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Job ID: 164229

PhD and MASc Opportunities in Aerial Robotics
University of Waterloo

Date Posted Jul. 30, 2021
Title PhD and MASc Opportunities in Aerial Robotics
University University of Waterloo
Waterloo, ON, Canada
Department Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering
Application Deadline Open until filled
Position Start Date Available Immediately
  • Graduate Student
  • Robotics
    Engineering - Other

- RMA Laboratory, Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada
- Department of Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Canada
- National Research Council Canada / Conseil national de recherches Canada (Civil Unmanned Aerial Systems), Montréal, Canada

About the Main Laboratory
The Robotics, Mechatronics and Automation Laboratory (RMAL) was founded in 1997 and since then has been an active entity of Ryerson University. It is an interdisciplinary laboratory bringing people and projects related to Mechanical, Aerospace, Industrial, Biomedical, Electrical-Computer Engineering, Mechatronics, and Computer Science. The laboratory takes a broad approach of what constitutes good research and education, all measured by their industrial and social impact. The ongoing research spans from the applied to basic research. The output from the lab research ranges from ground-breaking papers to ground-breaking prototypes. The usual team of industrial partners, faculty members, postdoctoral fellows, graduate and undergraduate students creates unique opportunities for furtherance of the education, research and technology transfer goals. The contributions in the lab can span from developing core engineering techniques and theoretical analyses of robotic algorithms, to working closely with existing companies and health organizations, to engaging in entrepreneurial activities. Many of the lab alumni have found academic and industrial positions in prestigious institutions and organizations.
You can also learn more about the lab and director of the lab.


  • Multi-institutional and multi-disciplinary research experience (while registering at the University of Waterloo or Ryerson University).
  • Interaction opportunities with a few Canadian robotic companies, National Research Council, and user communities of the North (in addition to the researchers form Ryerson University and the University of Waterloo).
  • Stimulating, high-paced environment for cutting-edge research in various fields including robotics, machine learning, and Instrumentation.
  • From theory and methodological design to software implementation and empirical evaluation with users, the candidate will build inter-disciplinary knowledge on how to deploy UAVs for new applications and end-users.
  • Pleasant working conditions with interesting and challenging tasks in collaboration with a talented and interdisciplinary scientific and management team.
  • Interaction opportunities with a few Canadian robotic companies, National Research Council, and user communities of the North (in addition to the researchers form Ryerson University and the University of Waterloo).
  • An exceptional opportunity to experience research in a highly inspiring international environment and to learn from some of the world’s leading researchers.
  • Enhancing research skills, publications record, hardware and software design practice, experimentation skills, supervisory skills (through mentoring of undergraduate and master’s students), and teaching skills.
  • Potentially improving entrepreneurship skills through Ryerson Digital Media Zone (DMZ) and Ryerson Entrepreneur Institute.
  • The opportunity to develop leadership skills in a high-impact field with excellent career opportunities.

Duties and Responsibilities:
We are seeking one PhD and two MASc students in Aerial Robotics with competitive stipends.
We are looking for outstanding graduate students to contribute to various aspects of the project on aerial robotics and manipulation. Please consider applying if you have a strong background in computer vision, robot modelling, control and learning. We especially seek individuals who have the following profile/skills:

  • Previous degrees in one of the following disciplines: Mechanical Engineering, Mechatronics Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Computer Engineering, Aerospace Engineering, Computer Science, or related disciplines.
  • Good knowledge of UAV or robot control, dynamics and kinematics
  • Good background in robotic experiments and previous experience in hardware and software design and integration for robotic systems (particularly UAVs and aerial manipulators)
  • Previous knowledge and experience in vision systems and potentially in visual servo control of robots and SLAM is not required but an asset
  • Good programming skills in C/C++, Python, or others. Experience in ROS is not required but an asset
  • Willingness and interest in learning about new and challenging topics
  • Team player
  • English proficiency

The successful candidates will be involved actively in research, co-supervising students, helping with grant application preparation, and teaching. The students will also need to spend a limited time in NRC Aerial Robotics Laboratory in Montréal.
The research will involve developing aerial SLAM algorithms, and motion planning and control methods for UAVs and aerial manipulators. Also, the tasks may include software-hardware implementation of the methods, and designing as well as conducting both laboratory and field experiments.

Additional Information

  • Preference will be given to individuals from equity seeking groups with equal qualifications. International candidates are highly encouraged to apply. We encourage all First Nations, Metis and Inuit peoples or Indigenous peoples of North America, to self-identify in their applications and also reach out to Tracey King, Aboriginal HR Consultant for support during the selection process.

How to Apply?
The following documents are needed for applications:

  • A motivation letter describing your research interests, your qualifications, and why you would be a suitable candidate
  • A detailed CV
  • Academic transcripts from your previous degrees (Bachelor’s, and Master’s degrees if applicable)
  • Email addresses and contact numbers (preferably cell phone numbers) of your at least three references (preferably your recent supervisors)

Interested applicants should send the necessary documents via email to RMAL{AT}
Applications should be submitted in PDF or word formats. In the subject line please indicate: "PhD-Application-UAV" (for PhD applicants) or "MASc Application-UAV" (for MASc applicants). Applications will be continuously received and evaluated until the position is filled. We thank all candidates for their interest, however, only candidates who are invited to an interview will be contacted.
Incomplete applications or applications not meeting the minimum requirements will NOT be considered.

  • We are Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment and will not be
    discriminated against on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, veteran status,
    disability status, or genetic information.

Please reference in your cover letter when
applying for or inquiring about this job announcement.

Contact Information

  • Prof. Farrokh Janabi-Sharifi
    Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering
    University of Waterloo
    Waterloo, ON
  • RMAL{AT}


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