PostDoc 2: Port-Hamiltonian Modeling and Control

Your Potential and Attitude

Considering the nature of the project we are looking for exceptional, enthusiastic candidates with the technical background specified hereafter, but also with  a great dedicated team spirit and thirst for knowledge. Even if deep knowledge in each of the subtopics is needed, this is no project for single players and neither is the group where you will be working in. Extra personal training is arranged to support and ensure that.

In order to be successful in this position you will need to:

  • Be an excellent scientist.
  • Be a team player trying to involve people in your research and try to being involved in research of others to multiply the effect of collaborations.
  • Have a clear open and transparent communication attitude.
  • Be highly motivated to achieve excellence in the interest of science and engineering innovation

Technical Background

One of the prime goals of the project is to describe the bilateral interaction between the airflow and the flapping wing of a (robotic) bird. This will not be done using the classical vector calculus usually used in these field, but using the language of differential forms to describe the variable boundary conditions PDEs. Eventually this will allowto describe everything using a port-Hamiltonian infinite dimensional description. The physical work will be supported by another PostDoc and Ph.D. student with a more physical/engineering background, but your work together with a Ph.D. student with a similar background in mathematics, system theory and control will be to use your physical knowledge of infinite dimensional system theory, PDEs during the conceptual part in order to cast the description of the dynamics in a port-Hamiltonian context using amongst other tools like differential forms. Another important part will then be to discretise the extressed descriptions using proper algebraic topological techniques in order to preserve certain properties and develop numerical (maybe symplectic) integration methods able to numerically simulate the behaviour in distributed cloud simulations. Optimisation, learning and control will be used to then find and control the right flapping motions to achieve a certain global behaviour. The theoretical model will be validated by other members of the team in the available wind tunnel facilities. You need to hold a Ph.D. in applied mathematics or physics and have exceptional theoretical qualities as well as the interest and curiosity to transfer this knowledge to real systems.

Description Offer

You will be appointed on a fulltime position for an initial period of a year to evaluate your performance and fitting in the team. This period may be extended to a total of 4 years. You will work within a very stimulating scientific environment. The university offers a dynamic ecosystem with enthusiastic colleagues. Salary and conditions are in accordance with the collective labour agreement for Dutch universities (CAO- NU).

  • Starting salary will be € 3.111 gross per month
  • Excellent benefits including a holiday allowance of 8% of the gross annual salary and a year-end bonus of 8.3% and a solid pension scheme
  • A training program in which you and your supervisor will make up a plan for additional suitable education and supervision
  • We encourage a high degree of responsibility and independence, while collaborating with close colleagues, researchers and other university staff

How to Apply

Before we consider your application, we need to receive the following electronic documents:

  • CV with possible references to be contacted
  • Motivation letter clearly specifying why you satisfy the requirements and why we should choose you among all possible candidates (Max 1 page)
  • Official document attesting your University performance with grades and norming with respect to the country grade system you are coming from
  • List of publications as well as a pdf of the one or two publications you are most proud of. For applicants which just received a Master degree, if no publications are available, please send the digital version of the master thesis

Together with other information which can be found in the application form you can find in the following link:


Due to the expected high number of applications, it will likely not be possible to answer questions timely unless absolutely necessary. Please submit the required material first via the previous link and indicate any special conditions or questions in your motivation letter. For more practical application questions during the submission, please contact Jolanda Boelema-Kaufmann (assistant of Prof. Stramigioli).