PhD Research Fellowship in Multi-Scan Fusion for Autonomous Surface Vehicles

Trondheim, Norway
01 Mar 2018
End of advertisement period
14 Mar 2018
IE 032-2018
Contract Type
Full Time

Researchers at NTNU’s Department of Engineering Cybernetics (ITK) and NTNU’s Department of Electronic Systems (IES) are currently developing an autonomous ferry which will transport pedestrians and cyclists across the Brattøra Canal in Trondheim, Norway. This research is part of a larger research activity on autonomous systems at NTNU, where the Centre for Autonomous Marine Operations and Systems (AMOS) plays a central role. The autonomous ferry needs sophisticated systems, for guidance, motion control, docking and for perception of its surroundings. The ferry is equipped with two azimuth thrusters, FMCW radar, automotive lidar, optical cameras and infrared cameras.

A PhD research fellowship with preferred startup in August 2018 is now available at ITK, affiliated with AMOS.

The topic of the PhD project is sensor fusion for autonomous surface vehicles, such as the autonomous ferry. Key tenets underlying the project are the following: 1) An autonomous ferry operating in a limited area can utilize both on-board and on-shore sensors to improve its situational awareness.; 2) Objects and obstacles that the ferry need to keep track of will tend to be of a substantial size compared to the sensor resolution; 3) Individual sensor scans will often provide limited and incomplete information, and simultaneous processing of several sensor scans, either from different time steps and/or from different sensors, may be needed to get a complete picture. The goal of the project is to develop a multi-target tracking system for the autonomous ferry which is significantly more robust than today’s state-of-the-art tracking methods. The output of the tracking system will be used as input to the vessel’s collision avoidance system.

At ITK and AMOS, the PhD fellow will be part of a large and world-leading research community within applied marine control systems. The research work will include theoretical development and analysis, implementation and verification by computer simulations, as well as validation by real-world experiments. The PhD fellow will collaborate closely with at least one other PhD candidate working on sensor fusion and collision avoidance for the autonomous ferry.

Candidates applying for this position should have a Master’s degree in cybernetics, statistics, signal processing, marine technology and/or applied mathematics. Proficiency in Linux, ROS, Matlab, Python and C++ is desirable. Experience with maritime radar, lidar or machine vision (in particular synchronization and calibration) will also be very useful. The candidate should have substantial knowledge of at least one, and preferably several, of the following research fields: Kalman filtering, probabilistic machine learning, extended object tracking, data association (JPDA, MHT, etc.), integer programming and algorithm construction, detection theory, inertial navigation and simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM). Personal qualifications, theoretical abilities and hands-on experience are also considered important. Fluency in Norwegian and/or English is required. The successful candidate will be appointed for a period of 3 years, with possible extension to a fourth year if the candidate undertakes teaching related duties.

The research of this project has civilian objectives. However, equipment restricted by export licenses and ITAR (International Traffic in Arms Regulations) is being used in this research area. Applicants that are citizens of Norway, Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Switzerland, EU or NATO countries are eligible. Other applicants should provide evidence of eligibility to use such equipment for their application to be considered.

It is a prerequisite that the PhD scholar applies for and is granted admission to the NTNU PhD studies as soon as possible after employment. NTNUs PhD-rules require a Master degree or equivalent with at least 5 years of studies and an average ECTS grade of A or B within a scale of A-E for passing grades (A best).

Appointments are made in accordance with the regulations in force regarding terms of employment for PhD candidates issued by the Ministry of Education and Research, with relevant parts of the additional guidelines for appointment as a PhD candidate at NTNU.

Applicants must undertake to participate in an organized PhD programme of study during their period of employment. The person who is appointed must comply with the conditions that apply at any time to employees in the public sector. In addition, a contract will be signed regarding the period of employment.

Applicants must be qualified for admission as PhD students at NTNU. See for information about PhD studies at NTNU. Together with the application, include a description of the research work that is planned for completion during the period of the grant.

The position follows code 1017, salary grade 50 – 62 in the Norwegian State salary scale, gross NOK 436 500 – 537 300 per year, depending on qualifications. A deduction of 2% is made as a statutory contribution to the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund.

NTNU can offer an informal and friendly workplace with dedicated colleagues, academic challenges and attractive schemes for home loans, insurance and pensions in the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund.

Further details about the position can be obtained from Associate Professor Edmund Førland Brekke, e-mail: .

The Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering wants to attract outstanding and creative candidates who can contribute to our ongoing research activities. We believe that diversity is important to achieve a good, inclusive working environment. We encourage all qualified candidates to apply, regardless of the gender, disability or cultural background.

Under Section 25 of the Freedom of Information Act, information about the applicant may be made public even if the applicant has requested not to have his or her name entered on the list of applicants.

Applicants are kindly requested to send a diploma supplement or a similar document, which describes in detail the study and grading system and the rights for further studies associated with the obtained degree.

The application with a CV and certified copies of diplomas and certificates must be sent electronically via this page with information about education and relevant experience (all in one combined PDF file).

Mark the application IE 032-2018.

Deadline for applications: 2018-03-14.

About this job

  • Deadline Wednesday, March 14, 2018
  • Employer NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
  • Website
  • Municipality Trondheim
  • Place of service Trondheim
  • Jobbnorge ID 148952
  • Internal ID IE 032-2018
  • Scope Fulltime
  • Duration Project

About applications

  • Applications on this job are registered in an electronic form on
  • You must complete: Standard CV
  • Please refer to where you first saw this job advertised!

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