Thursday, December 15, 2011

Doctoral (PhD) student in mechanical engineering at Texas A&M

Major technical challenges get in the way of developing novel cyber-physical systems (CPS). Overcoming these challenges can significantly accelerate the design process. A new NSF CPS project on Robot Design is building foundations and tools to achieve this goal for novel robotics applications. The project focuses on issues relating to modeling hybrid (continuous/discrete) systems and model validation. The project, which is a close collaboration between Computer Science and Mechanical Engineering at Rice University, Mechanical Engineering at Texas A&M, and Halmstad University in Sweden, will develop and validate foundations, methods, and tools for the modeling and simulation of hybrid and cyber-physical systems.

The project has an opening for a Mechanical Engineering doctoral (PhD) student with Professor Ames at the University of Texas A&M. The student's dissertation will focus modeling and simulation of lower-limb robots and will involve the evaluation and development of new technologies for modeling and simulation of such systems. The successful candidate will work closely with Computer Scientists developing new computational tools to support modeling and simulation.

Applicants for must have strong skills and interest in mechanics, control theory, rigid body dynamics, and robotics.  Excellent communication and collaboration skills are required as the student will be expected to work as part of a large, international research team investigating modeling languages. Priority will be given to applicants with a masters in Mechanical or Electrical Engineering, but students with suitable skills and interests who hold a masters in Mathematics, Physics, or Computer Science are also encouraged to apply. Desirable experience includes working differential equations, hybrid/impulsive differential equations, or with mechanical hardware design and control, especially in the context of robotics and upper limb rehabilitation robots. Desirable skills include facility with Mathematica, Maple, Matlab, Simulink, the Open Dynamics Engine (ODE), or other modeling and
simulation tools.

Selected students are will spend part of their time in Halmstad, Sweden (25%) as part of the collaboration and must be ready to start the position by May or June 2012.

The deadline for applications is March 1st. Application for these positions is done through the on-line application form. Your application (and in particular your Research Statement) must make it clear that  your are applying for a PhD position with Professor Ames on the Robot Design project.

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