University of Luxembourg

PhD Candidate in Robotic Perception and Situation Understanding

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The Interdisciplinary Centre for Security, Reliability and Trust (SnT) was created in 2009 as the first interdisciplinary research center at the UL to fuel the development of high-value ICT services and applications through cutting-edge research and supply competent people for building this sector of the economy. The Centre aims to achieve high impact and excellence beyond the academic community by collaborating with external partners such as industries, government bodies, institutions, and international actors.

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 and co-head of the ARG, is the responsible investigator for the robotics-related projects and leader of the research line of situational awareness for robots and autonomous systems. He has published more than 70 papers in international peer-reviewed conferences and journals that generated an impact of more than 1800 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 position holder will work under the umbrella of the project “Deep Understanding Of The Situation For Robots” (DEUS), funded by FNR under the 2022 CORE funding program. In the project DEUS (God in Latin), we focus on the development of a novel robotic situational awareness to pursue the goal of deeply understanding the situation with multiple levels of abstraction such as geometric (e.g. shape of the objects), semantic (e.g. type of the objects), or relational (e.g. relationships between the objects), integrating the perceived measurements from multiple sensor sources, with past observations and background knowledge, and aligning with the robotic requirements of accuracy, efficiency, robustness and, dependability and trustworthiness, and explainability. Our algorithms will be based on our previous research on S-Graphs and will combine and advance the state-of-the-art in both (1) machine learning -based algorithms to excerpt deep knowledge, and (2) optimization-based algorithms to build an explainable, versatile, and trustworthy long-term understanding of the situation. The research outcomes will be experimentally validated using our ready-to-use robotic platforms with a proof-of-concept demonstration in real-world use cases.

  • Conducting research on the topic of robotic perception and situation understanding, making contributions to the state-of-the-art in the fields of robotics, simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM), machine learning, computer vision, and related.
  • Proposing and implementing working novel solutions validated in our robotic platforms through real experiments.
  • Contributing to the success and impact of the project DEUS.
  • Contributing to the research line of situational awareness for 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.

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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, or a related field.

Experience and hard skills:

  • Background in (at least one) robotics, simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM), machine learning, computer vision, and/or related.
  • Strong mathematical background.
  • Strong programming skills in (at least one) Python/C++.
  • Familiarity with robotics frameworks like ROS and/or deep learning frameworks such as PyTorch and TensorFlow.

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

  • A stimulating learning environment. Here post-docs and professors outnumber PhD students. That translates into access and close collaborations with some of the brightest ICT researchers, giving you solid guidance
  • 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
  • Multiple funding sources for your ideas. The University supports researchers to acquire funding from national, European and private sources
  • Competitive salary package. The University offers a 12 month-salary package, over six weeks of paid time off, meal vouchers and health insurance
  • 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
  • Boost your career. Students can take advantage of several opportunities for growth and career development, from free language classes to career resources and extracurricular activities

But wait, there’s more!

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: UOL05722

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 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:
    • Previous experience in the field of robotics, simultaneous localization and mapping, machine learning, computer vision, 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. We especially encourage female candidates to apply to promote gender balance in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics).

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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PhD Candidate in Robotic Perception and Situation Understanding
2, avenue de I'Universite Belvaux, Luxembourg
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