SnT is a leading international research and innovation centre in secure, reliable and trustworthy ICT systems and services. We play an instrumental role in Luxembourg by fueling innovation through research partnerships with industry, boosting R&D investments leading to economic growth, and attracting highly qualified talent.

The Automation & Robotics Research Group (ARG), headed by Prof. Dr. Holger VOOS, comprises around 15-20 team members (PhDs and PostDocs) and conducts research around the three research lines: (1) situational awareness for robots and autonomous systems, (2) optimization-based approaches for planning and decision-making, and (3) advanced control and novel actuators. These research lines are transversally used in four application areas, namely autonomous robots (both aerial and ground), Industry 4.0, space systems, and energy systems. The ARG has several robotics labs that feature an indoor experimental arena with a motion capture system and count with a variety of ready-to-use fully equipped robotic platforms, such as more than 20 multi-rotor aerial robots, two fully-equipped four-legged walking robots (i.e. Boston Dynamics Spot and Unitree Go1), several humanoid robots, a couple of industrial robot manipulators, and two fully equipped cars for autonomous driving.

Dr. Jose Luis SANCHEZ-LOPEZ, Research Scientist (Permanent) and co-head of the ARG. His main research interest is to provide robots (both individually and in teams) with a deeper understanding of the situation and with intelligent and autonomous planning and task execution. He has published more than 75 papers in international peer-reviewed conferences and journals that generated an impact of more than 1950 citations (according to Google Scholar). Among his multiple scientific roles, he is an associate editor of four journals, including IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters.

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Your Role…

The successful candidate will join the Automation & Robotics Research Group (ARG) to pursue a Ph.D. degree (Doctorate) in Computer Science and Computer Engineering (CSCE) under the supervision of Dr. Jose Luis SANCHEZ-LOPEZ.

The position holder will work under the umbrella of a partnership project with the Luxembourg-based company Äerd Lab, developing ÄerdFly, a prototype of a versatile, efficient, easy-to-deploy, and cost-effective clay-based 3D printer for houses that consists of a team of multi-rotor aerial robots operating autonomously.

The overarching basic concept of ÄerdFly includes (1) a clay-based extrusion system (developed by Äerd Lab), being the pump and material deposit located on the ground; (2) a multi-rotor aerial robot with the nozzle-end of the extrusion system accurately following the designed 3D printing trajectory, and (3) a multi-rotor aerial robot holding the pipe of the extrusion system that connects the ground part with the nozzle-end, flying coordinatedly with the nozzle-equipped aerial robot, avoiding collisions of the extrusion system and the 3D printed house.

The main scientific challenges are (1) to provide multi-rotor aerial robots with a robust motion controller (e.g. for trajectory tracking) capable of handling perturbances generated by the extrusion system (i.e. nozzle, pipes, …); and (2) to provide a heterogeneous team of multi-rotor aerial robots with a motion planner and controller to autonomously execute a 3D printing operation. The ÄerdFly concept will be validated in an experimental simple in-lab setup to demonstrate its technological viability, considering an out-of-the-lab experimental validation under simplified conditions.

The position holder will be required to perform the following tasks:

  • Conducting research in the field of motion planning and control of a team of multirotor aerial robots making contributions to its state-of-the-art.
  • Proposing and implementing working novel solutions validated in our robotic platforms through real in- (and out-) -of-the-lab experiments.
  • Contributing to the development of the ÄerdFly prototype and the demonstration of its technological viability.
  • Contributing to the success and impact of the partnership project with Äerd Lab.
  • Contributing to the research line of planning and control for (single and multi-) robots and autonomous systems of the ARG.
  • Disseminating results through scientific publications in top peer-review international journals, such as IEEE RA-L, and Elsevier RAS, and conferences, such as ICRA, and IROS.
Your Profile…

We’re looking for people driven by excellence, excited about innovation, and looking to make a difference. If this sounds like you, you’ve come to the right place!


  • A master’s degree in Robotics, Electrical Engineering, Computer Science, Applied Mathematics, Mechanical Engineering, or a related field.

Experience and hard skills:

  • Background in (at least one) Mobile Robotics, Multi-rotor Aerial Robotics, Robot Motion Control, Multi-robot motion Control, Non-linear Control, Model Predictive Control (MPC), Factor-graph Optimization, or related.
  • Strong mathematical background.
  • Strong programming skills in (at least one) Python/C++/Matlab.
  • Familiarity with robotics frameworks like ROS and/or optimization-based frameworks such as Acado, GTSAM, G2O, or similar.

Soft and transferable skills:

  • Commitment, high motivation, and high ambition.
  • Team working.
  • Critical mind.

Language skills:

  • Fluent written and verbal communication skills in English are required.
Here’s what awaits you at SnT…
  • Exciting infrastructures and unique labs. At SnT’s two campuses, our researchers can take a walk on the moon at the LunaLab, build a nanosatellite, or help make autonomous vehicles even better
  • The right place for IMPACT. SnT researchers engage in demand-driven projects. Through our Partnership Programme, we work on projects with more than 55 industry partners
  • Be part of a multicultural family. At SnT we have more than 60 nationalities. Throughout the year, we organise team-building events, networking activities and more

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In Short…
  • Contract Type: Fixed Term Contract 36 Month
  • Work Hours: Full Time 40.0 Hours per Week
  • Location: Kirchberg
  • Internal Title: Doctoral Researcher
  • Job Reference: UOL05920

The yearly gross salary for every PhD at the UL is EUR 39953 (full time)

How to apply…

Applications should be submitted in English and must include:

  • A cover letter that contains:
    • A research statement with previous experience and a list of topics of particular interest to the candidate (300 words)
    • A statement on the candidate’s personal motivation for applying (300 words)
  • Full CV, including:
    • Description of previous experience in the field of Mobile Robotics, Multi-rotor Aerial Robotics, Robot Motion Control, Multi-robot motion Control, Non-linear Control, Model Predictive Control (MPC), Factor-graph Optimization, or related.
    • Programming and technical skills, including GitHub profile (if existing).
    • Soft and transferable skills.
    • List of publications (if any).
  • Transcript of all modules and results from university-level courses taken
  • List of three referees (including contact details) and (if available) their support letters.

All qualified individuals are encouraged to apply.

Early application is highly encouraged, as the applications will be processed upon reception. Please apply ONLINE formally through the HR system. Applications by Email will not be considered.

The University of Luxembourg embraces inclusion and diversity as key values. We are fully committed to removing any discriminatory barrier related to gender, and not only, in recruitment and career progression of our staff.

About the University of Luxembourg…

University of Luxembourg is an international research university with a distinctly multilingual and interdisciplinary character. The University was founded in 2003 and counts more than 6,700 students and more than 2,000 employees from around the world. The University’s faculties and interdisciplinary centres focus on research in the areas of Computer Science and ICT Security, Materials Science, European and International Law, Finance and Financial Innovation, Education, Contemporary and Digital History. In addition, the University focuses on cross-disciplinary research in the areas of Data Modelling and Simulation as well as Health and System Biomedicine. Times Higher Education ranks the University of Luxembourg #3 worldwide for its “international outlook,” #20 in the Young University Ranking 2021 and among the top 250 universities worldwide.

Further information

For inquiries, please contact Dr. Jose Luis SANCHEZ-LOPEZ at

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