Would you like to take part in developing next generation safe and reliable robotic and autonomous systems?

PhD position within Reliability and Safety Assurance of Robotic Autonomous Systems

About the position

The Faculty of Science and Technology at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU) has a vacant PhD–position related to reliability and safety assurance of Robotic Autonomous Systems (RAS). The PhD position is for a period of 3 years, or up to 4 years if teaching and other work duties are agreed. The starting date for the position will ideally be October 1, 2021, but some flexibility is possible for the right candidate.

As a member of NMBU Robotics group you will be working closely with other academics, as well as lab- and support staff, to develop robotic systems for real-world field applications primarily within agriculture robots (e.g., strawberry harvesting) and/or industrial robots (e.g. co-bots).

NBMU Robotics has developed the agriculture robotics platform, “Thorvald”, and has ongoing collaboration with ABB Robotics which together with a rich set of sensor-suite will be made available and set the stage for achieving your goals!

In addition to our industrial partners, the PhD work will be conducted in collaboration with international academic partners, most notably at University of York who will also serve as PhD co-supervisor.

The NMBU Robotics group is always excited to welcome new members and we look forward to helping the successful candidate towards a PhD.

Main tasks

  • Work on real world applications towards industrial robots (co-bots) and/or agriculture robotics (NBMU developed Thorvald platform).
  • Assurance of reliability and «trustworthiness” of real-world Robotic Autonomous Systems (RAS) used out in the field/industry
  • Formal verification and Model Checking
  • Adaptive and Machine Learning (ML) based RAS

The successful candidate is expected to enter a plan for the progress of the work towards a PhD degree during the first months of the appointment, with a view to completing a doctorate within the PhD scholarship period.


The successful applicant must meet the conditions defined for admission to a PhD programme at NMBU. The applicant must have an academically relevant education corresponding to a five-year Norwegian degree programme, where 120 credits are at master’s degree level. Candidates submitting MSs thesis by 30. June 2021 may be considered. The applicant must have a documented strong academic background from previous studies and document proficiency in both written and oral English. For more detailed information on the admission criteria please see the NMBU PhD Regulations sections 5, and the supplementary provisions for Science and technology.

The nature of the PhD project calls for candidates characterized by strong drive, motivation and curiosity, a good general mathematical understanding, and effective written and oral communication skills. As parts of the project will require software manipulation, advanced programming skills are required.

The applicant must document expertise and interest in the research subject.

Required Academic qualifications

  • M.Sc. within a relevant field
  • Experience with robotic systems
  • Advanced programming skills

The following experiences and skills will be emphasized:

  • Experience with machine-learning algorithms
  • Experience within formal-verification and model-checking
  • Previous research and publications within these domains
  • Proficiency programming with Python/C++ and/or ROS(2)
  • Proficiency in a Scandinavian language

You need to:

  • Be curios, result-oriented and highly motivated
  • Possess strong communication and cooperation skills
  • Have a solid interest in robotics

Remuneration and further information

The PhD position is placed in government pay scale position code 1017.

PhD fellows are normally placed in pay grade 54 (NOK 482.200,-) on the Norwegian Government salary scale upon employment and follow ordinary meriting regulations.

Terms of employment are governed by Norwegian guidelines for PhD fellowships at Universities and University Colleges.

For further information, please contact Dr. David A. Anisi, Associate Professor E-mail: david.anisi@nmbu.no; Phone +47 67 23 16 70

Information for PhD applicants and general Information to applicants



To apply online for this vacancy, please click on the ‘Apply for this job’ button above. This will route you to the University’s Web Recruitment System, where you will need to register an account (if you have not already) and log in before completing the online application form.

Application deadline: 15.08.2021

  • Applications should include (electronically):
  • A letter of intent
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Full publication list
  • Copies of degree certificates and transcripts of academic records (all certified)
  • A list of two persons who may act as references (with phone numbers and e-mail addresses)

Proof of English proficiency must be attached in accordance with NMBU PhD regulation section 5-2 (3)

Publications should be included electronically within the application deadline. Printed material which cannot be sent electronically should be sent by surface mail to the Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Faculty of Science and Technology, P.O. Box 5003, NO-1432 Ås, within 15.08.2021. Please quote reference number 21/02705.

If it is difficult to judge the applicant’s contribution for publications with multiple authors, a short description of the applicant’s contribution must be included.

About The Faculty of Science and Technology

The Faculty of Science and Technology (REALTEK) develops research-based knowledge and educates civil engineers and lecturers needed to reach the UN’s sustainability goals. We have approximately 150 employees, 70 PhD students and soon 1500 students. The education and research at REALTEK cover a broad spectrum of disciplines.

This includes data science, mechanics and process engineering, robotics, construction and architecture, industrial economics, environmental physics and renewable energy, geomatics, water and environmental engineering, applied mathematics as well as secondary school teacher education in natural sciences and use of natural resources such as in agriculture, forestry and aquaculture. The workplace is in Ås, 30 km from Oslo.

The Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU)

NMBU has a particular responsibility for research and education that secures the basis for the life of future generations. Sustainability is rooted in everything we do and we deliver knowledge for life. NMBU has 1,800 employees of which about 250 phd scholarships and 6,000 students. The university is divided into seven faculties.

NMBU believes that a good working environment is characterised by diversity.

We encourage qualified candidates to apply regardless of gender, functional ability, cultural background or whether you have been outside the labour market for a period. If necessary, workplace adaptations will be made for persons with disabilities. More information about NMBU is available at www.nmbu.no.


15th August 2021







Place of service

PhD position within Reliability and Safety Assurance of Robotic Autonomous Systems – NMBU – Jobbnorge