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PhD position: Formalizing risk-awareness for control in multi-agent systems

PhD position: Formalizing risk-awareness for control in multi-agent systems

Irène Curie Fellowship
Electrical Engineering


Work environment

The Control Systems group of the Electrical Engineering Department of the TU/e invites applications for a PhD position on formalizing risk-awareness for control in multi-agent systems.

Eindhoven University of Technology ( ) is one of Europe’s top technological universities, situated at the heart of a most innovative high-tech region. Thanks to a wealth of collaborations with industry and academic institutes, our research has real-world impact. In 2021, TU/e was ranked 125 in the QS world university ranking and 48th in the Shanghai ARWU ranking on automation and control. TU/e has around 3,000 employees and 2,000 PhD students (half of which international, representing about 70 nationalities).

The CS group research activities span all facets of systems and control theory, such as linear, nonlinear and hybrid systems theory, model predictive control, machine learning for modelling and control, networked systems, modelling and identification and formal methods in control. Research applications include, inter alia, high-tech systems, multi-agent systems, and robotics.  The CS group has a strong interconnection with other academic institutions and industry via national and European funded projects in a diverse range of application areas, often focusing on interdisciplinary research.

The PhD will join the group and interact with the other members of the CS group (around 40 researchers). Furthermore, the project is part of a larger research consortium where he/she will interact with a mix of academic and industrial research partners. Research within the CS Group is characterized by personal supervision. The PhD will have access to the advanced courses offered by the Dutch Institute for Systems and Control and will be able to attend national and international scientific conferences.

For more detailed information on the activities of the group please check

PhD position

The successful candidate will join a research group with a focus on formal methods for control systems. This PhD position is part of a bigger project that addresses the fundamental need for a new conceptual framework for awareness in multi-agent systems (MASs) that is compatible with the internal models and specifications of autonomous robotic systems and that enables safe simultaneous operation of collaborating autonomous agents and humans. The focus of this PhD position will lie on quantifying risk-awareness for multi-agent planning in human-in-the-loop situations. More precisely, the following research directions could be considered:

Main research directions

  • Developing a new conceptual framework for risk quantification and awareness with respect to safety, reachability, or combinations therefore expressed via temporal logic formulae,
  • Quantification and communication of risks for human-in-the-loop situations,
  • Developing efficient and scalable local metrics for risk awareness for distributed planning in multi-agent systems,
  • Evaluating risk-awareness on autonomous vehicles and robotic systems.

This position is part of the Horizon-European Innovation Council (EIC) work programme project SymAware, a joint collaboration among four academic partners, including Uppsala University, Sweden, KTH, Sweden, TU Eindhoven, The Netherlands, and Max plank institute, Germany, and two industrial partners, including Siemens (SISW), The Netherlands, and Royal Netherlands Aerospace Centre (NLR), The Netherlands.


For the PhD position in this project, a candidate with a MSc degree in Systems and Control, Electrical Engineering, or Mechanical Engineering or Computer Science will be selected and hired as a doctoral student in the Control Systems Group for a 4-year period.
The candidate should have the following competences:

  • Have a strong background in either control systems or formal methods.
  • And preferably with a solid background in probability theory, dynamic programming, or motion planning.
  • Good scientific writing skills with strong command of English language.
  • Good programming skills in Matlab/Simulink and/or Python.
  • Be a team-player with excellent communication and cooperation skills in a multi-partner and multi-disciplinary project environment.

We are looking for a creative, ambitious, and persistent applicant that is enthusiastic to work on the cutting edge of research in multi-agent systems.


  • Challenging job in a dynamic and ambitious university and a stimulating internationally renowned research environment.
  • A full-time employment for four years, with an intermediate evaluation (go/no-go) after nine months.
  • To develop your teaching skills, you will spend 10% of your employment on teaching tasks.
  • To support you during your PhD and to prepare you for the rest of your career, you will make a Training and Supervision plan and you will have free access to a personal development program for PhD students (PROOF program).
  • A gross monthly salary and benefits (such as a pension scheme, pregnancy and maternity leave, partially paid parental leave) in accordance with the Collective Labor 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.
  • Should you come from abroad and comply with certain conditions, you can make use of the so-called ‘30% facility’, which permits you not to pay tax on 30% of your salary.
  • A broad package of fringe benefits, including an excellent technical infrastructure, moving expenses, and savings schemes.
  • Family-friendly initiatives are in place, such as an international spouse program, and excellent on-campus children day care and sports facilities.

Informatie en sollicitatie

For more information about the project, please contact dr. Sofie Haesaert (s.haesaert[at] and/or dr. Zhiyong Sun (z.sun[at]

Visit our website for more information about the application process or the conditions of employment. You can also contact HR Services (HRServices.Flux[at]

Are you inspired and would like to know more about working at TU/e? Please visit our career page.


We invite you to submit a complete application by using the apply button.
The application should include a:

  1. A brief cover letter motivating your interest and suitability for the position.
  2. A detailed curriculum vitae including research experience, project experiences and/or any previous publications.
  3. Transcripts of academic records indicating courses taken (including grades).
  4. Half-page summary of your MSc thesis or full MSc thesis (preferred).
  5. Contact details of two relevant references (email, phone number).

We look forward to receiving your application and will screen it as soon as possible. The vacancy will remain open until the position is filled.