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Postdoc Position in Soft Robotics at SDU Biorobotics

Syddansk Universitet (SDU)



The University of Southern Denmark invites applications from qualified doctoral graduates for a 3-year postdoc position in the field of Soft Robotics. The position is based in Odense and will be hosted by the SDU Biorobotics unit of the Maersk Mc-Kinney Moller Institute.

The starting date for the position will be agreed with the successful candidate, but ideally Q4 2020. The application deadline is 14th June, 2020.

Focus of this position
Unlike conventional robotic solutions where strength, precision, accuracy, and repeatability are principal design criteria, Nature uses "soft" materials in interesting combinations to provide bodies well-adapted to their common tasks. At the new Centre for Soft Robotics being established at SDU under the aegis of SDU Biorobotics, we aim for a systems approach to soft robotics that takes soft robots as first-class artefacts and considers how to design and build them.

Specifically, we wish to elucidate what are the appropriate design criteria for soft robots that can blur the line between materials and machines; how soft-bodied machines can be designed and deployed for given tasks, including collaborative industrial tasks; how electronics and computing can be integrated into soft robotic solutions; and how both local and distal sensing can be exploited by such bodies for closed-loop feedback control.

Potential projects include realizing biologically-inspired locomotion and dexterity in soft robots with decentralized actuation, proprioception and sensing to permit adaptive interaction with unpredictable environments, possibly including interaction with humans.

The SDU Biorobotics Unit
SDU Biorobotics' current research programme focusses, inter alia, on biomimetic and bio-inspired robotics, in which Nature's exploitation of unconventional materials and solution principles is of considerable interest. The Soft Robotics Centre will build on SDU Biorobotics' expertise in embodied artificial intelligence and biomimetic modelling and complement its existing work in robotics, working closely with existing research groups in the unit but also with the SDU UAS Centre (for example on flapping flight drones) and SDU's advanced manufacturing, composite and nano-materials programmes.

Qualifications
Successful applicants will strengthen the research programme and portfolio of the Soft Robotics Centre and have the opportunity to engage in educational activities in SDU Biorobotics. The ideal applicants for these positions will have:

  • a doctoral degree (PhD level) in a relevant discipline, with experience of interdisciplinary research;
  • a strong research and publication record commensurate with career stage;
  • familiarity with techniques and problems of making and working with soft robots -- experience in biological modelling, materials science or embodied artificial intelligence and morphological computation will be especially relevant;
  • documented teaching experience in relevant undergraduate and graduate programmes;
  • a commitment to basic science, but with appropriate experience of interaction and collaboration with the industrial or commercial worlds;
  • a sensible but challenging suggested research direction focused on systems-level aspects of soft robotics will be an advantage -- sensing, electronics and system design are especially interesting to us.

Contact information
For further information please contact:

  • Professor John Hallam, email: john@mmmi.sdu.dk
  • Associate Professor Ahmad Rafsanjani, email: ahmad.rafsanjani@gmail.com
  • Assistant Professor Jonas Jørgensen, email: jonj@mmmi.sdu.dk

Conditions of employment
Employment as a postdoc requires scientific qualifications at PhD level. Employment as a postdoc is temporary and will cease without further notice at the end of the 3-year period.

Research will be predominant in the position. Teaching assignments can be agreed individually. Furthermore, other types of assignments may occur to a limited degree. The Faculty determines the distribution of the various assignments. The weighting of the different assignments may vary over time.

The successful applicant will be employed in accordance with the agreement between the Ministry of Finance and the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. Please check links for more information on salary and taxation.

The assessment process
Read about the Assessment and selection process.

Application procedure
The faculty expects applicants to read How to apply before applying.

The application must be in English and must include:

  • Motivated application / Research proposal.
  • Detailed Curriculum Vitae.
  • Certificates/Diplomas (MSc and PhD).
  • List of publications indicating the publications attached.
  • A maximum of 3 examples of the applicant's most relevant publications. Please attach one pdf-file for each publication.
  • Reference letters and other relevant qualifications may also be included.

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

Further information for international applicants about entering and working in Denmark.

Further information about The Faculty of Engineering.

Send ansøgning
Ansøgningsfrist 2020-juni-14
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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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