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Postdoc in Safe Machine Learning

At the Technical Faculty of IT and Design, Department of Electronic Systems, a position as postdoc in Safe Machine Learning is open for appointment from August 1, 2021, or as soon as possible thereafter. The position is available for 24 months, with the possibility of extension. In the area of electronics engineering, Aalborg University is known worldwide for its high academic quality and the societal relevance of its research programmes. The Department of Electronic Systems employs more than 200 staff, of which about 40% are international, and about 90 enrolled PhD students. The Department hosts 620 students. The Department's excellent research infrastructures and facilities accentuate its global position in teaching and research. Department research centres around communication, antennas, control systems, signal processing, cyber security and acoustics. The Department plays an active role in translating discoveries and results in practical applications with industrial partners and through IPR. Within its subject field, the Department provides teaching for several BSc and MSc programmes using a problem- and project-based learning model.

Job description

Machine learning forges its way into many spheres of human activity from education, medical and legal supporting systems to autonomous vehicles. It is capable of classifying objects, trends, and patterns in a huge amount of data. Nonetheless, the control and monitoring solutions for critical infrastructures stay reluctant to this new trend due to high safety standards. To this end, we propose to merge stochastic safety with reinforcement learning. The learning intrinsically makes use of trials and exploration of new situations. Nonetheless, these new unknown situations may become unsafe points with no return.

Swift Project
The position is a part of Swift Project gathering doctoral and postdoctoral researchers around the subject of machine learning, multi-objective optimization, safety, security and privacy preserving algorithms.

We will develop the theory of safety focusing on mathematical characterizations and numerical approximation methods for the associated safety function and safety measure. Specifically, we will identify the set of initial states from which the probability of reaching an unsafe region (before reaching the desired target) is small enough.

We will consider model-driven optimal control based on dynamic programming. We will introduce stochastic barrier certificates in dynamic programming. This work will pave the way for solutions in data-driven optimization methods. We will use these results for safe dynamic programming to equip Reinforcement Learning with a barrier certificate.

We will verify the applicability of the theoretical results derived in a newly built water network laboratory at Aalborg University, https://vbn.aau.dk/da/equipments/smart-water-infrastructures-laboratory-swil

You may obtain further information from Professor Rafal Wisniewski, Department of Electronic Systems, email: raf@es.aau.dk, concerning the scientific aspects of the position.

Qualification requirements: 

Appointment as Postdoc presupposes scientific qualifications at PhD–level or similar scientific qualifications. The research potential of each applicant will be emphasized in the overall assessment. Appointment as a Postdoc cannot exceed a period of four years in total at Aalborg University.

The application must contain the following:

  • A motivated text wherein the reasons for applying, qualifications in relation to the position, and intentions and visions for the position are stated.
  • A current curriculum vitae.
  • Copies of relevant diplomas (Master of Science and PhD). On request you could be asked for an official English translation.
  • Scientific qualifications. A complete list of publications must be attached with an indication of the works the applicant wishes to be considered. You may attach up to 5 publications.
  • Dissemination qualifications, including participation on committees or boards, participation in organisations and the like.
  • Additional qualifications in relation to the position. References/recommendations.
  • Personal data.

The applications are only to be submitted online by using the "Apply online" button below.

Shortlisting will be applied. This means that subsequent to the deadline for applications the head of department supported by the chair of the assessment committee will select candidates for assessment. All applicants will be informed whether they will be assessed or not.

AAU wishes to reflect the diversity of society and welcomes applications from all qualified candidates regardless of personal background or belief.

For further information concerning the application procedure please contact Sanne V. Hejlesen by mail est-st-hr@adm.aau.dk or phone (+45) 99 40 39 72. Information regarding guidelines, ministerial circular in force and procedures can be seen here 


Employment is in accordance with the Ministerial Order on the Appointment of Academic Staff at Universities (the Appointment Order) and the Ministry of Finance's current Job Structure for Academic Staff at Universities. Employment and salary are in accordance with the collective agreement for state-employed academics.   

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