positions available

Positions in The Robotics and Mechatronics Laboratory (RML)


Ph.D. Positions in Robotics at Virginia Tech Robotics and Mechatronics Laboratory, Blacksburg, VA


Funded Ph.D. positions (Research Assistantships) are available in the Robotics and Mechatronics Laboratory (RML) in the Mechanical Engineering Department at Virginia Tech. High priority will be given to highly qualified candidates who are available to start as early as Spring (January) 2016; however, applicants should also apply to start in the Fall (August) 2016 semester. The ideal candidate will have a profound interest in both fundamental and applied research in Robotics and Mechatronics.


Sample research topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Autonomous mobile robots with symbiosis of mobility and manipulation and modular & reconfigurable mobile robotics for search & rescue and hazardous environment sensing
  • Design of intelligent biomimetic robotic tails for robust dynamic stabilization and agile maneuvering of legged robots on rough terrain
  • Development and testing of co-operative scalable field robots for casualty extraction and evacuation in hazardous environments
  • Haptics devices and upper-extremity exoskeletons for robot control and rehabilitation therapy
  • Autonomous unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) launch and recovery from naval vessels, and wireless telemetry systems for remote sensing and monitoring in naval applications

Required Qualifications: B.S. and M.S. in mechanical, electrical, computer engineering or computer science; a burning desire to conduct both theoretical and experimental work; highly self-motivated and persistent; strong critical and analytical thinking skills; very high attention to details.


Preferred Qualifications: peer-reviewed conference and journal publications; strong technical writing, strong communication and presentation skills; highly proficient in the following:
(1) Mechanical and electrical (mechatronics) system design, manufacturing and implementation/ prototyping
(2) Programming in Matlab/Simulink and/or C/C++ for data acquisition or real-time feedback control
(3) Experiments design, data collection, processing and analysis


The successful applicant will join a vibrant team of students working in the VT Robotics & Mechatronics Lab. This is an exciting time to join because VT is going through a substantial growth in the area of robotics and autonomous systems, among others. 


Interested students should follow the application guidelines and stipulated deadlines for the Graduate School at Virginia Tech (http://www.me.vt.edu/academic-programs/graduate-program/graduate-application-information), and explicitly indicate in their statement of purpose that they are interested in working with Dr. Pinhas Ben-Tzvi. Application deadlines can be found here http://graduateschool.vt.edu/applying/deadlines


An early start in January 2016 is preferred for exceptional applicants who submit their application ASAP, but applications for fall 2016 will also be considered. Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact Prof. Ben-Tzvi as soon as possible at bentzvi@vt.edu when submitting a formal application.


Emailing Instructions:
Email Subject: PhD Application; Email to bentzvi@vt.edu

In your email, please state the specific area you are interested in. Please include the following attachments to your email:
• CV (curriculum vitae) / Resume
• Undergraduate and graduate institutions and GPA (include unofficial transcripts)
• Major courses taken
• List of peer-reviewed publications, if available


You can find out more about the Robotics and Mechatronics Research Laboratory at
here: www.rmlab.org


Pinhas Ben-Tzvi, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Director, VT Robotics and Mechatronics Laboratory
Mechanical Engineering Department
Virginia Tech
Goodwin Hall, Room 465
635 Prices Fork Road (0238), Blacksburg, VA 24061
Office: (540) 231-6938
Email: bentzvi@vt.edu
Web: www.RMLab.org



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