Professor in `Natural Artificial Intelligence'

Research / Academic
TU 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 down-to-earth 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. 

Department of Electrical Engineering

With almost 100 (assistant, associate and full) professors, over 200 PhD and PDEng students, about 800 Bachelor students and 300 Master students, the Department of Electrical Engineering (EE) is one of the largest departments of the TU/e. By performing top-level fundamental and applied research, offering high-quality educational programs, and maintaining strong ties with industry, EE aims to contribute to science and innovation in and beyond the region. EE currently offers Bachelor, Master and PhD programs in Electrical Engineering and participates in several multi-disciplinary Master programs, such as Systems and Control, Automotive Technology and Sustainable Energy Technology, all taught fully in English. See here for more information about the department.

The department's close relationship with the high-tech industry in the Brainport region means that staff and students can contribute directly to the development of technological innovations with real-world relevance. The unique positioning in one of Europe's leading tech regions also means excellent job opportunities for spouses. 

Research in Electrical Engineering: ambition meets opportunity in Eindhoven

Research in the EE department is generally focused on three areas:
  1. Signal Processing and Imaging
  2. Communication
  3. Cyber-Physical Systems
In addition, TU/e recently initiated a strong initiative to expand its activities in a new focus area on 'Artificial Intelligence in Engineering'. In that context, the EE capacity group Signal Processing Systems (SPS) plays an important role. Signal Processing as an academic discipline has evolved dramatically over the past decades towards the design of intelligent information processing systems that learn to make optimal decisions under in-situ ('situated'), volatile and changing real-world (i.e., natural) conditions. The growing need for personalization and continual design (to deal with changing environments) of signal processing algorithms (e.g., for hearing aids, virtual and augmented reality processing, medical diagnosis and fitness/lifestyle coaching, IoT and wearable devices) will necessarily lead to a growing need for automated design of signal processing algorithms by synthetic agents that update algorithms in real-time under situated conditions. Inspiration can be drawn from nature, as the brain is a highly performant (biological) agent that continually designs and updates complicated signal processing algorithms, e.g., for speech and object recognition, locomotion, homeostasis, etc.

These developments have resulted in the following vacant position:

Professor in 'Natural Artificial Intelligence'

­Natural Artificial Intelligence (NAI) studies how to design synthetic autonomous agents that learn purposeful behavior using nature-inspired principles of self-organization. NAI systems learn in real-time from actively selected small data sets and differ in that way from big-data driven AI systems such as deep learning neural networks. The study of NAI systems is under development in a newly formed academic community that crosses through theoretical neurosciences, signal processing and control, Bayesian machine learning and probabilistic programming. In particular, NAI is an engineering discipline that takes inspiration from Bayesian brain theories such as the Free Energy Principle. At issue is the development of nature-inspired intelligent agents that automate the design of signal processing and control systems through real-time, situated interactions with their environment.

The professor should have a strong research record in the field of NAI and have a decided interest to lead a subgroup within SPS with focus on Bayesian brain-inspired intelligent agents for automation of signal processing algorithm design. Furthermore, we expect that the professor takes on a leading role in educating TU/e students at both graduate and undergraduate levels about this burgeoning AI subfield.


What we are looking for

The ideal candidate holds a PhD degree and is a seasoned researcher with both academic and industrial experience and draws from a strong track record as a leader in NAI and signal processing or very related fields. (S)he should be dedicated to developing a strong academic research team that focusses on development of nature-inspired synthetic agents for design automation of signal processing and control systems under situated environmental conditions. This type of nature-inspired AI learns continually and in real-time from actively selected data streams and complements the current AI focus on deep learning. (S)he should provide leadership in educating TU/e's student body on natural AI for engineering. The professor is expected to take on an active role in the organization of BSc and/or MSc programs in AI in Engineering. A proven track record in successful research funds acquisition is essential, since the professor is expected to support a substantial team of researchers working on this theme. In addition, the professor is expected to pro-actively create valorization opportunities for results emanating from her/his research track. Good interpersonal skills and fluency in English are expected.

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.
  • As an Irène Curie Fellow, you are entitled to a substantial benefit package.
  • 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


De Rondom 70