PhD Position: Dynamics and control of interacting flexible robots

Are you interested in the dynamics and control of flexible robots for safe interaction? The Precision Engineering lab is currently seeking a PhD student on this topic! The goal of this 4-year project is to create control systems for flexible robots to interact with their environment and humans, in a deterministic and safe way.

The precision engineering group is part of the Department Mechanics of Solids, Surfaces & Systems (MS3) of the faculty of Engineering Technology (ET) and they participate in the new Robotics Centre at the University of Twente. They generate fundamental knowledge and translate this knowledge into solutions for multidisciplinary technical problems. The industrial and societal relevance of the research is secured by close collaboration with industry and the public sector.

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Vacature details

Geplaatst op
Aantal uur
Universitair (WO)

Functie omschrijving

Classically robots are used for industrial production in a well-defined environment and separated from humans. Future robots will operate in unstructured environments in industrial, agricultural, medical, or even domestic settings, where they might interact with humans. These robots should be aware of their surroundings and provide safe interaction. This requires robots to be more flexible, both from their mechanics as well as their control systems.

The Precision Engineering group is experienced in deterministic compliant mechanisms for applications in the high-tech industry. These mechanisms are potentially very suited for controlled interaction; the mechanical compliance is beneficial for safe passive interaction, while the deterministic behavior enables predictable interaction and environmental awareness. They use advanced in-house developed software is to efficiently predict and optimize the nonlinear flexible multibody mechanics of the compliant mechanisms. This software is also suited for control design. Besides the aforementioned expertise of the group, the research can also benefit from the expertise on human-robot interaction for haptic telemanipulation, rehabilitation and surgery in other groups participating in the Robotics Centre.

This project strives to develop control systems for deterministic and safe interaction, exploiting the benefits of compliant mechanisms and the available flexible multibody software. It is envisioned that the research results can be used to build robots for society, for example high-speed robots collaborating with humans or flexure-based grippers handling delicate agricultural products.


  • A master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Robotics, Mechatronics, Control Engineering or a related discipline;
  • Knowledge on control system design or multibody modelling, where knowledge on both is highly appreciated
  • An academic mind-set, analytic and driven by curiosity.
  • Ability to work independently, while being part of a research team
  • Taking ownership for your research
  • Proficiency in English and ability to express yourself easily in speech and in writing.


The UT provides a dynamic and international environment, combining the benefits of academic research with a topic of high societal and industrial relevance, excellent working conditions, an exciting scientific environment, and a green and lively campus. They offer:

  • A full-time 4-year PhD position;
  • Excellent mentorship and a stimulating international research environment with excellent facilities;
  • A professional and personal development program within Graduate School Twente;
  • A starting salary of € 2.443 gross per month in the first year and a salary of €3.122  in the fourth year gross per month;
  • A holiday allowance of 8% of the gross annual salary and a year-end bonus of 8.3%;
  • A solid pension scheme;
  • Minimum of 29 holidays per year in case of fulltime employment.

Bedrijfsprofiel Universiteit Twente

The Faculty of Engineering Technology (ET) engages in education and research of Mechanical Engineering, Civil Engineering and Industrial Design Engineering. They enable society and industry to innovate and create value using efficient, solid and sustainable technology. They are part of a ‘people-first' university of technology, taking their place as an internationally leading center for smart production, processes and devices in five domains: Health Technology, Maintenance, Smart Regions, Smart Industry and Sustainable Resources. Their faculty is home to about 2,900 Bachelor's and Master's students, 550 employees and 150 PhD candidates. Their educational and research programmes are closely connected with UT research institutes Mesa+ Institute, TechMed Center and Digital Society Institute.


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Meer informatie

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053 - 4899 111