PhD student position in Robotic Inspection Systems

The research group of Applied AI at Chalmers conducts basic and applied research on autonomous vehicles and robots. We are expanding our portfolio to include new sectors, such as railway. Through increased utilization, the capacity and productivity of the European railway network is improved, thereby consolidating the railway's role as the backbone for pollution-free transport of goods and people.

We offer you the opportunity to pursue your ideas in an inclusive work environment at one of Sweden's leading universities on the lively west coast city of Gothenburg.

Project description
The PhD project will be carried out in the Applied Artificial Intelligence (AAI) research group, and in collaboration with project partners in the European railway sector. A consequence of increased utilization of the railway systems is increased wear and increased risk of damage to the railway infrastructure. As a result, there's a strong need of maintenance and repair of the railway infrastructure. Digitalization, AI, and robotics have been identified as potential solutions. For example, a novel contribution to more efficient railway maintenance and repair are digital twins. These intelligent simulations can be used to more precisely predict when a preventive maintenance measure should be carried out. Thus, the risk of sudden, unexpected breakdowns, which can be very costly and dangerous, is reduced. Traffic disruptions due to maintenance activities can also be minimized. However, they need to be continuously updated with fresh data. Together with the Swedish Transport Administration (Trafikverket), the Applied AI (AAI) research group at Chalmers-M2 is developing an autonomous railway robot research prototype for data collection, inspection, and repair of railway infrastructure. In the PhD project, building on our previous research, we aim to further develop the robotics inspection and repair system.

The AAI group conducts research in a wide variety of topics, e.g. automated transportation (road, rail, and sea), mobile robots, and conversational AI, with interpretability as a common theme. In the field of conversational AI, the AAI group is working on several topics, e.g., text sentiment classification, dialogue managers for intelligent virtual agents, and natural language modelling in general, with applications primarily in health care (even though other applications may be relevant as well). The AAI group is part of the division of Vehicle Engineering and Autonomous Systems (VEAS) at the Department of Mechanics and Maritime Sciences (M2).

Major responsibilities
The main responsibility will be to pursue research within the project. You are expected to implement, extend, and test existing scientific ideas and concepts as well as invent new ones, and to communicate the results of your research verbally and in writing at leading conferences. You will be guided by senior researchers in the department. The position generally also includes teaching on Chalmers' undergraduate/Masters level or performing other duties corresponding to 20 percent of working hours.

To qualify as a PhD student, you must have a master's level degree corresponding to at least 240 higher education credits in a relevant field, such as complex adaptive systems, automation and control, mechatronics, artificial intelligence, or computer science.

You should also:
- have good grades and the ability to work independently.
- be creative and organized and like to put new ideas into practice.
- have the ability to discuss and communicate your work with people of different backgrounds.
- be highly motivated, with a strong curiosity and a genuine wish to constantly learn more and to develop your skills and knowledge further in the fields of research and research communication.

The position requires sound verbal and written communication skills in English. If Swedish is not your native language, Chalmers offers Swedish courses.

Contract terms
Full-time temporary employment. The position is limited to a maximum of five years.

We offer
Chalmers offers a cultivating and inspiring working environment in the coastal city of Gothenburg
Read more about working at Chalmers and our benefits for employees.

Chalmers aims to actively improve our gender balance. We work broadly with equality projects, for example the GENIE Initiative on gender equality for excellence. Equality and diversity are substantial foundations in all activities at Chalmers.

Application procedure
The application should be marked with Ref 20230363 and written in English. The application should be sent electronically and be attached as PDF-files, as below. Maximum size for each file is 40 MB. Please note that the system does not support Zip files.

CV: (Please name the document: CV, Family name, Ref. number)
• CV
• Other, for example previous employments or leadership qualifications and positions of trust.
• Two references that we can contact.

Personal letter: (Please name the document as: Personal letter, Family name, Ref. number)
1-3 pages where you:
• Introduce yourself
• Describe your previous experience of relevance for the position (e.g. education, thesis work and, if applicable, any other research activities)
• Describe your future goals and future research focus

Other documents:
• Copies of bachelor and/or master’s thesis.
• Attested copies and transcripts of completed education, grades and other certificates, e.g. TOEFL test results.

Please use the button at the foot of the page to reach the application form. 

Application deadline: August 31, 2023

For questions, please contact:
Docent Krister Wolff

+46 31-772 3625

*** Chalmers declines to consider all offers of further announcement publishing or other types of support for the recruiting process in connection with this position. *** 

Chalmers University of Technology conducts research and education in engineering sciences, architecture, technology-related mathematical sciences, natural and nautical sciences, working in close collaboration with industry and society. The strategy for scientific excellence focuses on our six Areas of Advance; Energy, Health Engineering, Information and Communication Technology, Materials Science, Production and Transport. The aim is to make an active contribution to a sustainable future using the basic sciences as a foundation and innovation and entrepreneurship as the central driving forces. Chalmers has around 11,000 students and 3,000 employees. New knowledge and improved technology have characterised Chalmers since its foundation in 1829, completely in accordance with the will of William Chalmers and his motto: Avancez!


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