PhD Position in AI Accelerator Design for Edge Machine Vision

Efficient edge machine vision is critical for realizing many next-generation applications with edge intelligence like smart cars, robots. Machine vision is an exploding market with a size of 13.23 billion USD in 2021 and will have a compound annual growth rate of 7.7% from 2022 to 2030.

The goal of the project is to build a sub-milliwatt activity-driven computing hardware that can support the inference and learning of machine vision tasks at the extreme edge.

The PhD student is expected to work on two subprojects:

  • On the software side, you will design model compression methods to reduce the computational and memory cost of state-of-the-art machine vision algorithms for video processing tasks, such as human activity recognition/object tracking. You will also investigate efficient on-chip learning algorithms for machine vision.
  • On the hardware side, you will develop energy-efficient activity-driven hardware accelerators based on field programmable gate arrays (FPGA) and application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs).

The candidate will be placed in the research group of Dr. Chang Gao in the Electronic Circuits and Architecture Section, Department of Microelectronics within the Faculty of EEMCS at the TU Delft.


You should have:

  • A master’s degree in electrical engineering, computer science and electronic engineering or related fields.
  • Solid understanding of the digital design flow (RTL, synthesis, layout). Tapeout and PCB design experience is a plus.
  • Hardware description languages. (SystemVerilog is preferred)
  • Experience in programming languages including C/C++, Python
  • Experience of training or using deep neural networks for computer vision tasks (in PyTorch) is a plus.
  • A good command of English (verbal and written).
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills.
  • Ability to work in a collaborative environment.

Doing a PhD at TU Delft requires English proficiency at a certain level to ensure that the candidate is able to communicate and interact well, participate in English-taught Doctoral Education courses, and write scientific articles and a final thesis. For more details please check the Graduate Schools Admission Requirements.

Conditions of employment

Doctoral candidates will be offered a 4-year period of employment in principle, but in the form of 2 employment contracts. An initial 1,5 year contract with an official go/no go progress assessment within 15 months. Followed by an additional contract for the remaining 2,5 years assuming everything goes well and performance requirements are met.

Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities, increasing from € 2541 per month in the first year to € 3247 in the fourth year. As a PhD candidate you will be enrolled in the TU Delft Graduate School. The TU Delft Graduate School provides an inspiring research environment with an excellent team of supervisors, academic staff and a mentor. The Doctoral Education Programme is aimed at developing your transferable, discipline-related and research skills.

The TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, discounts 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.

Faculty Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science

The Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science (EEMCS) brings together three disciplines – electrical engineering, mathematics and computer science. Combined, they reinforce each other and are the driving force behind the technology we use in our daily lives. Technology such as the electricity grid, which our faculty is helping to make future-proof. We are also working on a world in which humans and computers reinforce each other. We are mapping out disease processes using single cell data, and using mathematics to simulate gigantic ash plumes after a volcanic eruption. There is plenty of room here for ground-breaking research. We educate innovative engineers and have excellent labs and facilities that underline our strong international position. In total, more than 1,100 employees and 4,000 students work and study in this innovative environment.

Click here to go to the website of the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science.

Additional information

For more information about this vacancy, please contact Chang Gao at

Application procedure

Are you interested in this vacancy? Please apply by January 31, 2023, via the application button, and upload:

  • A 1-page cover letter stating your motivation.
  • A detailed curriculum vitae with a publication list (If any).
  • Name and contact information of two professional referees (Please include in your CV).
  • Transcripts of bachelor’s and master’s study.
  • Abstract of your master’s thesis (max. 400 words).

The available position will be filled as soon as possible (i.e., once a suitable candidate is found). This means that the selection of candidates will already start before the application deadline.

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. Acquisition in response to this vacancy is not appreciated.