PhD position in Robotics - Mechatronic design of a transfemoral prosthetic leg


Faculty of Science and Engineering


University of Groningen

Founded in 1614, the University of Groningen enjoys an international reputation as a dynamic and innovative institution of higher education offering high-quality teaching and research. Flexible study programmes and academic career opportunities in a wide variety of disciplines encourage the 30,000 students and researchers alike to develop their own individual talents. As one of the best research universities in Europe, the University of Groningen has joined forces with other top universities and networks worldwide to become a truly global centre of knowledge.

Within the Faculty of Science and Engineering, the ALICE (Artificial Intelligence and Cognitive Engineering) Institute conducts – among others – research in Robotics. The Robotics group focuses on the development of novel technologies, mechanical designs, and intelligent/adaptive control architectures to enable compliant robotic systems to physically interact with uncertain dynamic environments and humans.

Job description

The Robotics group at the University of Groningen has a vacancy for a doctoral student on the mechatronic design of a transfemoral prosthetic leg.

The PhD position will be part of the European Horizon2020 project MyLeg. This project aims to develop a smart and intuitive osseointegrated transfemoral prosthesis embodying advanced dynamic behaviours. The MyLeg prosthetic system will be directly anchored to the amputee’s bone by means of osseointegrated implant to enhance the human-prosthesis interaction, perception, and motion capabilities. Further, the system will include implantable myoelectric sensors on targeted reinnervated muscles to realize an intuitive EMG control and will provide a high level of cognition abilities. Moreover, the system will implement variable stiffness actuators that guarantee high adaptability with respect to different tasks, dependability, and decisional autonomy. The MyLeg system will exploit light-weighted materials for sensing and energy harvesting. These capabilities will lead to a new generation of powered transfemoral prosthetic legs that can be intuitively operated, sensed, and trusted as the healthy and reliable counterpart for a variety of tasks.


The successful candidate should have:
- a master’s degree in mechanical, biomedical, or electrical engineering, or in closely related disciplines
- excellent skills and practical experience in one or more of the following research areas: (bio-)mechatronics, systems and control, robotics, or mechanical design
- strong academic credentials
- written and spoken English proficiency.

Conditions of employment

Contract length: 48 months.

The University of Groningen offers, in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities, a salary of € 2,222 gross per month in the first year, up to a maximum of € 2,840 gross per month in the fourth and final year, based on a full-time position (1.0 FTE), excluding a holiday allowance of 8% gross annual income and a 8.3% end-of-the-year allowance. The position is limited to a period of 4 years. A PhD training programme is part of the agreement and the successful candidate will be enrolled in the Graduate School of Science and Engineering.
The successful candidate will first be offered a temporary position of one year with the option of renewal for another three years. Prolongation of the contract is contingent on sufficient progress in the first year to indicate that a successful completion of the PhD thesis within the next three years is to be expected.

Application should include:
- letter of motivation
- CV (including contact information for at least two academic references)
- transcripts from your bachelor’s and master’s degree.

The applications can be submitted until 10 December 23:59 h / before 11 December 2017 Dutch local time by means of the application form (click on "Apply" below on the advertisement on the university website).

The vacancy remains open until the position is filled. The preferred starting date is 1 January 2018.

Unsolicited marketing is not appreciated.

Additional information

For additional information, please contact:

Prof. dr. Raffaella Carloni

In your application, please always include the job opening ID 217448

Digital application form