Tampere University

Doctoral Researcher (Learning and Control for Autonomous Robotics)

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Tampere University and Tampere University of Applied Sciences create a unique environment for multidisciplinary, inspirational and high-impact research and education. Our universities community has its competitive edges in technology, health and society. www.tuni.fi/en 

The Advanced Learning, Control and AutomatioN (ALCAN) Research Group, part of the Automation Technology and Mechanical Engineering Unit at Tampere University, Finland, is pleased to announce the opening of a Doctoral Researcher position. This position focuses on "Learning and Control for Autonomous Robotics." It offers an exciting opportunity to engage in innovative research at the intersection of optimal control, machine learning and robotics. 

Job Description 

As technology continues to evolve in the fields of robotics and autonomous systems, the dynamical systems within these domains present both practical and theoretical challenges. It is increasingly necessary to develop advanced learning models and intelligent controllers to address these challenges effectively. The successful candidate for this Doctoral Researcher position will engage in cutting-edge research aimed at developing novel learning and optimal control methods. These methods will be capable of effectively handling uncertain and time-varying dynamics and adapting to changing conditions. The research will focus on integrating advanced model predictive control with reinforcement learning techniques to ensure safe and robust operations in all settings. Additionally, the goal is to ensure data-efficient, real-time, numerically stable, and explainable implementations in both simulation and real-world scenarios. This research is crucial for achieving sustainable development in autonomous systems and can benefit a wide range of industries including, but not limited to, transportation, manufacturing, energy and aerospace. In particular, the application areas of autonomous mobile working machines in fields such as forestry, construction, mining, and logistics can immensely benefit from these advances. 

The direction of the research will be shaped by the project tasks. However, the research focus and responsibilities can be tailored to align with the candidate's skills, experience, and interests. The position involves collaborating with a multidisciplinary team to advance current knowledge and technology in this field, publishing findings in reputable journals, presenting at international conferences, and may include a few months of mobility to a European partner for collaborative work during the research stages. 


Applicants are expected to meet the following criteria:

  • Educational Qualification: A master's degree in Engineering with a background in mechatronics engineering, computer science, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, or a related field at the time of application. 
  • Academic Background: A solid background in optimal control and machine learning is necessary. Additional knowledge in optimization, reinforcement learning, and model predictive control is highly desirable. 
  • Technical Proficiency: Strong skills in Python and MATLAB based programming are essential. Particular experience in common frameworks (e.g., JAX, PyTorch, and CasADi) would be a big plus. Proficiency in C++ would also benefit hardware implementations. Candidates should also be willing to further develop their coding efficiency. 
  • Language Skills: Proficiency in both written and spoken English is required. Applicants should possess excellent communication and interpersonal skills. Proficiency in Finnish is not required. 
  • Working Style: Ability to work both independently and as part of a team. Candidates should demonstrate a balance of autonomy and collaborative skills. 
  • Additional Competencies: A strong willingness to engage deeply in the research field of robotics and autonomous systems is highly appreciated. An interest in pursuing a research career and the capacity for hard work are also valued. 

Please note that during the recruitment process,  the selected candidate must apply for a study right within the doctoral program at Tampere University, unless they already have one. Please visit the admissions webpage for more information on eligibility requirements. 

Tampere University is a unique, multidisciplinary, forward-thinking, and evolving community. Our values are openness, critical thinking, diversity, learner-centeredness, courage, erudition, and responsibility. We hope you can embrace these values and promote them in your role. 

We offer 

The position will be filled for a fixed-term period of four (4) years, commencing in October 2024 or as soon after that as possible. A trial period of six (6) months applies to all our new employees. 

The salary will be based on both the job requirements and the employee's personal performance in accordance with the Finnish University Salary System. According to the criteria applied to teaching and research staff, the position of a doctoral researcher is placed on level 2-4 of the job requirements scale. A typical starting salary for a Doctoral Researcher is approximately 2700 EUR per month. The salary increases based on experience and the progress of doctoral studies. 

Tampere University is strongly committed to the highest level of scientific research and the provision of high-quality doctoral education. The unit and the faculty support the doctoral students by offering training and peer support. The University offers a wide range of staff benefits, such as occupational health care, flexible working hours, excellent sports facilities on campus and several on-campus restaurants and cafés with staff discounts. Please read more about working at Tampere University.

Tampere is the largest inland city in Finland and is considered a major academic hub in the Nordic countries. The region is home to a vibrant, knowledge-intensive entrepreneurial community, and the city is an industrial powerhouse with a rich cultural scene and a reputation as a centre of Finland's information society. Additionally, Finland is known for being one of the most stable, free, and safe countries in the world, based on various ratings by prominent agencies. Tampere is surrounded by stunning nature, with forests and lakes offering countless opportunities for easy-to-access outdoor adventures and refreshment throughout the year. 

Read more about Finland and Tampere: 

How to apply 

Please submit your application through our online recruitment system (link below). The closing date for applications is 06.06.2024 (23:59 EET /UTC +3). 

Please write your application and all accompanying documentation (listed below) in English and combine them into a single PDF file named “LastnameFirstname.pdf”. Please note that other file formats will not be accepted. 

1. A cover letter (maximum length 2 pages) explaining your background, motivation for pursuing a research career, rationale for applying for the position, and reasons you are particularly suited for this role. 

2. Curriculum vitae, including: 

  • Personal details and the date of the CV. 
  • Degrees (including all degrees you have, along with their dates (month/year)). 
  • Other education and expertise. 
  • Language skills. 
  • Previous work experience. 
  • Research outputs (list of publications, patents, etc.), if any. 
  • Other key academic and non-academic merits. 
  • Python, MATLAB and C++ skills, experience in common frameworks (e.g., JAX, PyTorch, and CasADi), familiarity with Linux environment (with your own evaluation of your level, from low to excellent) – include links to any open-source code you have on Github or other repositories. 
  • The contact details of up to two referees. References will not be contacted during the initial review process.

 3. Degree certificates and supplements: 

  • Bachelor’s and master's degrees and any other relevant diplomas in their original language. Provide an official translation if the original language is not English. 
  • Transcripts of records for bachelor’s, master’s, and other completed programs in their original language. Provide an official translation if the original language is not English. 
  • A certificate of English language proficiency or other means to prove your English language skills. 

4. Other relevant documents that support your application (optional)

Please follow the above instructions carefully. Incomplete or non-compliant applications will not be accepted for evaluation.

For more information, please contact:
Assistant Professor, Group Leader Gokhan Alcan, gokhan.alcan(at)tuni.fi

Faculty of Engineering and Natural Sciences
Automation Technology and Mechanical Engineering

Informatie over de vacature

Doctoral Researcher (Learning and Control for Autonomous Robotics)
Kalevantie 4 Tampere, Finland
Uiterste sollicitatiedatum
Soort functie
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