Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology

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Department of Physics at Umeå University ( conducts strong research in the areas of organic electronics, condensed matter physics, nanotechnology, photonics, theoretical and computational physics.

The Department of Physics is looking for a PhD student in computational physics for a project aimed at physics-based modeling and numerical methods for machine perception in unstructured environments. Application deadline is 31 January 2019. The position will open in 1 March 2019 (exact start date can be negotiated).

Project Description
The selected candidate will work with computational modeling and simulation of granular materials in combination with machine learning in order to find new methods of perception in unstructured environments with mechanical manipulators. Synthetic sensor data from large set of scenarios can be produced using virtual environments based on digital physics. This provide data for training models for machine perception, capable of not only detecting objects but also learn about their physical nature, relevant for manipulator control. Challenges in machine perception include creating generic models, easy to adapt for specific domains. Including physics in the training data is considered to be a key factor. The candidate will participate in the research project "Machine perception for smart and automated forest operations" within the research program Mistra Digital Forest, work at UMIT Research Lab and collaborate with various research groups and industry parties.

The employment is expected to result in a doctoral degree and the main assignment for the doctoral student is thus to be active in research, study doctoral courses, and possibly participate in teaching of courses at undergraduate level. Financing time is limited to four years full time. Teaching and other departmental work (up to a maximum of 20%) can be included. The employment is limited to four years at full time or up to five years if teaching and other departmental work is performed. The salary is fixed according to the established salary level for doctoral students.

Competence requirements
The successful candidate should hold a master degree (or equivalent) in physics or engineering physics. Applicants should have knowledge of computational physics or computational modeling and programming skills in C++ or Python. Experience of high-performance computing, multi-body and particle dynamics as well as machine learning will be seen as an advantage. The candidate must be highly motivated and have the ability to work independently as well as a part of the research group. The applicant is required to be fluent in both oral and written English.

To be admitted for studies at third-cycle level the applicant is required to have completed a second-cycle level degree, or completed course requirements of at least 240 ECTS credits, of which at least 60 ECTS credits are at second-cycle level, or have an equivalent education from abroad or equivalent qualifications.

To fulfill the specific entry requirements to be admitted for studies at third-cycle level within the subject of computational science with a profile in physics, the applicant is required to have completed courses within the field of computational science (such as mathematics, mathematical statistics and computing science) comprising at least 120 ECTS credits.

The application should include the following:
1. A personal letter with a brief description of qualifications, research interests, and why you are interested in the position.
2. Curriculum vitae.
3. Copies of relevant degree diploma(s).
4. A list of university courses with grades. Note that for international applicants the grading system should be explained in brief.
5. A copy of master thesis and publications (if any).
6. Contact information of three reference persons.

For more information contact Martin Servin, email:, tel: +4690-786 6508
Applications must be submitted via e-recruitment system Varbi no later than 2019-01-31.

We look forward to receiving your application!

Type of employment Temporary position longer than 6 months
Contract type Full time
First day of employment 1 March 2019 (exact start date can be negotiated).
Salary According to a local agreement for PhD Students
Number of positions 1
Working hours 100%
City Umeå
County Västerbottens län
Country Sweden
Reference number AN 2.2.1-2166-18
  • Martin Servin, 090-7866508
Union representative
  • SACO, 090-786 53 65
  • ST, 090-786 54 31
  • SEKO, 090-786 52 96
Published 17.Dec.2018
Last application date 31.Jan.2019 11:59 PM CET

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