PhD Scholarship in Automatic Control at Lund University

Lund University, Sweden is inviting excellent candidates to apply for a PhD position in artificial intelligence. The funding allows successful candidate to work for 5 years. The deadline for applying is October 03, 2018.

Lund University was founded in 1666 and is repeatedly ranked among the world's top 100 universities. The University has 40 000 students and 7 400 staff based in Lund, Helsingborg and Malm. We are united in our efforts to understand, explain and improve our world and the human condition.

LTH forms the Faculty of Engineering at Lund University, with approximately 9 000 students. The research carried out at LTH is of a high international standard and we are continuously developing our teaching methods and adapting our courses to current needs.

Wallenberg AI, Autonomous Systems and Software Program (WASP) is Sweden's largest ever individual research program, a major national initiative for strategically basic research, education and faculty recruitment. The program is initiated and generously funded by the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation (KAW) with 2.6 billion SEK. In addition to this, the program receives support from collaborating industry and from participating universities to form a total budget of 3.5 billion SEK. Major goals are more than 50 new professors and more than 300 new PhDs within AI, Autonomous Systems and Software. The vision of WASP is excellent research and competence in artificial intelligence, autonomous systems and software for the benefit of Swedish industry. For more information about the research and other activities conducted within WASP please visit:

Automatic Control is a broad subject, covering both deep mathematics and hands-on engineering. Historically it has been instrumental in many areas, from putting a man on the moon, to the development of the Internet. Today, driven by the need to engineer ever larger systems, Automatic Control has never been more relevant. It is crucial for secure operation of many cutting edge technologies, ranging from integration of renewable energy sources, cloud computing, robotics, Internet of Things and autonomous systems. The department has a stimulating and international environment consisting of PhD students, postdocs and teachers coming from all corners of the world. Research and teaching are conducted in an open and progressive atmosphere with challenges and cooperation both within academia and with industry, with national and international networks.

Lund University and the Department of Automatic Control welcome applicants with diverse backgrounds and experiences. We regard equality and diversity as a strength and an asset.

Project description

This PhD project is part of a larger project, funded by Wallenberg AI (WASP), aiming to bridge the gap between machine learning and control engineering. These research fields have traditionally evolved more or less separately, but in recent years the intersections in terms of applications as well theoretical challenges have been growing. We will study sequential decision making in systems whose dynamics are initially unknown, i.e. with adaptive control or reinforcement learning. The focus will be on methods where the learning is described by a dynamic game, where an adversary generates a sequence of worst case disturbances.

For the project, we need PhD candidates with a strong background in mathematics, optimization and statistics, combined with a solid engineering competence.

Job assignments

The PhD position lasts five years and consists of three main aspects:

- research project, including trips to conferences, seminars etc.,

- postgraduate courses, locally and internationally given (90 credits), and

- teaching (at most 20%), including lab supervision and exam responsibilities. This part also involves professional development working with equality and diversity, arranging events etc.

Admission requirements

A person meets the general admission requirements for third-cycle courses and study programs if he or she:
- has been awarded a second-cycle qualification, or
- has satisfied the requirements for courses comprising at least 240 credits of which at least 60 credits were awarded in the second cycle, or
- has acquired largely equivalent knowledge in some other way, either in Sweden or abroad.

A person meets the specific admission requirements for third cycle studies in Automatic Control if he or she has:
- knowledge corresponding to FRTF05 Automatic Control, Basic Course and a second cycle specialisation of relevance to the subject, or
- an MSc in engineering or equivalent.
- Very good oral and written proficiency in English.
- Creativity with good ability for cooperation and networking.
- Persistence and a methodological way of working.

Assessment criteria

Selection for third-cycle studies is based on the student's potential to profit from such studies. The assessment of potential is made primarily on the basis of academic results from the first and second cycles. Special attention is paid to the following:
- The results of studies at the basic and advanced levels, in particular control engineering, mathematics and closely related topics.
- The ability to work independently and to formulate and tackle research problems.
- Other experience relevant to the third-cycle studies, e.g. professional experience.

Assessment considerations include grades, certificates and references, as well as other relevant experience that demonstrates competences relevant to postgraduate studies. In addition, the candidates will be judged by their drive, creativity and ability to cooperate and work independently.

Only those admitted to third cycle studies may be appointed to a doctoral studentship. Third cycle studies at LTH consist of full-time studies for 4 years. A doctoral studentship is a fixed-term employment of a maximum of 5 years (including 20% teaching and professional development). Doctoral studentships are regulated in the Higher Education Ordinance (1993:100), chapter 5, 1-7 .

Instructions on how to apply

Applications shall be written in English and include a cover letter stating the reasons why you are interested in the position and in what way the research area corresponds to your interests and educational background. The application must also contain a CV, degree certificate or equivalent, and other documents you wish to be considered (grade transcripts, contact information for your references, letters of recommendation, etc.). Those applicants who will be called for interview, will likely be asked to perform a small test to demonstrate basic competence.


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