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Taming the complexity of robotics software under runtime uncertainty

Would you like to build the next generation of smart robotics software that can deal with the uncertainty present in its runtime environment by adapting itself? Are you passionate about the intersection of software engineering and robotics? Please apply at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam for this joint position in collaboration with Delft University of Technology.

ongeveer 2 maanden geleden


De Boelelaan, Amsterdam, Noord-Holland
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
Uren per week:
40 - 40 uur
€ 2434 - € 3111 per maand


Much of the robotics software is still developed in an ad-hoc manner, leading to code that is hard to evolve and robotic systems that we cannot rely on. There is a need for developing robotics software with architecture-based adaptability as a first-class concern, i.e. by ensuring that important non-functional properties such as reliability, safety, performance, and energy efficiency can be continuously met, even in complex and unpredictable runtime environments. This PhD project will aim to answer the research question of how to build robotics software that is able to ensure its non-functional requirements despite the uncertainty present in complex runtime environments. As part of the project, novel self-adaptation approaches for robotics software based on architectural tactics will be developed, integrated, and evaluated. The project will also investigate how to incorporate models of the robotic runtime uncertainty in self-adaptation architectural tactics. The impact of the proposed development process and the self-adaptation tactics will be evaluated in different robotic cases studies.

Your duties

  • Perform research on adaptation tactics for robotics, from the identification of such tactics to their integration into the robotics software and their evaluation, and in architecture-based self-adaptation in robotics software in general
  • Publish scientific articles and present research results at international conferences and journals
  • Contribute to teaching and supervising activities (e.g., supervision of MSc and BSc students)


  • A Master’s degree in Software Engineering, Computer Science, Robotics or related disciplines
  • Strong motivation for scientific research in the areas of software engineering and robotics
  • (preferred) Strong background in software architecture and related practices and paradigms
  • (preferred) Experience with the robotics software ecosystem (ROS)
  • Good communication, organizational and social skills


A challenging position in a socially involved organization. The salary will be in accordance with university regulations for academic personnel and amounts €2,434 (PhD) per month during the first year and increases to €3,111 (PhD) per month during the fourth year, based on a full-time employment. The job profile: is based on the university job ranking system and is vacant for at least 1 FTE.

The appointment will initially be for 1,5 year. After a satisfactory evaluation of the initial appointment, the contract will be extended for a total duration of 4 years.
Additionally, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam offers excellent fringe benefits and various schemes and regulations to promote a good work/life balance, such as:
  • a maximum of 41 days of annual leave based on full-time employment
  • 8% holiday allowance
  • 8.3% end-of-year bonus
  • solid pension scheme (ABP)
  • contribution to commuting expenses
  • optional model for designing a personalized benefits package

Additional information

Are you interested in this position? Please apply via the application button and upload your curriculum vitae and cover letter until 10 November 2021.

Applications received by e-mail will not be processed.

Vacancy questions
If you have any questions regarding this vacancy, you may contact:

Name: Patricia Lago
Position: Full Professor
E-mail: p.lago@vu.nl
Website: http://patricialago.nl/
Telephone: +31 (0)20 5987782 (secr.)

Name: Ilias Gerostathopoulos
Position: Assistant Professor
E-mail: i.g.gerostathopoulos@vu.nl
Website: https://iliasger.github.io/
Telephone: +31 (0)20 5987782 (secr.)

Name: Ivano Malavolta
Position: Assistant Professor
E-mail: i.malavolta@vu.nl
Website: http://www.ivanomalavolta.com/
Telephone: +31 (0)20 5987782 (secr.)

Name: Carlos Hernandez Corbato
Position: Assistant Professor
E-mail: C.H.Corbato@tudelft.nl
Website: https://www.tudelft.nl/staff/c.h.corbato/
Telephone: +31 (0)15 27 81 053

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