Position for a Postdoctoral Fellow: Bio-Inspired Burrowing Robot for Soil Penetration in Limited-Access Sites

The soil Micro-Mechanics group at the University of Twente’s Faculty of Engineering Technology (Netherlands) invites applications for the position of Postdoctoral Fellow on a Bio-Inspired Burrowing Robot for Soil Penetration in Limited-Access Sites, University of Twente.

Underground structures need continuous monitoring and, often, ad hoc interventions. As climatological stress increases, soil undergoes substantial and unexpected modifications, with severe consequences for the integrity of our home foundations, our heritage, and dike networks. Phenomena of subsidence, foundation instability, and structural damages associated with groundwater level fluctuations are becoming more common. Current underground remediation techniques are expensive, often ineffective, and generally destructive.

The Postdoctoral Fellow will be in charge of the design, instrumentation and realization of the prototype probe. The candidate will work in close contact with experts in the sector of soft robotics, and with another postdoctoral researcher on the geotechnical and geomechanics aspects of the project.

Duration: 1 year

Start Date: June 2023


  • A gross monthly salary between € 2960,- and € 4670,-, based on education and experience.
  • A holiday allowance of 8% of the gross annual salary, and a year-end bonus of 8.3%;
  • Full status as an UT-employee, including pension and health care benefits;
  • A minimum of 29 holidays per year in case of full-time employment.

Job Requirements

The Bio-Inspired Burrowing Robot for Soil Penetration in Limited-Access Sites position seeks applicants with:

  • Ph.D. degree in a field related to robotics (mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, robotics, computer science) with focus on soft robotics knowledge and usage, OR to soil mechanics (geomechanics, geotechnics, porous media, soft matters, responsive materials).
  • Previous experience with mechatronic systems, robot instrumentation, computer programming (C, Python).
  • have passion to design, fabricate, and program soft robots.
  • are interested to learn and give contribution to new technologies for geo-mechanical application.
  • love working in a multidisciplinary team in which fundamental and applied research cross-fertilize.
  • Furthermore, an appropriate qualification in the English Language together with excellent communication and organizational skills are required.
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Application Process

Interested applicants are to send their application via the apply button below and include the following:

  • CV,
  • a list of the most relevant publications and oral communications,
  • motivation letter,
  • contact details of at least two references of people who worked closely with the applicant. 

 To apply, click here.

Deadline: March 14, 2023.

For more information on Bio-Inspired Burrowing Robot for Soil Penetration in Limited-Access Sites, visit the official site.

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