Early Stage Researchers Scholarship

  • Research
  • Trieste, Italy

Early Stage Researchers Scholarship

Job description

MSCA-ITN UTOPIAE: Early Stage Researchers scholarship at ESTECO SpA (Trieste, Italy)

This scholarship is offered within the UTOPIAE (Uncertainty Treatment and OPtimisation In Aerospace Engineering) training and research network funded by the European Commission through the H2020 funding stream.


Research Field: Computer Science / Programming & Engineering / Design Engineering

Application Deadline: 16 april 2017
Type of Contract: Temporary

Duration: 36 months

Job Status: Full-time (40 hours per week)


UTOPIAE research programme aims at training, by research and by example, 15 Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) in the field of Uncertainty Quantification and Optimisation. The ESRs will be provided with the training and skills needed for pursuing successful careers in academia and industry and for increasing the innovation capacity of the EU. Through the ESRs individual research projects, the UTOPIAE network will develop fundamental mathematical methods and algorithms to bridge the gap between Uncertainty Quantification and Optimisation, and between Probability Theory and Imprecise Probability Theory for Uncertainty Quantification, and to efficiently solve high-dimensional, expensive and complex engineering problems.


The project envisaged for the ESR recruited by ESTECO is multidisciplinary and is titled “Reliability-Based Optimisation for Multidisciplinary Model-based Collaborative System Engineering”.


There are two main research focuses: collaborative optimisation for systems engineering and reliability-based design optimisation. Both topics are open research fields.


The former responds to the industrial need of: coordinating interdisciplinary (often geographically dislocated) groups working on optimisation of complex systems and processes, handling multiple objectives and constraints defined in different disciplines, efficiently integrating various engineering software tools, formalising and applying models from the conceptual design phase to the subsequent life cycle phases of a project. The aerospace sector is an ideal application field due to the high system complexity involved.

The second topic is related to the handling of uncertainties in design optimisation and the need to find reliable solutions (that is, solutions that respect certain criteria or limit state functions or constraints within certain reliability thresholds prescribed by laws or desired safety levels).

Various approaches have been developed for reliability-based design optimisation over the years but many challenges still exist, such as for instance the applicability to large-scale problems with a number of uncertain variables, reduction of the high computational cost in case of time-consuming simulations and accurate handling of system-response nonlinearities.


The project has several objectives, among which:

  • to define and improve collaborative engineering environments and multidisciplinary collaborative optimisation strategies for distributed systems;
  • to establish an effective approach for handling large-scale problems by finding a suitable way for managing the interactions among different subsystems;
  • to extend modelling languages beyond the state-of-the-art;
  • to define proper reliability measures for the multi-disciplinary optimisation problems;
  • to define a methodology for reliability-based design optimisation in a multidisciplinary model-based collaborative framework and with man-in-the-loop activities.

However, there is ample margin for tailoring the research content and applications according to the ESR’s interests and skills.


Part of the research project should be carried out in two secondments of three months each. The first secondment is planned in the second year at the JSI (Jožef Stefan Institute, Slovenia), while the second is planned in the third year at CIRA (Italian Centre for Aerospace Research, Italy).


The training programme will involve attendance of the UTOPIAE network formal training events (Global Virtual Workshops) and enrolment in the training activities of the University of Trieste “Industrial Engineering and Information Technology” PhD programme.


Required education level: Master degree (or equivalent) in a scientific domain, preferably Computer Science, Engineering, Mathematics, Physics.


Eligibility criteria

Early Stage Researchers: Applicants shall, at the time of recruitment by the host organization, be in the first four years (full-time equivalent research experience) of their research careers and not yet have been awarded a doctoral degree. Full-Time Equivalent Researcher Experience is measured from the date on which the researcher obtained the degree that would formally entitle them start a PhD academic career.

Mobility Rule: At the time of recruitment by the host organization, applicants must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the country of their host organization (Italy) for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to the recruitment date. Compulsory national service and/or short stays such as holidays are not taken into account.


Specific requirements: Good knowledge of English and good communication skills (both written and spoken). Good knowledge of at least one computer programming language. Good capacity of working both in a team and independently.


Optional desirable skills or experience: Good knowledge of numerical analysis and scientific computing; publications in scientific international journals or conference proceedings will be positively evaluated but are not mandatory; presentations at international conferences; patents; university experience in different countries or work experience in international groups.


Selection process: All interested applicants should submit the following: a CV, a cover letter and two letters of reference.