[robotics-worldwide] [jobs] PhD and Master positions at University of Waterloo

Dautenhahn, Kerstin k.dautenhahn at herts.ac.uk
Thu Nov 15 06:55:46 PST 2018

University of Waterloo

Faculty of Engineering
Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

Social and Intelligent Systems Research Laboratory

MASc (2-year) and PhD (4-year) positions

The newly established Social and Intelligent Robotics Research Laboratory at University of Waterloo is inviting applications for Master and PhD programs in order to join exciting, interdisciplinary research to develop robots that can carry out meaningful and assistive roles in human-inhabited environments, while interacting with people in a social and acceptable manner. The lab’s founder is Kerstin Dautenhahn, who recently was awarded the prestigious Canada 150 Research Chair in Intelligent Robotics. The range of available robots used in this research includes small mobile robots (or robot teams), as well as humanoid or biomimetic robots. The lab is investigating fundamental principles of Social and Cognitive Robotics, Embodied Artificial Intelligence and Human-Robot Interaction. Specific topics include human-robot multi-modal interaction, movement synchronization and coordination, human-robot co-learning and teaching by demonstration, as well as developmental approaches to learning, remembering and communicating. We are also considering the cognitive/psychological aspects of how people interact with machines, their expectations and mental models and how these shape human-machine interaction. The research is multidisciplinary and biologically inspired, following the values of embodied Artificial Intelligence, which emphasizes physical system-environment dynamics and how those dynamics can be exploited to create robust and adaptive robots. We also pursue application-oriented research, such as developing robot companions for education, therapy or care. Our approach to human-robot interaction (HRI) is people-centred; we aim to develop systems that people can rely on, accept, and that they trust. We are passionate about social robots and want them to ‘do good’ in our society.

Topics for MASc PhD projects include:

    Human-robot multimodal interaction
    Biologically-inspired expression and processing of social cues for human-robot interaction
    Prototyping companion robots (e.g. for applications in education, therapy, or care)
    Coordination among groups of robots

Topics for PhD projects include:

    Learning and adaptation in human-robot interaction
    Interactions and communication between humans and robot teams
    Biologically inspired development and learning of robot cognition and behaviours
    Social robots for robot-mediated therapy and education for children
    Autonomous companion robots for care robots (robot assistance at home or in care homes)

Location and Environment:

Waterloo is based in southwestern Ontario, Canada. The City of Waterloo is a dynamic urban municipality with a strong cultural and economic base, home to major employers (e.g. Google, Blackberry, Communitech, Shopify, Miovision, OCTOPUZ, Catalyst137, Velocity etc.), higher education institutions and global think tanks. As Canada’s largest Engineering School “Waterloo Engineering,” as it is known, is a powerhouse of research talent and a magnet for graduate students looking to change the world. Founded in 1957, Waterloo Engineering is Canada’s largest engineering school and a top 50 school worldwide. With a founding principle of “inventor owned intellectual property” Waterloo Engineering has loosened the reins on patents, copyrights, and entrepreneurial ventures. With the inventor holding 100% ownership over ideas and technology, students or researchers (often they combine in teams as co-founders) have complete control to patent or license their ideas, to commercialize, or to create a start-up. Beyond the game-changing IP policy, Waterloo Engineering is home to more than 1,800 graduate students. In the last 12 months, its research experts and graduate students attracted more than $72 million in research funding from both government and industry. The Social and Intelligent Robotics Research Laboratory is based in a recently opened new Engineering building with state-of-the-art office, laboratory and teaching facilities.

We are seeking applicants with a graduate (for MASc) or postgraduate (for PhD) degree in Computer Science, Robotics, Engineering or a related field. Candidates are expected to have robotics programming skills and experience (e.g. C, C++, Python, ROS), and demonstrated abilities to write high quality scientific documents in English.  Research experience in social robotics and/or human-robot interaction is highly desirable for MASc application and essential for PhD applicants. Candidates need to have a keen interest in interdisciplinary research and are well-organised with excellent time management skills to meet deadlines. The ability to work both alone and in a team are essential, as well as excellent interpersonal  communication skills. Travelling to conferences and workshops will be essential for the research projects.


Applications must be made through our Graduate Offices, but if you are interested to join the Social and Intelligent Robotics Research Lab please contact initially Professor Kerstin Dautenhahn at kerstin.dautenhahn at uwaterloo.ca, sending a cover letter, names of three references, resume/CV.

All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority. The University of Waterloo encourages applications from all qualified individuals, members of the visible minorities, native peoples and persons with disabilities. Applicants must have valid documentation to work in Canada before starting.

Information on how to apply for MASc or PhD in the Departments of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) or Systems Design Engineering (SYDE), including information on deadlines and funding  can be found here: https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__uwaterloo.ca_discover-2Dgraduate-2Dstudies_application&d=DwIF-g&c=clK7kQUTWtAVEOVIgvi0NU5BOUHhpN0H8p7CSfnc_gI&r=0w3solp5fswiyWF2RL6rSs8MCeFamFEPafDTOhgTfYI&m=0_5gDvUrteXLk1Cqbux6tvcTZIp6hz2IJ46728-CkBs&s=BIPi4saKevzGl9o8MiqMkpjwlWQhTjIYImYSN6qCMRw&e=



More information about the robotics-worldwide mailing list