PhD student Neuriontronic : Organic neuromorphic devices

Research / Academic

Brain-inspired (neuromorphic) computing has recently demonstrated major advancements in pattern and image recognition as well as classification of unstructured (big) data. The low power characteristics that organic neuromorphic devices possess are ideal for autonomous applications. Combined with their relative stability and low voltage operation they can be used for smart robotics. The project will focus on autonomous reinforced learning and path planning as well as the development of an electronic (robotic) nose, to recognize different gasses.

In collaboration with the Max Planck Institute in Mainz (Dr. Gkoupidenis) in this project, relatively small arrays consisting of ~10-100 devices will be used for simple learning and classification tasks, related to robotics. The neuromorphic core will be trained to react to different inputs (such as sensors) from the surrounding including light, color, pressure, etc. and bases its decisions on this.  The overall goal is:

To develop a trainable neuromorphic array for autonomous smart robotics

The use of organic artificial synapses in small arrays fabricated with lithography are an excellent choice for these devices, as they operate at low voltages and require low energy for training. This is necessary in order for the neuromorphic core to be automatic and operating stand-alone on the robot.


We are looking for a candidate with a background in electrical or circuit engineering, robotics, artificial intelligence, microsystems engineering or other relevant discipline. Given the multidisciplinary character of the proposed research the ideal candidate has experience in device physics, circuits, sensors and robotics. Furthermore, the candidate has a hands-on attitude, experimental experience and can work independently as well as collaborate with others. 


The PhD student will be directly supervised by prof. Yoeri van de Burgt, assistant professor in Neuromorphic Engineering, within the Microsystems section, headed by prof. Jaap den Toonder. Microsystems is part of the Institute for Complex Molecular Systems (ICMS). The Microsystems section manages the Microfab lab, a state-of-the-art micro fabrication facility that houses a range of micro-manufacturing technologies.

The project is part of the NEURIONTRONIC project and done in collaboration with Dr. Paschalis Gkoupidenis at the Max Planck Institute in Mainz. The candidate is expected to work roughly 50% of his/her time in Mainz.

Salary Benefits:

  • A challenging job at a dynamic and ambitious university.
  • A position for a period of 4 year.
  • A gross monthly salary from € 2.325 (first year) to €2.972 (fourth year) in line with the Collective Agreement for Dutch Universities.
  • An attractive package of fringe benefits (including excellent work facilities, end of the year allowance and sport facilities).
Work Hours:

38 hours per week


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