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MADE: Modular Digital Twins enhancing integration speed (position 3)

Please note that this description covers Position 3 of four independent, but inter-linked PhD fellowships. Please find the other three project descriptions on the GSTS application page. You can choose to apply for one or several of the projects. If the latter is chosen, please clearly indicate your preferences on one (primary choice) or multiple (primary and secondary choices) part project(s) in the application (motivation letter).

Applications are invited for a PhD fellowship/scholarship at Graduate School of Technical Sciences, Aarhus University, Denmark, within the Engineering programme. The position is available from 1 November 2020 or later.

MADE: Modular Digital Twins enhancing integration speed (position 3)

Research area and project description:

The PhD project is a part of the Manufacturing Academy of Denmark (MADE - https://en.made.dk/), the Danish national initiative for collaboration, innovation and research in manufacturing, involving close collaboration with a collection of Danish companies and with focus on the three others MADE FAST (Flexibility, Agility, Sustainability and Talent) part projects.

Project description for position 3:

Production and manufacturing processes involve complex repetitive processing steps, commonly involving expert-based manual inspection for quality assurance. Recent technological advances in the areas of co-simulation, artificial intelligence, machine learning and digital twins can lead to powerful frameworks and tools enabling data-driven knowledge extraction, on-demand quality analysis, and risk management. Artificial Intelligence (AI)-enabled Industrial Manufacturing Systems will boost automation leading to products and services of higher quality, lower delivery time, and enhanced capabilities.

Modular and/or collaborative automation applications has a significant competitive advantage as it enables key characteristics of future manufacturing demands. This includes simple tasks as machine tending and pick n’ place, but also process specific applications as path-specific applications as gluing, sanding and deburring, As well as advanced pose-specific applications as screwdriving, force-based insertion etc. Utilizing digital twins to decrease the integration time of system integrators and increase the accessibility and availability of such automation application to the untrained end-user operator, is a key success criterion of this project. This will be achieved by addressing digital models of components, to create application configurators and application specific co-simulation in a web-based environment to create high quality application integrations and predict performance of configurations as well as mitigate risk of variance.

Collaborating organizations: Technicon and SDU

Qualifications and specific competences:

Applicants to the PhD position must have a relevant Master’s degree in Computer Engineering/Science, or equivalent. Competence in programming using Python, C, etc. will be advantageous. Competence in mathematics, and relevant topics in digital twins, co-simulation or deep learning are an advantage. The applicants should be enthusiastic about working in an interdisciplinary academic environment.

Place of employment and place of work:
Department of Engineering, Aarhus University, Åbogade 34, 8200 Aarhus N, Denmark.

You will be a member of the Cyber-Physical Systems, and the Machine Learning and Computational Intelligence research groups. The former is strong in supporting Cyber-Physical Systems with models, co-simulation and digital twins, while the latter is strong in both theoretical and applied aspects of machine learning and its sub-areas (like deep learning and statistical machine learning). In recent years, these research groups have seen close cooperation between different research groups around the world.

As a PhD student, you are a valuable part of the research groups and the department. All PhD students get a support group of experienced advisors outside their own research group. The main purpose of the support group is to give feedback on the PhD work to help you reach your full potential as PhD student, and to ensure that any obstacles that may arise are overcome as smoothly as possible. Another important aspect is socializing with your peers across the department. Social events are continuously organized by the department and student clubs.

Aarhus University was founded in 1928. It has 40,000 students; about 1,800 PhD students – of which one in four has a foreign nationality – and close to 900 postdoctoral scholars together with 11,500 employees. Aarhus University has been establishing itself as a university for cutting-edge research and has been regularly included in the top-100 Universities of the most important university ranking lists. 

Applicants seeking further information are invited to contact:

Professor Peter Gorm Larsen (pgl@eng.au.dk)

Associate Professor Alexandros Iosifidis (ai@eng.au.dk)

Application procedures

Before you apply

Information and attachments:

Please be aware that you must have all relevant appendices, attachments, addresses for referees, etc. ready when you apply, as the entire application must be uploaded to the system in one go.

Documentation of language skills:

The English language requirement at the graduate school is comparable to an “English B level” in the Danish upper secondary school (“gymnasium”).

English language qualifications comparable to an “English B level” are documented by one of the following tests:

  • TOEFL test (internet-based), minimum score: 83. The graduate school does not accept the paper-based test, nor the TOEFL ITP test. Remember to ask the test center to send your test results to Aarhus University in order to enable verification of your test results. Aarhus University’s TOEFL code is 8935.
    Currently, the TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition test (available in selected areas) will also be accepted.
  • IELTS (academic) test, minimum average score: 7.0 points
    Please note, from 1 June 2020 the Graduate School of Science and Technology has split in two following the split of the faculty. For the two new schools, Graduate School of Natural Sciences and Graduate School of Technical Sciences, the minimum average score requirement for an IELTS test is 7.0 points (equivalent of a C1 level).
  • Cambridge English Language Assessment:
    Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency (CPE)
    Cambridge English: Certificate of Advanced English with grade A,B or C (CAE)
    Cambridge English: First Certificate with grade A (FCE)

When to take the test and how to upload the documentation:
The test result must not be more than two years old at the time of application.

The English language test should be taken before applying for admission and uploaded under “language skills documentation” in the online application form.

It is possible to apply for admission before you have taken the test. In this case documentation stating that you have signed up for a test (please state expected submission date) must be uploaded. If the test result is not part of the original application the test result is to be sent to gsts@psys.au.dk no later than one month after the application deadline.

The following applicants are exempted from documenting their English qualifications/taking a test:

  • Applicants with citizenship from the following countries: Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, the United States, or one of the Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway or Sweden).
  • Applicants with a Bachelor’s or Master’s programme completed in Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, or the United States. In this case, please upload your Bachelor’s or Master’s diploma under the section ”Language skills documentation”.
  • Applicants with a Bachelor’s or Master’s programme completed at a Danish university for which the requirement was English B level at the time of admission. In this case, please upload your Bachelor’s or Master’s diploma under the section ”Language skills documentation”.

The programme committee may request further information or invite the applicant to attend an interview.

How to apply:

1)      Find the application form:
Go to https://phd.tech.au.dk/for-applicants/apply-here/ - Note, the online application system opens on 1 June 2020.
Choose August 2020 Call with deadline 1 August 2020 at noon (11.59 AM CEST).
You will be directed to the call, and must choose the programme “Engineering”.

2)      Fill in the following information:

  • Personal information
  • Academic background
  • Admission
  • Financing (if any)
  • Study: In the dropdown menu you must choose the project: “MADE: Modular Digital Twins enhancing integration speed (position 3)”
  • Source (how you found out about the call)

Next to some of the information fields you will find a number. Click on the number to get further directions on how to fill in the information field/what information is needed.

3)      Application attachments:
Please be aware that you cannot submit the application if one or several of these documents have not been uploaded.

If you wish to upload more than one document under each section, you must scan/merge all documents into one large PDF file and upload this. Please note that we reserve the right to remove scientific papers, large reports, theses and the like. Instead you can indicate a URL where the information is available.

All information in the application must be in English or Danish, preferably English. A certified English translation is required for documents written in languages other than English or one of the Scandinavian languages (i.e. Norwegian, Swedish or Danish) languages.

As a minimum all applications must include (pdf-files only, max. 20 MB, no zip):

  • One reference (template for references)
  • Curriculum vitae,
  • Motivation (max. 1 page)
  • Transcripts, grade point averages (weighted and unweighted), and diploma(s) for both Bachelor’s and Master’s degree. If the original documents are not in English or one of the Scandinavian languages (i.e. Norwegian, Swedish or Danish) then copies of the original documents as well as a certified English translation must be attached.
  • Project description (½-4 pages). This document should describe your ideas and research plans for this specific project. If you wish to, you can indicate an URL where further information can be found. Please note that we reserve the right to remove scientific papers, large reports, theses and the like.
  • Documentation of language skills if required.

After submission of the application, you will receive a confirmation e-mail with an application ID, you should use for reference if needed.

The graduate school reserves the right to verify the authenticity of your educational diploma and transcripts:

  • Request additional information to verify an application.
  • Reject the application if it is proven, or if the University has reasonable belief, that the information provided is false or if the applicant refuses to provide the requested information, whether or not an offer has already been made. 
  • For further information on applying, assessment procedures, etc. please see the GSTS Application Guide.

Please note:

  • The programme committee may request further information or invite the applicant to attend an interview.
  • The project will only be initiated if final funding (from the graduate school/the faculty) is secured.

All interested candidates are encouraged to apply, regardless of their personal background.

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