[robotics-worldwide] [jobs] Research Fellowship in Artificial Intelligence in the Advanced Concepts Team, European Space Agency

act at esa.int act at esa.int
Tue May 12 04:08:16 PDT 2015

Good day,

The Advanced Concepts Team in European Space Agency  is looking for 
Research Fellow in Artificial Intelligence. 

 Overview of the field of research proposed ? Duties and Tasks 
The successful candidate will carry out research in artificial 
intelligence. Areas of research are partly chosen by the successful 
candidate based on his/her own expert judgements and insight into trends 
and developments, and partly chosen by the team as to follow strategic 
directions of the Agency. 
Scientifically she/he will in particular: 
- Propose and perform research in the field of artificial intelligence, 
where appropriate together with universities of ESA Member States (in 
particular through the Ariadna programme); 
- Assess and investigate concepts and novel theoretical methods in 
artificial intelligence for synergies with space systems; 
- Bring forth one or more of the following research lines: a) Vision based 
estimation of non-cooperative targets, b) Deep Learning paradigm applied 
to Earth Observation or/and Astronomical data, c) Reinforcement learning 
and adaptive dynamic programming for approximately optimal control. 
- Developing further open source projects of the ACT (PyGMO, PyKEP, the 
Jupiter Game, etc.) and propose and lead research projects harnessing 
their functionalities. 
- Coordinate the team participation to summer of code initiatives such as 
GSoC and SOCIS (Google summer of code and ESA Summer of code). 
- Identify the trends and needs of the research communities involved in 
artificial intelligence and the potential roles of space to address these 
- Propose and follow stage topics in areas of artificial intelligence of 
interest to the space sector. 
As ACT researcher, she/he will: 
- Publish results in peer-reviewed publications and use modern 
communication tools to communicate with broader audience inside and 
outside ESA; 
- Lead and assist interdisciplinary projects with other ACT Research 
Fellows and Young Graduate Trainees; 
- Participate together with the team in the assessment of proposed space 
system concepts - these not being restricted only to artificial 
intelligence and computer science - and propose new concepts and 
assessment studies; and 
- Perform and participate in assessments on subjects of strategic interest 
of ESA, provide in-house expertise to strategy development and ESA?s 
General Studies Programme. 

Specifities of the Research Fellowship in the Advanced Concepts Team 
The position of Research Fellow at ESA?s Advanced Concepts Team is similar 
to a regular academic Post-Doc placement, however with a few notable key 
1. ACT RFs have no teaching obligations. However, they will be involved in 
the mentoring of Young Graduate Trainees and stagiaires (student interns) 
within the team. 
2. As the team does not have a professor-like position, ACT RFs are 
academically more independent than most post-docs. This implies more 
freedom but also more responsibility for their research directions and 
3. ACT RFs are joining a diverse, changing and interdisciplinary research 
team embedded in a large space agency, in contrast to a more specialised, 
focused research group with close or similar competences. 
4. ACT RFs need to actively reach out to other disciplines, to bring in 
their competences to interdisciplinary research projects and to encourage 
other researchers to join them in their core research projects. 
5. ACT RFs need to communicate their expertise and research results 
internally and externally, including potential implications and importance 
for ESA?s long-term strategy. 

Required qualifications 
Required academic qualifications: 
- A degree in either artificial intelligence, computer science, 
mathematics or engineering; 
- PhD (completed before take up of duty) on Artificial Intelligence, 
Computer Science, Robotics or Machine Learning, subject of the thesis 
being relevant to the description of the tasks outlined above and aim at 
an academic/research career. 
- Proficiency in C++ and Python programming languages is mandatory. 
- Experiences in open source projects, GPU programming, distributed 
computing and cloud computing are considered as strong assets. 
Additional Requirements: 
- interest in space science and technology; 
- ability for and interest in prospective interdisciplinary research; 
- aptitude to contextualise specialised areas of research and quickly 
assess their potential with respect to other domains and applications; 
- academic networking to add functioning links to universities and 
research institutes; 
- ability to work in a team, while being able to work individually and 
autonomously regarding his/her own personal research plans and directions; 

- natural curiosity and a passion for new subjects and research areas; 
- good methodological and organisation skills. 
- applicants must be fluent in English and/or French, working languages of 
the Agency. A good proficiency in English is required. 

More information about the position and how to apply can be found on 
http://www.esa.int/gsp/ACT/opportunities/open_rf.html. Deadline for 
submitting applications is 21st of May.

Kind regards,
The Advanced Concepts Team 

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