Postdoc Autonomous Navigation for MAVs in Hazardous Environments

In this position you will develop methods for MAVs to navigate autonomously, implement and test them with real systems, and co-supervise the work of two PhDs and an engineer.

Job description

We are looking for a postdoctoral researcher with an interest in developing applied methods for autonomous navigation of a team of MAVs and implement them on real robotic platforms. We are specially interested in candidates with solid systems integration and perception experience for MAVs.

Obtaining accurate and comprehensive information from a complex scene is one of the most important and relevant problems in robotics. Yet, it is extremely challenging. When robots are deployed in dynamic environments, they need to be aware of their surroundings to discern friend from foe, or to separate important events that require their immediate attention from those that are secondary and non-essential. Furthermore, they need to quickly compute safe maneuvers while only using partial information.

In this context, developing an efficient and lightweight interface between the sensors and actuators of the robots is fundamental to understand the environment and react to it. Communicating information about the environment to human operators is also of fundamental importance. In this project you will work together and co-supervise the work of two PhD students, one working on robust control and one on human-swarm interaction, and an engineer.

This project is within the context of a partnership with the Dutch National Police AI lab. You will explore how to improve the hardware and software design of the MAVs, with a special focus on integrating a perception pipeline, to efficiently navigate in complex hazardous environments. You may propose your own research agenda related to the topic of the project, e.g., on multi-robot perception, perception in unstructured environments, robust control, learning, sensor fusion, or motion planning.

For your Postdoc you will be embedded within the Autonomous Multi-robots Lab and the Reliable Robot Control Lab of the Department Cognitive Robotics at TU Delft and collaborate with researchers working on similar platforms.

The starting date is flexible, preferably in spring 2023.


The candidate has a PhD degree in Robotics, Computer Science, Applied Mathematics, Systems and Control, or a related field. The candidate must be able to work at the intersection of several research domains and have a passion for doing ground-breaking applied research on real robots. Previous experience with MAVs is a strong requirement for this position. Good programming skills and experience with programming languages such as Python and C++ are of foremost importance. Experience in perception for MAVs is desired but not required. Excellent command of the English language is required, as well as excellent communication skills.

Conditions of employment

Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities. You’ll be a offered a fulltime contract with a duration of 2 years, in scale 10, with a minimum of € 2.960 and a maximum of € 4.670 gross per month. These figures are based on a full time position.

The TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, a discount on health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged.

For international applicants we offer the Coming to Delft Service and Partner Career Advice to assist you with your relocation. An International Children’s Centre offers childcare and there is an international primary school.

Faculty Mechanical, Maritime and Materials Engineering

The Faculty of 3mE carries out pioneering research, leading to new fundamental insights and challenging applications in the field of mechanical engineering. From large-scale energy storage, medical instruments, control technology and robotics to smart materials, nanoscale structures and autonomous ships. The foundations and results of this research are reflected in outstanding, contemporary education, inspiring students and PhD candidates to become socially engaged and responsible engineers and scientists. The faculty of 3mE is a dynamic and innovative faculty with an international scope and high-tech lab facilities. Research and education focus on the design, manufacture, application and modification of products, materials, processes and mechanical devices, contributing to the development and growth of a sustainable society, as well as prosperity and welfare.

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Additional information

For more information about this vacancy, please contact Associate Professor Javier Alonso-Mora. Email:

For more information about the application procedure, please contact Linda Ruijters, HR advisor. Email:

Application procedure

Are you interested in this vacancy? Please apply no later than 15 February 2023 via the application button and upload the following document:

  • a (max one page) letter of motivation explaining why you are the right candidate for this position;
  • an updated CV;
  • a copy of your PhD thesis, or a draft of it if still in preparation, or a link to download it;
  • a list of your publications (or a link to your Google Scholar page if it is up to date);
  • a link to open source code that you developed (if available);
  • email addresses of (at least) two referees;
  • a (max) one page research statement highlighting your research skills for this position (you may comment on your past projects and what you would like to work on during your Postdoc).

Please note:

  • A pre-employment screening can be part of the selection procedure.
  • You can apply online. We will not process applications sent by email and/or post.