PhD position in Cyber-Security Methods for Cyber-Safe Robotics

PhD position in Cyber-Security Methods for Cyber-Safe Robotics

Sønderborg, Denmark


The Maersk Mc-Kinney Moller Institute (MMMI) at the University of Southern Denmark (SDU) invites applications for a three-year PhD position in Cyber-Security Methods for Cyber-Safe Robotics.

The application deadline is 31 August 2024 at 11.59 PM / 23.59 (CET/CEST) 


The position is available as soon as possible and the workplace is at SDU's campus in Sønderborg. The beautiful campus in Sønderborg is located in the inspiring building of Alsion, which is a center for science, culture and learning in the heart of Sønderborg and perched on the strait of water separating the island of Als from the mainland. The university has very close relations to industries in Sønderborg, Southern Denmark and Northern Germany.

The Maersk Mc-Kinney Moller Institute is an internationally recognized institute, which has maintained a leading position in robotics for more than three decades. The institute is the origin of robotics research in Denmark and has spawned the world-renowned cluster of robotics in Odense. The institute is now building up a Centre for Industrial Software research and education at its campus in Sønderborg with a vision of creating world class knowledge in valuable collaboration with industry providing a unique opportunity to be part of the center and to form the new group. It is expected that the center will grow substantially in the coming years and collaborate closely with the already established Center for Industrial Electronics and Center for Industrial Mechanics in Sønderborg as well as with the industry, which count world leading companies in growing fields such as e-mobility, automation, climate solutions and energy efficiency. 

About the project

Robot, automation, and drone applications consist of an increasing number of connected devices based on technology from different parties in the supply chain. This opens more attack vectors from a security perspective. These attacks exploit the digital and physical aspects of a robotic system. Therefore, software and hardware vulnerabilities can lead to significant security breaches. This project aims to develop models and solutions to identifying and mitigate potential threats and vulnerabilities specific to robotic systems.

The PhD project will, depending on the skills of the applicant, focus on one or more of the following topics: 

  • developing effective intrusion detection systems for robots, which requires a deep understanding of the robot's behavior and environment, 
  • Machine learning techniques, including anomaly detection and pattern recognition, applied to identify deviations from normal robot behavior, 
  • next-generation security and privacy requirements, and solutions for cyber-safe robotics, 
  • human-robot interaction security.

The candidate is expected to collaborate with experts from diverse fields, such as robotics, law, and cybersecurity, to ensure a holistic approach to addressing the security challenges in robotics. The position is part of the project "Cyber-Safe Robotics" funded by Industriens fond.

What we expect

We are looking for a highly motivated, creative, and ambitious candidate with an excellent command of English (written and spoken) who can work well both independently and as part of a team. 

The candidate shall have:

  • a master’s degree in computer science, software engineering, or robotics with a focus on cyber security as a plus, 
  • a genuine interest in cyber security and interdisciplinary research, 
  • a drive to conduct applied research in collaboration with industry. 

Experience in cyber-physical systems, machine learning algorithms, and excellent programming skills are strongly desired.  Experience in robot programming, computer vision, and human-computer interaction is a plus. 

The ideal candidate is competent to acquire knowledge and skills in new topics to conduct high-quality research, present the results at international conferences, and publish in peer-reviewed scientific journals.

We also expect the candidate to take part in the teaching activities of the Centre for Industrial Software.

What we offer

The successful applicant will join the Centre for Industrial Software at SDU. The PhD candidate will spend most of the time at SDU in Sønderborg.

Sønderborg, Region of Southern Denmark, provides the perfect combination of a historic city center with an urban field yet a close proximity to beaches and recreational areas. Its location on both sides of Alssund and with easy access by train or highway to the bigger cities of Odense and Copenhagen; direct trains can take you straight to Copenhagen airport in less than 4 hours. Sønderborg is an economic hub in the region of Southern Denmark, with industries within electronics, manufacturing, food processing, Information Technology, and telecommunications among others, with several companies headquartered in and around the town.

Further information:

Further information about this position is available via e-mail from Professor Mikkel Baun Kjærgaard ( or Professor Lars Ramkilde Knudsen (

If you experience technical problems, please contact

Application procedure

Before applying the candidates are expected to read the Faculty information for prospective PhD students, the SDU information on how to apply and specific faculty information for application at the Faculty of Engineering. 

The application must be in English and include the following:

  • Motivation letter stating your specific interest, motivation, and qualifications for the project in question (max. 2 pages). 
  • Detailed Curriculum Vitae including personal contact information, information on research and teaching experience, list of publications (if any).
  • Maximum 2 examples of relevant publications attached as full-text PDF-files (i.e. no links).
  • Verified copies of the official bachelor diploma and master's diploma and transcripts of exams, both the original documents and in professional English translation.
  • Completed TEK PhD application form for 5+3 applicants. Find the form at the Faculty website.
  • Completed TEK PhD form for calculation grade point average. Find the form at the Faculty website
  • An official document describing the grading scheme of the awarding universities (if not Danish). 
  • Only for applicants from programmes that evaluate thesis/examination project by approved/not approved: Please submit an official and verified written assessment of the thesis or dissertation project from the grade giving institution. The statement must clearly state that the candidate has been among the top 30 pct. in the graduation class for the study programme.
  • References (names and e-mail addresses) and/or reference letters. You're welcome to use the form for reference letter at the Faculty website.

Assessment and selection process

Read about the Assessment and selection process

Applications will be assessed by an assessment committee or an expert. Shortlisting may be applied. Only shortlisted candidates will receive a written assessment. Read about shortlisting at SDU. 

Interviews and tests may be part of the process.

Conditions of employment

Appointment as a PhD fellow is a 3-year salaried position.

Applicants must hold a master’s degree (equivalent to a Danish master's degree) at the time of enrollment and employment. 

Employment of a PhD fellow can only happen after the PhD School has approved the candidate for admission. Employment and enrollment will cease without further notice at the end of the period. A PhD fellow is not allowed to have any kind of sideline employment, while enrolled as PhD fellow at the faculty.

Employment as a PhD fellow governed by the Protocol on PhD Research Fellows signed by the Danish Ministry of Finance and the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. Further information about salary and conditions of employment. 

The successful candidate will be enrolled at SDU in accordance with Faculty regulations and the Danish Ministerial Order on the PhD Programme at the Universities (PhD order)


The application deadline is 31 August 2024 at 11.59 PM / 23.59 (CET/CEST) 



  • According to the University of Southern Denmark’s internal guidelines, there must be at least three qualified applicants to a position before it can be filled.
  • Documents should not contain a CPR number (civil registration number) – in this case, the CPR number must be crossed out.
  • The application and CV must not exceed 10 MB. 

The University of Southern Denmark wishes to reflect the surrounding community and therefore encourages everyone, regardless of personal background, to apply for the position.

Further information for international applicants about entering and working in Denmark. You may also visit WorkinDenmark for additional information.

Further information about The Faculty of Engineering.


SDU creates value for and with society and shapes the future through high quality, talented people and outstanding environments. The University of Southern Denmark is a world-class university deeply rooted the the Region of Southern Denmark. Since it's founding, SDU has been driven by an ambition to promote research results that develop society.
The major challenges of the 21st century are complex and multifaceted; sustainable change and solutions require new - often interdisciplinary - research-based knowledge, and the University of Southern Denmark is an indispensable stakeholder in the transition process.
Value, quality, talented people and environmental excellence are the core of the University of Southern Denmark's strategic initiatives.


  • Job Identification1786
  • Job CategoryPH.D.
  • Posting Date05/29/2024, 11:32 AM
  • LocationsAlsion 2, Sønderborg, 6400, DK
  • Apply Before08/31/2024, 11:59 PM
  • Job ScheduleFull time

SDU - Univerisity of Southern Denmark

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Deadline: 2024-08-15
Location: Denmark, Odense
Categories: Computer Sciences, Cyber Security, PhD, Robotics, Software Engineering,


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