Two PhD Positions in Construction Robotics: Adaptive Manipulation and Robot Learning

Status: open

Location: KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium
Starting Date: Summer/fall 2022
Duration: 4Y
Supervisors: Profs. Renaud Detry and Herman Bruyninckx
Announcement Posted On: April 4 2022
Application Deadline: June 15 2022
Status and additional information:


KU Leuven looking for two highly motivated PhD students for an EU-funded project in autonomous shotcreting for construction robotics. The aims of the research are to develop methods that allow a robot to maintain situational awareness and conduct dexterous manipulation tasks despite high perceptual uncertainty caused by the presence of dust in the air. One student will be responsible for learning-based mechanisms that allow the robot to monitor the application of concrete by fusing data from multiple sensors and a forward models the robot's actions. The second student will focus on force-controlled manipulation to smooth out the concrete surface after shotcreting.

Funding is available for four years.

KU Leuven is Belgium's largest university, and a leading higher education and research institution – amongst the top-100 universities worldwide. It is located in Leuven, a short train hop away from Brussels. This project will be hosted by two departments: the departments of electrical engineering (group PSI) and mechanical engineering (group RAM).

TA Work

The successful candidates will assist with teaching at most one EE/ME course per quad (i.e., two per year). The workload will be at most 6 hours per week.


The successful candidates must have a degree(s) in Engineering, Physics, Math, Computer Science or a related field, and fluency in at least one mainstream computer programming language.

Candidates must demonstrate their ability to assist with the TA work, either with a degree or transcripts of courses relevant to EE or ME.

For the first task (student 1), a machine-learning background is strongly valued.


Applicants must submit:

Applicants must be prepared to provide two reference letters upon request.

Applications should be sent, *in a single PDF document*, to:

Questions can be directed to the same address.

Applications can be sent immediately and will be evaluated until June 15 2022. To verify if the position is still available, visit

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