New Doctoral College on “Trustworthy Autonomous Cyber-Physical Systems”
TU Wien establishes Doctoral College on Trustworthy Autonomous Cyber-Physical Systems, TTTech Auto and B&C Privatstiftung fund three Ph.D. positions.
Autonomous Cyber-Physical Systems (ACPS) leverage computationally powerful embedded systems and AI components to perform complex decision-making tasks that control physical processes with reduced or without human supervision. Advanced driver assistance systems, truck platooning, self-driving cars, unmanned aerial vehicles, autonomous trains, autonomous energy grids, and autonomous farming are just a few examples of ACPS. These systems use machine learning models to mimic human cognitive capabilities (e.g., vision and perception), enabling them to replace humans in unpleasant or hazardous activities.
ACPS will improve sustainability and transportation by reducing air pollution, energy consumption, traffic congestion, and fatal accidents. However, these systems are also safety-critical: potential software/hardware failures or malicious cyberattacks can cause harm to people and the environment. Furthermore, the possibility for ACPS to act autonomously without human supervision raises concerns about trust, responsibility, and ethically sensitive decision-making.
The design of trustworthy ACPS is challenging because of the multitude and variety of requirements that must be satisfied, for example, safety, security, timeliness, reliability, robustness, fairness, and transparency in ACPS decision-making. Thus, architecting an ACPS by its decomposition into nearly independent self-contained subsystems with simple interfaces is essential. Only then we are capable to reason and demonstrate that the assembled ACPS truthfully satisfies its purpose.
To make Austria competitive in this emerging field, we need new professional figures trained to solve scientific problems relevant to ACPS. For this reason, we decided to establish a new doctoral college on “Trustworthy Autonomous Cyber-Physical Systems.”
The doctoral college will start in the winter of 2023 with eleven Ph.D. students of which TTTech Auto and B&C Privatstiftung will sponsor three positions, providing €825,000 in funding. We are looking for nationally and internationally highly qualified researchers encouraging female applicants. We will provide several training opportunities for doctoral students such as industrial internships, workshops, summer schools, and secondment activities or research stays abroad at top universities. We plan to establish a sustainable know-how exchange between industrial and university partners, focusing on foundational problems (basic research) in the field. To make this doctoral program sustainable and interdisciplinary we plan to extend this pilot project to members of other topic-related faculties by jointly applying for additional funding.
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TU Wien Informatics Doctoral School
The framework of the TU Wien Informatics Doctoral School intends to foster scientists who have broad knowledge and expertise in the domain (breadth) and contribute to the development of the sciences (depth) through independent research. Our graduates gain new scientific insight and can present results comprehensively. They can solve complex scientific problems in both fundamental and applied research at a high international level and according to accepted scientific standards.