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Postdoc: the ethics of human-robot collaboration in logistic warehouses

Postdoctoral fellow: the ethics of human-robot collaboration in logistic warehouses (0,7fte)
Intended starting date: preferably April 1, 2018 (but no later than June 1, 2018)

ongeveer een jaar geleden


de Rondom, Eindhoven, Noord-Brabant
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
Uren per week:
26 uur


The Research group Philosophy & Ethics of the Department of Industrial Engineering and Innovation Sciences (IE &IS) seeks to appoint a one-and-a-half year postdoctoral fellow (0,7 FTE) for a project funded by the NWO-MVI (Responsible Innovation) program. The IE&IS Department engages in research and teaching in the areas of industrial engineering, management science, and innovation science (including philosophy and ethics). The mission of the department is closely tied to its pioneering work in developing an engineering perspective on business processes, as well as its interdisciplinary research on transitions in societies in relation to technical changes. Eindhoven University of Technology is a leading research university in science and technology with a diverse, international faculty.

Description of the position

The introduction of advanced robotics in logistics significantly affects quality of work and workers' competence profiles. The fear that robotization will strip all motivating aspects from jobs is widespread and may lead to worker resistance. Successfully addressing these 'human' issues requires an interdisciplinary approach. This project aims to answer the question of how robotization in logistic warehouses can be utilized and developed in a way that does not conflict with workers' sense of meaning in work and general well being. To answer our research question, we will combine analysis of leading theoretical frameworks on meaningfulness and well-being from ethics and psychology with empirical data collection (i.e., job analyses, interviews and questionnaires) among employees in robotized warehouses from three different organizations. In order for the human worker not to be left behind with the introduction of advanced robotics into the workplace, and to address the topics of meaning and flourishing in such a work environment, this project aims at delivering a theoretical framework of key social/human factors that have to be taken into account in the implementation and operation of robotics in warehouses. The project will also deliver a practical roadmap to chart and monitor these factors.

In addition to this postdoc to be appointed in Philosophy & Ethics group, we are looking to appoint a second postdoc in the IE&IS department's Human Performance Management group within the same project. The postdocs are expected to collaborate during the course of this project.


The selected postdoc performs active research, collaborates with the other project members (including the other postdoc that will be appointed in this project), and publishes on the research in academic journals. In addition, the two post-docs are expected to co-develop a practical tool (i.e., roadmap) to chart and monitor the empirically identified factors.


There is no teaching associated with this position.


  • PhD in Philosophy, with a specialization in ethics and/or the philosophy of technology.
  • Demonstrable ability to conduct academic research of high quality on relevant problems, demonstrated for instance by a relevant PhD thesis and/or publications.
  • Excellent mastery of the English language and good communication skills.

  • We strongly encourage women to apply for this position as the TU/e aims for gender-balance.


    We offer:
  • a challenging job in a dynamic and ambitious university;
  • a 0,7 fte appointment as a Postdoctoral researcher for a period of 1,5 year;
  • a gross monthly salary between € 3.111,- and € 4.048,- based on a 1,0 fte appointment and depending on experience and knowledge;
  • a yearly holiday allowance of 8% of the yearly salary;
  • a yearly end year allowance of 8.3% of the yearly salary;
  • a broad package of fringe benefits (including an excellent technical infrastructure, moving expenses, savings schemes, and excellent sports facilities).
  • Additionele informatie


    The position is directly available, but the start date cannot be later than June 1, 2018. More information about this position can be obtained from: Sven Nyholm (s.r.nyholm@tue.nl).

    More information about the project can be found at:


    More information about the Research group Philosophy and Ethics can be found at: https://www.tue.nl/universiteit/faculteiten/industrial-engineering-innovation-sciences/onderzoek/research-groups/philosophy-and-ethics/

    Information about terms of employment can be obtained from Kim van Puijenbroek, HR Advisor (pz.ieis@tue.nl). Further information about Eindhoven University of Technology can be found at www.tue.nl.


    Your application must contain the following documents (all in English):

  • Cover letter (2 page max.), where you motivate your interest in this vacancy and explicitly explain in which ways you represent a good match;
  • An extensive curriculum vitae including a publication list;
  • Two relevant publications (or working papers)
  • Name and contact information of two references

  • Note that incomplete applications will not be considered.

    If you are interested, we invite you to apply as soon as possible. Selection will begin immediately and continue until the positions have been filled. We ask candidates to apply by March 1, 2018 at the latest.

    To apply please use the 'apply now' button. Please note that a maximum of 5 documents can be uploaded, so if you have more than 5 documents you will have to combine them. Please do not send us applications by e-mail.