PhD: Fault & Cyber-attack Tolerance for Distributed Systems

Department/faculty: Mechanical, Maritime and Materials Engineering
Level: Master degree
Working hours: 38 hours per week
Contract: 4 years
Salary: €2222 to €2840 per month gross

Mechanical, Maritime and Materials Engineering

The 3mE Faculty trains committed engineering students, PhD candidates and post-doctoral researchers in groundbreaking scientific research in the fields of mechanical, maritime and materials engineering. 3mE is the epitome of a dynamic, innovative faculty, with a European scope that contributes demonstrable economic and social benefits.

Delft Centre for Systems and Control (DCSC), established in 2003, coordinates the education and research activities in systems and control at the Delft University of Technology.

The available infrastructure includes many experimental and professional robotics platforms, ranging from legged and wheeled mobile robots to advanced manipulators and humanoids. Especially relevant for this position is the Delft distributed robotics laboratory, featuring several wheeled and spherical robots and a Flex3 camera-based localisation system, backed by a state-of-the-art multi-processor, multi-machine computer cluster for running extensive simulations. A complete software infrastructure is available, including mathematical and engineering packages.

Job description

The successful candidate will carry out research in support of Dr. Ferrari's project called SURE: Safe Unmanned Robotic Ensembles. The goal of SURE is to make formations of mobile robots, such as cooperative, self-driving cars, robust to faults or cyber-attacks that could affect one or more robots. The PhD student will develop model-based algorithms capable of detecting and isolating faults or cyber-attacks affecting a robot or its neighbours, as well as accommodation techniques. There will be the possibility to test such algorithms on a multi-robot setup in our laboratories. Furthermore, developed algorithms are expected to be generalised in order to be applied to other distributed systems, not only in the field of mobile robotics. The position will start preferably on September 1st, 2017, and run for four years. The successful candidate will be enrolled in the University graduate school. Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities. Candidates currently in the process of obtaining their MSc degree are expected to have completed it no later than the agreed starting date.


The applicant should have obtained an MSc degree in a field related to the project, such as electrical or electronics engineering, systems and control, mechanical engineering, or computer science. A good command of the English language is required. Candidates with a background in fault diagnosis, multi-robot formations, or distributed (parameters) systems are especially encouraged to apply.  

Conditions of employment

The TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, a discount for health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged. An International Children’s Centre offers childcare and an international primary school. Dual Career Services offers support to accompanying partners. Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities.
As a PhD candidate you will be enrolled in the TU Delft Graduate School. The TU Delft Graduate School provides an inspiring research environment; an excellent team of supervisors, academic staff and a mentor; and a Doctoral Education Programme aimed at developing your transferable, discipline-related and research skills. Please visit for more information.

Information and application

For more information about this position, please contact Dr Riccardo Ferrari, phone: +31 (0)15-2783519, e-mail: To apply, please e-mail a detailed CV along with a letter of application by 1 October 2017 to:
When applying for this position, please refer to vacancy number 3ME17-41.

Enquiries from agencies are not appreciated.


Mechanical, Maritime and Materials Engineering
Master degree
Working hours
4 years
€2222 to €2840 per month gross

Closing date
Oct. 1, 2017
Vacancy nr.


For more information about this job, please contact Riccardo Ferrari, Assistant Professor.

T +31 (0)15-2783519

For more information about the application procedure, please contact Ricardo Ferrari/DCSC.