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Postdoctoral Research Associate - Robust Perception

Darlington, Australia
AUD$101K- AUD$109K + 17% superannuation
Closing date
13 Dec 2023

Job Details

  • Join a world-leading research team developing systems for intelligent in-orbit satellite docking and servicing
  • Develop novel perception and action technologies to allow robotic satellites robustly track and approach target satellites
  • Full time, 14 months fixed term position, Level A, Base Salary AUD$101K- AUD$109K + 17% superannuation

About the opportunity

We are seeking an ambitious and talented Postdoctoral Research Associate to undertake fundamental and applied research related to the development, design and deployment of novel perception and action techniques for in-orbit satellite docking and servicing. The role is part of a SmartSat CRC project bringing together leaders from Australia's space industry and top academics in space and robotics. Industry partners include Abyss, ANT61, Space Machines, Aerospace, and Spiral Blue. Extension beyond the 14 month appointment is possible contingent on performance and availability of funds.

This role will be supervised by Dr Viorela Ila, head of the Robotic Perception group within the Australian Centre for Robotics (ACFR). The ACFR is one of Australia's leading robotics research groups, and the Robotic Perception group focuses on researching robust solutions to sensing, estimation, mapping and planning in dynamic environments.

The objective of this research is to develop novel perception and action techniques for inter-satellite interactions, rendezvous and approach of cooperative and uncooperative targets. It will focus on accurately quantifying the uncertainties inherent in detection and tracking algorithms to further gracefully weight all measurement contributions into the state estimation, planning and control systems.

In this role you will:

  • work closely with project academics, engineers, and PhD students in conceptualising and delivering novel perception and action techniques
  • evaluate and validate accuracy and robustness of the solutions
  • support the integration of the algorithms with other modules such as control system and system autonomy
  • contribute to the creation of a demonstrator system that will showcase your research and that of other project participants, and
  • contribute as a researcher to project report preparation, presentation at internal workshops, and dissemination at top international conferences and journals as well as via internal workshops and presentations.

About you

The University values courage and creativity; openness and engagement; inclusion and diversity; and respect and integrity. As such, we see the importance of recruiting talent aligned to these values. We are seeking an excellent candidate for a Postdoctoral Research Associate position who has:

  • a PhD in Robotics, Computer vision or related discipline
  • strong background in mathematics and experience with one or more programming languages (C, C++, C#, Python)
  • knowledge of object detection, tracking, estimation, SLAM, control and/or visual servoing
  • an ability to manage others and coordinate multiple project objectives
  • excellent communication and interpersonal skills

Pre-employment checks

Your employment is conditional upon the completion of all role required pre-employment or background checks in terms satisfactory to the University. Similarly, your ongoing employment is conditional upon the satisfactory maintenance of all relevant clearances and background check requirements. If you do not meet these conditions, the University may take any necessary step, including the termination of your employment.

EEO statement

At the University of Sydney, our shared values include diversity and inclusion and we strive to be a place where everyone can thrive. We are committed to creating a University community which reflects the wider community that we serve. We deliver on this commitment through our people and culture programs, as well as key strategies to increase participation and support the careers of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People, women, people living with a disability, people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, and those who identify as LGBTIQ. We welcome applications from candidates from all backgrounds. Female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply for this position.

How to apply

Applications (including a cover letter, CV, and any additional supporting documentation) can be submitted via the Apply button at the top of the page.

Please also include a Google Drive link to a 2 minute selfie video covering the following:

  • Your strongest engineering and/or research skills,
  • What do you enjoy most about research, and
  • A description of a project/research that you're proud of, or plan to be when completed

If you are a current employee of the University or a contingent worker with access to Workday, please login into your Workday account and navigate to the Career icon on your Dashboard. Click on USYD Find Jobs and apply.

For a confidential discussion about the role, or if you require reasonable adjustment or support filling out this application, please contact Rebecca Astar or Cherie Goodwin, Recruitment Operations, by email to

For specific enquiries about the role, please contact Dr Viorela Ila by email to

Copyright The University of Sydney

The University reserves the right not to proceed with any appointment.

Click to view the Position Description for this role.

Applications Close

Wednesday 13 December 2023 11:59 PM


The University of Sydney was established in 1850 and is consistently recognised, both locally and internationally, for its outstanding teaching and research excellence. Sydney alumni include Prime Ministers, Governor Generals, Nobel Prize winners and leaders in every field of endeavour.

The University offers a comprehensive range of courses, including a number of disciplines unique in Australia. Teaching is spread across nine different state-of-the art campuses, located across New South Wales.

The University of Sydney’s commitment to excellence in research has resulted in an outstanding record in national competitive funding and underpins an approach to teaching which has won nominations for excellence and resulted in high student satisfaction ratings. The University has 78 research centres and institutes and is home to three ARC Centres of Excellence.

The teaching, research and cultural life of the University is supported by extensive facilities, including the largest library collection in the Southern Hemisphere, the world-class Nicholson Museum of archaeological antiquities, the Macleay Museum of natural history and ethnographic collections and the University Art Gallery. Its outstanding sporting and recreation facilities provide a training centre for students and Olympic athletes.

The University of Sydney is a key member of the Group of Eight Australian major research-intensive universities, and the Worldwide Universities Network.


The University of Sydney has nine official campuses.

1.         Camperdown/Darlington Campus.

2.         Cumberland Campus. Home to the Faculty of Health Sciences (based in Lidcombe).

3.         Mallett Street Campus. Home of the Sydney Nursing School.

4.         Sydney Conservatorium of Music Campus. In Macquarie Street, central Sydney.

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6.         Surry Hills Campus. Home to the Faculty of Dentistry.

7.         Camden Campus. Contains facilities connected to the Faculty of Veterinary Science and the Faculty of Agriculture and Environment.

8.         Burren Street Campus. Facilties are currently under development.

9.         Sydney Medical School campuses. These include the School of Rural Health (in Dubbo and Orange), the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Concord Hospital, Westmead Hospital, the Children’s Hospital at Westmead, Nepean Hospital, Northern Clinical School, Sydney Adventist Hospital, Broken Hill University Department of Rural Health, and Northern Rivers University Department of Rural Health.


The University of Sydney has 16 faculties.

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3. Arts and Social Sciences

4. Business (Business School)

5. Dentistry

6. Education and Social Work

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8. Health Sciences

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Number of Employees

Full-time employees: 7616

For more information, please visit:

Company info
+(61) 2 9351 2222

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