Written by P. Chatelain, J. Hendrickx and R. Ronsse
A Post-doctoral position is open in control and multi-agent systems modelling at the Institute of information and communication technologies, electronics and applied mathematics (ICTEAM) at UCLouvain (Belgium). This 2-year (minimum) position is offered in the context of a Concerted Research Action on the numerical simulation of bird flight at UCLouvain.
This position is to be filled from October 1, 2017. The position is fully funded and will involve a strongly interdisciplinary work between the involved departments at UCLouvain (Aerodynamics, Bio-mechanics and Control). Interactions (including scientific stays) with the international collaborating institutions: ETH Zurich, U Illinois at Urbana Champaign, and UCLA, will be encouraged.
The Concerted Research Action RevealFlight (PIs: P. Chatelain, R. Ronsse, J. Hendrickx) aims at shedding light on the efficiency optimization mechanisms deployed by biological flyers, with a specific focus on migratory birds. The efficiency-seeking mechanisms will be sought through the numerical reproduction of flight that includes the morphology, the neuro-muscular configuration and the gait generation. This resulting gait then exploits aerodynamics at the scale of an individual (unsteady lift generation) and at the level of the flock (formation flight). This project thus proposes to synthesize the flight mechanics of birds into a unified framework, combining biomechanical, sensory, aerodynamic and social interaction models, in order to reproduce the flying gaits and the interactions within a flock.
A neuro-mechanical model of the birds will be developed, capturing bio-inspired principles both in the wing biomechanics (e.g. structure and compliance) and in its coordinated control (through e.g. a network of coordinated oscillators). The dynamics of this model will be solved by means a multi-body solver and in turn, coupled to a massively parallel flow solver (an implementation of the Vortex Particle-Mesh method) in order to capture the bird’s wake up to the scales of the flock. The study of self-organization phenomena and inter-bird interactions will begin on simple conceptual models, and be gradually extended to the comprehensive models developed during the project. It will aim at comparing the efficiency of flocks of selfish flyers with that of flocks in which collaboration takes place, whether implicitly or explicitly.
JOB DESCRIPTION AND PROFILE REQUIREMENTS
The successful candidate will be in charge of the tasks related to the modelling of the bird behaviors at the scale of the flock and to flight control. More specifically, he/she will handle tasks related to (i) the construction of a multi-agent framework (ii) the investigation of interactions within the flock that trigger a collaborative behavior. The nominee will also contribute to the development of a simplified aerodynamic interaction model and to the coupling of the multi-agent model with the full-fidelity biomechanical and aerodynamic models, in collaboration with other researchers of the consortium.
We are seeking candidates with a PhD degree in a relevant domain of engineering (or equivalent) with experience in control and multi-agent sytsems. Good programming skills and/or experience in modelling are a plus. Good communication skills are further required in this project, due to its collaborative nature. Due to the scope of the project, scientific leadership and initiative are expected from applicants to this position.
WHAT WE OFFER
HOW TO APPLY
Your application should be sent by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, with “PostDoc position in Bio-mechanics” as subject. Application should include a motivation letter, full CV, list of publications, academic transcripts, and contact information of two references. Short-listed candidates will be contacted for a teleconference or physical interview.
Institute of mechanics, materials and civil engineering: www.uclouvain.be/immc
Institute of information and communication technologies, electronics and applied mathematics: www.uclouvain.be/icteam
RevealFlight project: sites.uclouvain.be/RevealFlight