PHD position in Cybernetic Systems and Control

  • Full Time
  • Phoenix,USA
  • Applications have closed
  • Full Time
  • Phoenix,USA
  • Applications have closed

Website Arizona State University

About the Project
PhD: Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, USA

A PhD position, fully funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) is available in the Cybernetic Systems and Controls Lab (CSCL) in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Arizona State University in Tempe, AZ.

Topic: What is intelligence? Is it inductive, driven by complex data to create simple models of the universe? Or deductive, using basic axioms to build complex systems of thought? The answers to these questions drive the mathematics and complex computing algorithms we use to control the vast technological infrastructure which surrounds us. In this project, we focus on how computers represent knowledge of the complex nonlinear motion of the world and how that knowledge allows them to manipulate things far more intelligently than would be possible by a human. Specifically, we focus on models with application to navigating structures in space and minimizing the risk due to low-probability events such as impact by space debris.

Funding includes tuition, a 12-month stipend of up to $2000/mo, travel, health case and expenses. A Fall 2021 start is anticipated, although applications will accepted until October 1, 2022 or until the position is filled.  

Our lab has a broad mandate to perform advanced, high-risk/high-reward research in dynamics, control theory, optimization, artificial intelligence, machine learning and orbital mechanics with applied research in robotics, autonomous systems, control of nuclear fusion, information networks, immunology, and space tethers. See the website for a list of recent research accomplishments.

The ideal candidate has an aptitude for mathematics and is interested in solving fundamental and high-impact, difficult problems in  several of the fields mentioned above. The work is challenging and selection is rigorous, so students should have a solid undergraduate education at a top tier school in engineering or mathematics with a GPA of 3.6 (US), 8.5 (India), 90 (China) or equivalent.

Eligibility: Ideal candidates have first class honors or equivalent from a top 100 university as per AWRU, USNWR or other major ranking system (2.1 OK for Oxford/Cambridge). For non-UK students, an undergraduate GPA of 3.6 (US), 90 (China), 18(Iran), 8(India), 9.0 (Mexico) is required. In addition, an interview will be conducted to screen for academic aptitude.

Particularly relevant skills can include a background in Algorithms, Mathematical Analysis, Optimization, and all areas of Control. Candidates should have an undergraduate degree in Engineering, Mathematics, or a related discipline.

If eligible, apply for the position by sending a cv, undergraduate and graduate transcripts (if relevant) directly to Additionally, students must apply separately to the university online at


ASU, based in Tempe, AZ, is the largest research university (1) in the United States. ASU was ranked 2nd nationally(2) in the 2015 US News and World Report list of “up and coming” universities for making significant investments in academics and research. The graduate Aerospace Engineering Program at ASU was ranked 23rd (3) in US News and World Report for 2015. The Electrical Engineering Program is ranked 9th (4) in research by HERD in 2014. Overall, the graduate Engineering Program was ranked 42th nationally (5) by USNews and 51-75th globally (6) by ARWU in 2015.







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