READVERTISEMENT - Ph.D. positions in Autonomous Drone Navigation and Landing on an Energized Powerline Cable

Syddansk Universitet (SDU)

Ph.d. & forskning

The University of Southern Denmark Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) Center at the Maersk Mc-Kinney Moller Institute, invites applicants for one or more 3-year PhD position(s) in the area of autonomous drone navigation near high-voltage overhead power line cables. The proposed starting time is 15 April 2019 or as soon as possible thereafter. The PhD is expected to perform high-quality research as part of the “Drones4Energy” project that is partially funded by Innovation Fund Denmark and the SDU strategic focus initiative.

Drones4Energy is an innovative drone project that contributes to the state of the art in electrical and communication engineering technologies to build a fully autonomous drone system that can charge itself from overhead power line cables. The project promises to deliver a collaborative drone system that is able to inspect the power grid in a highly efficient and safe manner.

The PhD research will focus on designing an autonomous navigation drone system that works near power lines using advanced onboard embedded sensing systems such as LiDARs, IMUs, magnetic field sensors, and cameras. The PhD will have access to state of the are composite, systems integration, motion capture, and indoor/outdoor test facilities located at Hans Christian Andersen Airport.

The successful candidates will be expected to have:

  • M.Sc. degree in mechatronics, robotics, or related fields (equivalent to a Danish master's degree).
  • Background in autonomous systems is required.
  • Practical experience with ROS, machine learning techniques, and CAD.
  • Good programming skills (e.g., Python, C++, MATLAB, SolidWorks).

Additionally, the candidate should have excellent writing skills and be able to work independently. The successful candidate for the position will be affiliated with the SDU UAS Center at the Maersk Mc-Kinney Moller Institute.

Contact Information

Further information is available from Asst. Prof. Emad Samuel Malki Ebeid, email

Research environment

University of Southern Denmark’s UAS Center was established in 2015 and brings together experts in robotics, computer vision, physics, software engineering, mechanical engineering, and cyber-physical systems to focus on research, education, innovation, and collaboration in the UAS domain.
Conditions of employment

Employment as a PhD fellow is a 3-year salaried position. Employment of a PhD fellow can only happen after the PhD Committee has approved the candidate for admission to the PhD school. The enrollment and employment will cease without further notice at the end of the 3-year period. Further information about salary and conditions of employment.

Employment is governed by the Protocol on PhD Research Fellows signed by the Danish Ministry of Finance and the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations.

An employed PhD fellow cannot have other paid work during the employment.

Requirements for the position
To be considered for the position it is required that the applicant meets the requirements for enrollment in the PhD school. Applicants are required to have a master’s degree (equivalent to a Danish master's degree) at the time of enrollment and employment.

An assessment committee will assess all applications. Each applicant will receive his/her own assessment.

Shortlisting may be used. Shortlisted applicants will be assessed by an assessment committee.

An interview might be part of the process.

Your application must be uploaded through the link “Apply Online”. Attached files must be in Adobe PDF or Word format. Please read guidelines for applicants.

All pdf-files must be unlocked and allow binding and may not be password protected.

In case you have more than one file per field you need to combine the pdf-files into a single file, as each field handles only one file.

Each box can only contain a single file of max. 10 Mb.

The applications must include as enclosures:

Completed application form
• Curriculum Vitae including information on previous employment
• Verified diplomas and transcripts of exams in English or Danish translation
The form for calculation of grade point average
• An official document describing the educational structure and the grading scheme of the awarding universities
• Verified written statement or assessment of the thesis or dissertation project given by the programmes educational institution, if the thesis is evaluated by approved/not approved
• The brief description of current research. Please attach it to “application material” under “Other relevant material”
• Application stating reasons for applying. Please attach your motivated application to “application material” under “Research Plan”.
• References, you're welcome to use this form.
• Three names and emails of researchers who can provide an informed reference letter at short notice.
• Full list of publications (stating the scientific publications on which the applicant wishes to rely) and examples of publications, if any.

The University wishes our staff to reflect the diversity of society and thus welcomes applications from all qualified candidates regardless of personal background.

The application must be in English.

Further information about the PhD programme and for international applicants about entering and working in Denmark can be found at:
The SDU PhD webpages
The faculty PhD webpages
The international Staff Office at SDU
Study in Denmark
Work in Denmark

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Ansøgningsfrist 2019-mar-17
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Syddansk Universitet (SDU)
Syddansk Universitet (SDU)
SDU åbnede dørene for de første studerende i Odense i september 1966, og siden da er det gået stærkt. Vi har nu fem fakulteter med omkring 30.000 studerende, heraf mere end 15 % fra udlandet, og knap 4.000 ansatte fordelt på hovedcampus i Odense samt regionale campusser i Slagelse, Kolding, Esbjerg og Sønderborg og København.

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