The general guiding theme and vision of the new Empa Materials and Technology Centre of Robotics (https://robotics.empa.ch) is to develop novel soft robotic systems for infrastructure maintenance and environmental monitoring. The work uses a bio-inspired robot development methodology and focusses on the integration of advanced materials with neural network based controllers and multi-sensor perception. The centre is based on an institutional partnership between Imperial College London and the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology. Research thrusts include aerial robotics platform development, soft robotics, bio-hybrid robotics and infrastructure systems. The initiative will benefit from outstanding facilities in robot manufacturing and testing, including the NEST experimental robot testing space at Empa (https://www.empa.ch/de/web/nest/) and a new flight arena for system testing and validation. The work location will be the Empa campus in Dübendorf, next to Zurich. Strong collaboration and exchanges will be maintained with the Aerial Robotics Lab at the Imperial College South Kensington campus in central London. The London-Zurich link offers an excellent ecosystem for furtherance of the project and for personal development in a variety of areas. This position is planned for two years with intention of extension. Your tasksAs an inspirational research leader and communicator you will help to manage and supervise an international team of PhD students and contribute to obtaining funding for national and international projects. You will also establish collaborations on a national and international level with scientific and industrial partners, and organise local and international scientific events.
Your ProfileYou have a PhD (or equivalent) in robotics, materials science/ engineering or a related discipline and a track record of collaborative and innovative project leadership. You have strong communication skills, management experience and are able to effectively identify opportunities and synergies with industrial and academic partners. You will be part of the management team for the Center and will closely work with and supervise PhD and MSc students. Excellent publishing and communication skills are expected together with an already existing professional national and international network in robotics, smart materials and/or infrastructure systems. You are a team player and your strengths include taking personal responsibility, high motivation for excellence and a flair for developing out-of-the-box solutions. Excellence in English, both written and spoken is required. Good knowledge in German is also mandatory for being able to interact with the industrial partners in the German speaking part of Switzerland.