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Asst Professor System identification & process control for multi-physics systems

Research / Academic
Eindhoven
TU Eindhoven (TU/e) is a mid-size technical university located in the heart of the high-tech industry in the Netherlands, named the Brainport region. Eindhoven is the fifth largest city in the Netherlands, and including suburbs it has about 420,000 inhabitants. TU/e is a highly ranked university both in research and education. Our training and research programs are highly regarded and we foster close relationships with companies, organizations and research institutes in the Brainport region and beyond. Fundamental and applied research are equally valued here. The high rank of the TU/e is due to the impact of its scientific research and also to its scientific co¬publications with industry. TU/e is a social and inspiring university with a fine culture. You will quickly feel at home, surrounded by people who share your scientific ambitions. The TU/e currently has nine departments, with over 11,000 students in total. 

The Department of Mechanical Engineering has been a core part of the university since Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) was founded in 1956. Education, research and valorisation are closely linked and belong to the core activities of the department. The research of the Department of Mechanical Engineering is focused on three knowledge pillars: Materials and Mechanics; Energy and Flow; Systems Dynamics and Control.

The scientific staff of the faculty (including more than 150 PhD students and post-docs) is active in several research groups. Because the faculty gives plenty of space for interdisciplinary research, research within these groups is both conceptual and methodological. This distinguishes the Department of Mechanical Engineering at TU/e from other Departments of Mechanical Engineering in the Netherlands.

This vacancy is within the group Control Systems Technology, CST (pillar Dynamics and Control).

merging applications lead to multi-disciplinary control problems that are far more complex than ever before. These include the generation of energy through nuclear fusion as well as green energy through renewable (solar) fuels. Related problems are arising in industry, including thermal and thermal-mechanical systems in lithography and printing systems, but also in medical applications such as hyperthermia.

Breakthroughs in modelling, identification, and control technologies are essential to enable accurate operation of such processes, where the multi-physics character (thermal, mechanical, electromagnetic, chemical, biological) and multi-scale (both in space and time) nature of the underlying processes have to be explicitly accounted for. Techniques integrating (multi-)physics white-box modelling and data-based system identification and machine learning are needed to obtain models, often in the form of partial differential equations, to design estimation and (feedback and feedforward) control algorithms enhancing the overall safety (adhering to constraints) and performance of the engineered systems of the future.

The scientific question is how to exploit (model-based) insights into the fundamental properties of the system for systematic analysis and design, leading to a significant increase in the achievable performance. It is clear that the engineering question has a strong interrelationship with the scientific question, in which the former has the role of validation and inspiration for new directions of research.

Research

The Control Systems Technology group of the Department of Mechanical Engineering of the TU/e seeks to hire an outstanding assistant professor, which should play a leading role in addressing these modelling, estimation and control challenges in general and applying them in plasma control, nuclear fusion (tokamaks), future fuels and thermal systems. The successful candidate should hold a PhD degree in mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, systems and control, (applied) mathematics, computer science or physics. Core disciplines that are envisioned to be needed are:
  • Systems and control
  • Data-driven modelling (system identification and/or machine learning) and first principles modelling of multi-physics dynamical systems
  • Partial differential equations and their control
  • Model predictive control (MPC)
  • Distributed and decentralized control
  • Knowledge or interest in relevant application domains, for instance, in nuclear fusion, renewable (solar) fuels, etc.

Candidates are expected to be experienced in at least one of the core disciplines mentioned above. She/He should have the ambition to contribute to the creation of a strong, internationally renowned research group, while fostering a collaborative network with other academics working on the topic within the department, the university and industry.

Teaching

The candidate will contribute to the existing BSc program Mechanical Engineering and the MSc programs Mechanical Engineering (ME) and Systems and Control (S&C) within the department.

Embedding

The candidate is expected to be embedded in the Section of Control Systems Technology.

See https://www.tue.nl/en/research/research-groups/control-systems-technology/

The candidate has to be a strong networker linking to relevant partners in the Brainport area (http://brainporteindhoven.com) with a particular focus on the connection to DIFFER (Dutch Institute for Fundamental Energy Research, https://www.differ.nl/) regarding control challenges in fusion plasmas and renewable (solar) fuels, TU/e as well as in the international control community. In particular, the candidate will work 20% of his/her time at DIFFER (located at TU/e campus), and a DIFFER researcher will be 20% of the time in the CST group, thereby enabling strong cooperation and cross fertilization between DIFFER and Department of ME, particularly the CST group.

Tasks
  • Perform fundamental and applied research at the forefront of the systems and control domain with applications to multi-physics (PDE) systems
  • Publish in renowned scientific journals and conferences;
  • Realize technological projects at the forefront of process control and system identification for multi-physics systems;
  • Contribute to the educational program of the department
  • Supervise PhD and MSc students as well as BSc student projects;
  • Maintain and expand an effective network of cooperation partners in academia, institutes and industry
  • Contribute to acquiring funding for research projects from (inter)national research funding agencies.

Requirements:

  • PhD degree in Mechanical Engineering, Physics, Mathematics or Electrical Engineering with strong background in identification and control and/or one of the mentioned application domains
  • Relevant research experience in the field of study
  • Scientific creativity and production
  • Good communicative and didactic skills
  • Teaching experience (at level suitable to start as assistant professor)
  • Management qualities (at level suitable to start as assistant professor) for the capacity to contribute to initiating second and third flow of funds and to provide leadership in this

Salary Benefits:

  • A challenging job in a dynamic and ambitious university with the autonomy to develop your own research line and participate in the curriculum of the department;
  • A Tenure Track of five years with the prospect of becoming associate professor. After a maximum of 4 years the tenure decision will be made. If you have a more senior profile, you will receive a tailor-made career proposal.
  • As an Irène Curie Fellow, you are entitled to a substantial start-up package to kick-off your career.
  • In order to empower you, we provide support such as training programs for academic leadership and the university teaching qualification and a dedicated mentoring program to help you get to know the university and the Dutch (research) environment
  • Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities.
  • Additionally, an annual holiday allowance of 8% of the yearly salary, plus a year-end allowance of 8.3% of the annual salary;
  • A broad package of fringe benefits (including an excellent technical infrastructure, moving expenses, savings schemes).
  • Family friendly initiatives are in place, such as the Dual Career Opportunity program to support accompanying partners, an international spouse program, and excellent on-campus children day care and sports facilities.
Work Hours:

38 hours per week

Address:

De Rondom 70