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PhD position in the project 'Energy-efficient hardware for autonomous driving'


Job description

PhD project Energy-efficient hardware for autonomous driving: in collaboration with Toyota Motor Europe:
The aim of the project is to develop low-power, reconfigurable, nanoelectronic devices in such a way that they can be applicable for reducing computational costs in tasks related to autonomous driving. The hardware used in this project consists of nanoscale material networks integrated with conventional top-down CMOS electronics. The project is a close collaboration between physicists, electrical engineers and computer scientists at the Center for Brain-Inspired Nano Systems (BRAINS) and Toyota Motor Europe, and is based on recent breakthrough results [1]. The approach follows the concept of Dopant Network Processing Units (DNPUs), a lightly doped (n- or p-type) semiconductor with a nanoscale active region contacted by several electrodes. The candidate is expected to develop energy-efficient hardware based on this DNPU-technology with a primary focus on multi-parameter sensing and autonomous driving.

[1] Classification with a disordered dopant-atom network in silicon. T. Chen, J. van Gelder, B. van de Ven, S. Amitonov, B. de Wilde, H.-C. Ruiz-Euler, H. J. Broersma, P. A. Bobbert, F. A. Zwanenburg, W. G. van der Wiel,
Nature 577, 341-345 (2020)

Your profile

  • You are an enthusiastic researcher and highly motivated.
  • You have, or will shortly acquire, a MSc degree in the field of Electrical Engineering, Embedded Systems, Systems and Control or similar.
  • You have a creative mindset and excellent analytical and communication skills.
  • You have a good team spirit and like to work in an interdisciplinary and internationally oriented environment.
  • Knowledge in Programming (Python, PyTorch, Numpy, Git) Machine/Deep/Reinforcement Learning and/or computer vision will be valued.
  • You are fluent in English.

Our offer

  • A full-time PhD position for 4 years within a very stimulating scientific environment.
  • Full status as an employee at the University of Twente, including pension and health care benefits.
  • Gross salary PhD student: ranging from € 2.395,00 (1st year) to € 3.061,00 (4th year) per month, plus holiday allowance (8%) and end-of-year bonus (8.3%).
  • Good secondary conditions, in accordance with the collective labor agreement for Dutch universities (CAO-NU).
  • Extensive opportunities for professional and personal development.
  • A green and lively campus, with excellent sports facilities and many other activities.
  • We encourage a high degree of responsibility and independence, while collaborating with colleagues and researchers from various disciplines, and partners from industry.


Starting date of the position: As soon as possible

Information and application

Interested to be part of our team? Applicants are welcomed to submit their application until 31 December 2020. Include in your application:

  • A motivation letter, emphasizing your specific interest and motivation to apply for a PhD position in our group
  • A full Curriculum Vitae including your publications, awards, and working experience. Your CV should demonstrate the scope of your work and education and indicate a good fit with the stated requirements for the position
  • An academic transcript of BSc and MSc education, including grades.
  • A short description of your MSc thesis/final project.
  • References (contact information) of two scientific staff members (one of whom should be the supervisor of your M.Sc. thesis/final project) who are willing to provide a recommendation letter at our request.


The first interviews are scheduled on 15 January 2021. Please take these dates into account.
For further information about this position, please contact Wilfred G. van der Wiel,

About the department

The NanoElectronics Group (NE) performs research and provides education in the field of nanoelectronics, comprising the study of the electronic and magnetic properties of systems with critical dimensions in the nanoregime. It is our mission to excel in the field of nanoelectronics through the development of novel (concepts for) electronic devices and systems with nanoscale dimensions for application in future generations of electronics and information storage. In particular, we focus on neuromorphic electronics, quantum (spin) electronics, 2D electronic systems and acousto-electronics.

Our vision is that nanoelectronics will play an increasingly important role in future information technology. With the emerging challenges in conventional electronics, in particular miniaturization and energy consumption, there will be need for alternative, disruptive device concepts and architectures. We expect that nanoelectronics will have big impact throughout society, and we especially foresee contributions to sustainability, healthcare and security.

The NanoElectronics Group is a founding member of BRAINS, the Center for Brain-Inspired Nano Systems at the University of Twente.

About the organization

University of Twente (UT)

University of Twente (UT) has entered the new decade with an ambitious, new vision, mission and strategy. As ‘the ultimate people-first university of technology' we are rapidly expanding on our High Tech Human Touch philosophy and the unique role it affords us in society. Everything we do is aimed at maximum impact on people, society and connections through the sustainable utilisation of science and technology. We want to contribute to the development of a fair, digital and sustainable society through our open, inclusive and entrepreneurial attitude. This attitude permeates everything we do and is present in every one of UT's departments and faculties. Building on our rich legacy in merging technical and social sciences, we focus on five distinguishing research domains: Improving healthcare by personalised technologies; Creating intelligent manufacturing systems; Shaping our world with smart materials; Engineering our digital society; and Engineering for a resilient world.

As an employer, University of Twente offers jobs that matter. We equip you as a staff member to shape new opportunities both for yourself and for our society. With us, you will be part of a leading tech university that is changing our world for the better. We offer an open, inclusive and entrepreneurial climate, in which we encourage you to make healthy choices, for example, with our flexible, customisable conditions.

PhD position in the project 'Energy-efficient hardware for autonomous driving'
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