As Austria's largest research and technology organisation for applied research, we are dedicated to making substantial contributions to solving the major challenges of our time, climate change and digitization. To achieve our goals, we rely on our specific research, development, and technology competencies, which are the basis of our commitment to excellence in all areas. With our open culture of innovation and our motivated, international teams, we are working to position AIT as Austria's leading research institution at the highest international level and to make a positive contribution to the economy and society. 


Our Center for Vision, Automation & Control  located in Vienna invites applications a PhD Thesis. The Center exploits the opportunities provided by automation and digitization to initiate and advance innovation for industry, primarily in Austria and Europe. Our main goal is to take away the monotonous, heavy, difficult, and dangerous aspects of people’s work through innovation. We help our partners by making technical systems more robust, reliable, flexible, and easy to use. At the same time, we increase the resource efficiency of industrial processes by reducing waste, product failures and emissions. 


For this PhD project, you will become a team member of both the Competence Units High-Performance Vision Systems (HVS) and Complex Dynamical Systems (CDS). In HVS, we develop 2D & 3D vision systems that go beyond the state of the art, by developing advanced vision sensor concepts, designing scalable embedded vision systems, and applying machine learning methods to conduct high-performance visual quality inspections of products in manufacturing plants and production processes. At present, we are transferring our machine vision knowledge to the domain of robotic-assisted inspection by creating novel sensor solutions. In CDS, we are focusing on the development and deployment of algorithms to control various types of systems, starting from low-energy applications such as electronics and drive systems, via robotics to heavy industrial applications

The objective of this PhD project is to develop and validate design concepts for robotic-assisted, automated vision-based inspection and measurement for complex 3D shapes. The automation of quality inspection in manufacturing is critical for directly assessing product quality features, such as dimensional accuracy (geometry) and surface defects, which are traditionally gauged through costly and time-consuming methods like tactile 3D systems or computed tomography, or subjective manual inspection by trained workers. At the AIT's Center for Vision, Automation & Control, we have long-standing experience in lab prototype development of vision-based inspection systems for products of the manufacturing industry, with a recent shift towards more complex use cases such as die-casted and injection-moulded parts. To this end, we have developed algorithms for viewpoint planning and 3D reconstruction of optical sensor data and built a vision-based multi-axis laboratory prototype to deploy and test those algorithms for the inspection of complex 3D parts. As part of a bigger team in our Competence Units, you will further improve the handshake between robotics & vision and embrace continuous path planning and accuracy & precision metrics for inspection of complex 3D shapes, which orchestrates the movement of a robot or sensor along a seamless path for continuous inspection to speed up inspection processes and includes the development of vision-based metrology approaches & measurement tools for quality control, respectively. 


Join our AIT PhD programme with around 150 international students, carried out in cooperation with renowned universities, including namely the TU Wien. This PhD project is part of the Lighthouse Project Sustainable Manufacturing of High-Quality Products, where we develop new methods and technologies to enable zero-defect manufacturing. You will thus have the unique opportunity to work on relevant real-world problems that arise in ongoing cooperation with national and international research organizations and companies that are leading their market sectors.


In cooperation with the Automation and Control Institute (ACIN), TU Wien

  • Under the guidance of scientists and engineers from our Center, you will select & customize computer vision methods to retrieve the geometry and surface defects of complex 3D-shaped parts, including techniques such as light field, photometric stereo, or structured light.
  • You will develop and implement control algorithms and computer vision methods for continuous path planning and quality control of complex 3D-shaped parts.
  • You will define and establish visibility and accuracy & precision metrics for continuous view path operation and quantification of the obtained 3D data, respectively.
  • You will develop and implement collision-free view path planning for complex 3D shapes.
  • As part of our bigger team engaged in the Lighthouse Project Sustainable Manufacturing of High-Quality Products you will deploy and validate your computer vision and path planning pipelines by using and customizing different optical lab inspection prototypes for robotic-assisted, automated vision-based inspection of complex 3D shapes.
  • You will learn how to evaluate your research results and prepare them for further studies.
  • You will participate in national and international workshops and conferences to present your work and will publish your results in scientific journals.
  • You will accumulate experience in an interdisciplinary research field that deals with vision, control, and automation, feeding into the digital and green transformation of our industries.
  • You will gain experience as a team member of several groups of international engineers & scientists, and you will have the opportunity to work together with our industrial partners, enlarging your professional network.

Your qualifications as an Ingenious Partner:

  • Master studies in the field of computer science, mechatronics, mathematics, electrical engineering, physics or similar
  • Good programming skills in C++, CUDA, Python, ROS, MATLAB, or other programming languages
  • Experience in computer vision and/or image processing is advantageous
  • Experience in motion planning and robotics is advantageous
  • Interested in reading and writing scientific publications and enjoy application-oriented questions from industry
  • High level of commitment and team spirit
  • Very good command of written and spoken English is expected

What to expect: 

EUR 50.103,2 gross per year, for 30 h / week. In addition to numerous events, seminars and networking opportunities, there will be additional company benefits. As a research institution, we are familiar with the supervision and execution of PhD theses, and we are looking forward to supporting you accordingly! 

In addition to numerous events, seminars and networking opportunities, there will be additional company benefits. As a research institution, we are familiar with the supervision and execution of PhD theses, and we are looking forward to supporting you accordingly! 


Please submit your documents including your CV, cover letter (ideally one page, including a brief introduction of yourself, an explanation of how your previous studies and experience have prepared you for this PhD position, and a motivation for why you are interested in this specific position) and your certificates (Transcript of records) online.

AIT Austrian Institute of Technology

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No deadline
Location: Austria, Vienna
Categories: Computer Sciences, Computer Vision, Electrical Engineering, Mathematics, Mechatronics, PhD, Physics, Robotics,


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