Pre-doctoral position

IBM Zurich Research Laboratory
WorkplaceZurich, Zurich region, Switzerland
Pre-doctoral position

AI Automation

Ref. 2024_005

The IBM Research Laboratory, together with ETH Zurich is recruiting a highly motivated Doctorate Candidate (DC) funded by the MSCA project Bridgitise (Bridge Digitalised Integrity Management).

Project Description Robots such as SPOT and Unitree A1 have reached outstanding performance in mobility. However, utilization of such devices is still limited in practical visual inspection applications, due to the lack of standardization and automation in processing of images and videos captured with such devices. The Doctorate Candidate will work towards automating the visual inspection pipeline for these robots to be fully operational.

At IBM Research the Doctorate Candidate will develop AI algorithms to automate the creation of new domain-specific models using the Robots, as well as automate the domain adaptation process, utilizing Large Vision Models (LVMs). Among other activities, the Doctorate Candidate will study how to automate the selection of relevant frames from long sequence of videos, use self-supervised pipelines to build reusable models with nonannotated data, or interactive visual-language prompting techniques to fine-tune the models.

At ETH the Doctorate Candidate will port the AI models on the robot and experiment with multi-modal data collection modalities (e.g., infrared, thermal hyperspectral images).

In addition, the student will spend a few months at Politecnico di Milano to experiment on real applications supporting data acquisition for the development of the models as well as the validation of the results.

We envision the student will spend 2/3 of the time at IBM Research, 1/3 at ETH Zurich and a few months at Politecnico di Milano.

Why do your PhD at IBM Research A unique aspect of our projects is the opportunity to work on client data that are not available to the public and represent a big challenge even for the most successful state-of-the-art methods. As part of our team, you will collaborate with experienced Research Scientists and AI Software Engineers that will lead and help you to successfully complete the challenges of the proposed task. You will also have access to HPC and Cloud infrastructure equipped with recent variants of GPUs and many other resources and tools to perform the work. The technology created in our team is powering IBM mainstream products, such as Maximo Visual Inspection and soon WatsonX . We have successfully inspected the 3rd longest suspension bridge in the world - the Storebaelt . By automating and improving inspection of civil infrastructure, we make such infrastructures safer and at the same time we extend their lifetime expectation, thus reducing CO2 emissions caused by the use of concrete for major repairs, decommission of old structures, and construction of new ones.

Candidate qualification requirements

Minimum qualifications (Mandatory)

Outstanding university track record, with background in Computing, Machine Learning, Mathematics, Statistics, or equivalent fields;

3+ years of proved programming experience in C/C++ and/or Python;

Proficient in UNIX/Linux;

Ability to speak and write in English fluently;

Team player, self-motivated with a passion for technology and innovation

Preferred qualifications

Practical experience with Machine Learning and/or Deep Learning frameworks, such as PyTorch;

Experience with one or more of the following:REST APIs, machine learning, deep learning, algorithms and data structures, test automation, distributed computing, CI/CD

Independent worker with the ability to effectively operate with flexibility in a fast-paced, constantly evolving team environment

Nice to have

Contribution to open source projects;

Proved record of participation in Kaggle competitions (or similar);

Publications in top AI conferences (NeurIPS, AAAI, etc.);

Experience with public Cloud environments.

Additional Eligibility Criteria

Minimum qualifications (Mandatory)

At the date of the recruitment they must not possess a doctoral degree

They must comply with the mobility rule that is: they must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the country of the recruiting beneficiary (Switzerland) for more than 12 months in the 36 months immediately before their recruitment date.

They must comply with the profile described for the position The admission requirements at ETH Zurich are a Master’s degree from a recognized university in Engineering or in fields closely related to the project’s subject matter and excellent academic performance Diversity IBM is committed to diversity at the workplace. With us you will find an open, multicultural environment. Excellent flexible working arrangements enable all genders to strike the desired balance between their professional development and their personal lives.

How to apply

If you are interested in this exciting position, please apply to DC6 (Robots, such as Boston Dynamics SPOT) through the following centralized application portal:

Bewerben The interview process will include technical discussions and a coding interview. If you need any information about the position please contact:
Dr. Cristiano Malossi,
Dr. Florian Scheidegger,
Dr. Michele Magno, !--

[1] M. Dueñas-Diez and J. Pérez-Mercader, "How chemistry computes: language recognition by non-biochemical chemical automata. From finite automata to turing machines," IScience, vol. 19, pp. 514-526, 2019.
[2] Wozniak, Stanislaw, et al. "Deep learning incorporating biologically inspired neural dynamics and in-memory computing." Nat. Mach. Intell., vol. 2, June 2020, pp. 325-36, doi:10.1038/s42256-020-0187-0.
[3] Maass, Wolfgang. "Liquid state machines: motivation, theory, and applications." Computability in context: computation and logic in the real world (2011): 275-296.

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