain maritime autonomy over a range of levels, from decision support to enhance safety and voyage economy, to a ferry on demand solution that would be able to operate without a navigator on board.

PhD candidates will participate in measurements, test and validation at sea. Candidates are expected to be dedicated, productive and ambitious team players, who wish to obtain an international level in their area.  Scientific publication and experimental validation of results will be part of all the PhD projects and candidates a will include two or more publications in international scientific journals plus a number of conference papers. Presentation at international conferences will be part of the research training and elements of didactics will be obtained through experience as teaching assistants.

The research of this project has civilian objectives. However, equipment restricted by export licenses and ITAR (International Traffic in Arms Regulations) is being used in this research. Applicants that are citizens of Denmark, Norway and other NATO countries, Sweden, Australia, New Zealand, or Japan are eligible. Other applicants should provide evidence of eligibility to use such equipment for their application to be considered.

PhD project 1: Autonomous Supervision for Safe Ship Operation with Temporarily Unmanned Bridge
This research will focus on creating overall awareness of own ship’s condition related to health and quality of sensors, machinery needed for manoeuvering and of the actuators used for manoeuvering. It will assess the risks related to the observed navigation of own ship and that of other vehicles. It will assess risks related to berthing capabilities given relevant weather information. Supervision will include diagnosis of not normal events including sensor artefacts and temporal or permanent faults in relevant devices on board. Implementation could be obtained using mixed deterministic and stochastic automata.

Your qualifications: 

  • MSc in automation and control or robotics with a profile that includes fault diagnosis and fault-tolerant control.
  • You have interest in, and perhaps experience with supervision, event diagnosis and control
  • Experience with marine control systems and with real time implementation would be an advantage
PhD project 2: Multi-modal sensor fusion and calibration for autonomous surface ships
The goal is to develop novel and reliable calibration and fusion of multiple sensors – employing robust state estimation techniques – in the context of situational awareness for autonomous vessels. A multitude of sensors and modalities are expected to be employed. Among these: short- and long-range RADARs, cameras in different spectral ranges, IMU, sea chart, position and navigation instruments. The algorithms will support scene-referenced simultaneous localisation and mapping. The output of the system will be used for 360o perception which will incorporate multiple sensor feeds.   

Your qualifications: 
  • MSc in Electrical/Electronics, Computer engineering, or equivalent with specialization in state estimation and sensor fusion.
  • Experience with open source robotic tools, such as ROS, would be an advantage.
  • Hands on experience with hardware for sensing would be an advantage.
PhD project 3: Robust Detection and Categorization for Autonomous Ship Perception
The goal of this project is to develop novel and robust algorithms for object detection and categorization, to be used on ships during autonomous operation. The project will research methods and architectures of deep learning in combination with other techniques for analysis of images and radar plots such that detection and categorization errors are minimized. The research will include incremental updating of recognition models as experience is accumulated. The developed techniques need to enable operability over long periods of time, supporting safe operation at all times.

Your qualifications:
 
  • MSc in Robotics, Computer Science or equivalent, with specialization in machine learning and robot vision.
  • Experience with open-source tools for machine learning and robot vision would be an advantage.
  • Familiarity with design of convolutional neural networks architectures would be an advantage.
  • Knowledge about radar technology would be an advantage.
Applicable for all PhD scholarships

Qualifications
Applicants must have a two-year master's degree (120 ECTS points) or a similar degree with an academic level equivalent to a two-year master's degree. Applicants who will obtain such degree by 1 August 2019 can also apply, but they cannot begin before having received the degree.

Approval and Enrolment
The scholarships for the PhD degree are subject to academic approval, and the candidates will be enrolled in one of the general degree programmes at DTU. For information about our enrolment requirements and the general planning of the PhD study programme, please see the DTU PhD Guide

Assessment
Assessment of applications will be made by the Principal Investigator together with Faculty from the Autonomy WP. Furthermore, the DTU Human Resources office will participate in interviewing and evaluating candidates.  

We offer
DTU is a leading technical university globally recognized for the excellence of its research, education, innovation and scientific advice. We offer a rewarding and challenging job in an international environment. We strive for academic excellence in an environment characterized by collegial respect and academic freedom tempered by responsibility.

Salary and appointment terms
The appointment will be based on the collective agreement with the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. The allowance will be agreed upon with the relevant union. The period of employment is 3 years.

You can read more about 
career paths at DTU here

Further information
Further information about all PhD projects may be obtained from the Principal Investigator, Professor Mogens Blanke, tel.: +45 4525 3565, mob: +45 2991 0965.

Specific information about PhD projects 2 and 3 may be obtained from Assistant Professor Evangelos Boukas, tel.: +45 5290 1729. 

Application 
Please submit your online application no later than 14 May 2019 (local time).  Evaluation will be ongoing during the application period and all candidates can expect a response within 30 days after the deadline.

Applications must be submitted as one PDF file containing all materials to be given consideration. To apply, please open the link "Apply online", fill out the online application form, and attach all your materials in English in one PDF file. The file must include: 
  • A letter motivating the application (cover letter)
  • Curriculum vitae that describes your professional experience, your profile of interest, the main contribution of scientific publications, if you have published results. Describe also experience that shows your abilities at a personal and professional level.
  • Pdf version(s) of published or submitted papers to relevant Journals and peer reviewed conferences.
  • Grade transcripts and BSc, MSc diploma (both are required if you hold a BSc as well.
  • Excel sheet with translation of grades to the Danish grading system (see guidelines and Excel spreadsheet here – in the right hand column)
In the field “Please indicate which position(s) you would like to apply for”, please indicate which project you are applying for (title from the above list of PhD projects).

Incomplete applications will not be considered. Candidates may apply prior to obtaining their master's degree but cannot begin before having received it.

Applications and enclosures received after the deadline will not be considered.

All qualified candidates irrespective of age, gender, disability, race, religion or ethnic background are encouraged to apply.

The Automation and Control Group at Department of Electrical Engineering at DTU performs research and teaching in automation technology, control theory and autonomous systems. The group has about 35 affiliated researchers and other employees. Please read more about the Automation and Control group on 
www.aut.elektro.dtu.dk. 

DTU is a technical university providing internationally leading research, education, innovation and scientific advice. Our staff of 6,000 advance science and technology to create innovative solutions that meet the demands of society, and our 11,200 students are being educated to address the technological challenges of the future. DTU is an independent academic university collaborating globally with business, industry, government and public agencies.