Vacancies University of Twente

Drone expert (fulltime)

The GeoScience Laboratory (GSL) is an unique research facility: it houses a combination of spectroscopy, geophysics and chemistry to support in-depth research of spatial sciences. GSL has the facilities to carry out spectroscopic and/or analytical measurements on different materials, varying from IR-spectral measurements to determine element concentrations. The GSL also has a collection of drones, which will be expanded in the near future, with different sensors for applications in spatial sciences.

Job description

You need to be able to fly a range of drones (fixed wing, multi-copters). Sensors and drones are constantly under development and you must show ability to keep up to date to improve the way drones navigate, communicate, and observe their environment. Further you:

  • Are responsible for hardware development related to sensors on drones. You work with commercially available drones, and focus on sensor integration and hardware adaptation. This includes arranging multiple sensors on a given drone platform (such as Tetracam, Parrot Sequoia, FLIR), and work out issues such as shutter release and time synchronization, and optimization of RTK.
  • Are responsible for software development. You develop software tools for customized sensor integration solutions, for example through an Arduino board. You provide support for standard data processing routines (such as basic photogrammetric image processing in Pix4D), provide support for research on better in-flight control, flight-path adaptation, possibly on-board image-preprocessing via a DJI Manifold.
  • Are responsible for complying with all laws, regulations and other applicable obligations wherever and whenever business is conducted for ITC staff and students.
  • Coordinate and actively participate in ground and flight operation efforts, including mission planning, execution, briefing, debriefing, aircrew resource management and safety.
  • Do engineering tests and flight test/demonstration; support through specifically prescribed tests and maneuvers.
  • Define, plan, organize and execute flight programs and flights for departmental research and consultancy projects, MSc research topics and PhD research topics. Afterwards you will have to store all information in a database.
  • Give instruction to staff/students on how to use other surveying equipment (terrestrial laser scanner, GPS)
  • Keep up to date with drone developments and regulations; you follow courses, participate in Twente University wide drone network and certificate.

Your profile

  • You have a certification to fly drones
  • You are expected to work in a safe manner in accordance with established operating procedures and practices.
  • You have a background in electronics and experience in operating and maintaining different types of drones
  • Education/formal training equivalent to the completion of HBO
  • You must demonstrate a basic understanding of UAV principles, theories and concepts
  • Programming skills (e.g. to customize routines on Arduino or DJI Manifold, support ongoing flight planning app development)
  • Willingness to travel abroad
  • Analytical ability
  • Adaptability / flexibility
  • Accuracy
  • Fluency in English, with Dutch being an additional asset
  • Solving problems via creativity
  • Quality oriented
  • Ability to learn
  • Safety orientation
  • Work efficiently
  • Teaching experience

Information and application
For more information you can contact dr. C. Lievens (e-mail: You are also  invited  to visit our homepage.

Please submit your application before 25 March 2018 (choose “apply now” below). Your application has to include (i) a motivation letter and (ii) a detailed CV.

Our offer

We offer an inspiring and challenging international environment. You will be employed for a period of 2 years. Prolongation of the contract after this period is a possibility.

  • Gross monthly salary between € 2465.- and € 3292.- depending on experience and qualifications (job profile Research Technician V-profile, level 2).
  • A holiday allowance of 8% of the gross annual salary and a year-end bonus of 8.3%
  • Excellent support for research and facilities for professional and personal development.
  • A solid pension scheme
  • Possibilities to save up holidays for sabbatical leave
  • Minimum of 29 holiday days in case of full-time employment

The organization

The University of Twente. We stand for life sciences and technology. High tech and human touch. Education and research that matter. New technology which leads change, innovation and progress in society. The University of Twente is the only campus university of the Netherlands; divided over five faculties we provide more than fifty educational programmes. We have a strong focus on personal development and talented researchers are given scope for carrying out groundbreaking research.

We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our company. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status or disability status. Because of our diversity values we do particularly support women to apply.

The Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation (ITC) of the University of Twente provides international postgraduate education, research and project services in the field of geo-information science and earth observation using remote sensing and GIS. The aim of ITC's activities is the international exchange of knowledge, focusing on capacity building and institutional development in developing countries and emerging economies.

Drone expert (fulltime)
Apply now