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PhD position at UWF-IHMC, Human Performance and Robotics


Various Ph.D. positions in UWF-IHMC: Autonomous Maneuver, Perception, Dynamic Planning and Controls, Mechanical Design

The University of West Florida (UWF) and the Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition (IHMC) invite applications for a Ph.D. position at the Department of Intelligent Systems and Robotics (ISR). We are looking for candidates for a variety of research areas, including:

  • Autonomous navigation in complex and unstructured terrain, advanced perception, and simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM) (please contact hsevil at with questions)
  • Dynamic control of bipedal and quadrupedal robots, working with NASA Valkyrie, DRC Atlas, MIT MiniCheetah, and Boardwalk Robotics Nadia.
  • Control of exoskeletons for able-bodied and paraplegic assistance
  • High speed planning through dynamic environments
  • Whole-body planning and manipulation
  • Design of articulated robots such as bipeds, quadrupeds, and exoskeletons

Accepted students will have access to IHMC's research facilities and staff, as well as access to a number of different robotic platforms, including the DRC-era Atlas, NASA Valkyrie, MIT MiniCheetah, Boardwalk Robotics Nadia, and a number of UAV systems.

The ideal candidate should have a strong academic background with a Bachelor's degree in engineering/computer science/mathematics, or a relevant discipline (Master's degree is preferred). Other desirable skills are:

  • experience with Robot Operation System (ROS)
  • Strong programming skills (Java/C++/Python).
  • Strong analytical skills and ability to work on interdisciplinary research domains.
  • Experience in the following areas is a plus: Unmanned Ground Vehicles (UGVs), Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), perception, localization, path/motion planning, SLAM.

Details of the ISR Ph.D. program including the application procedures can be found at:


About UWF: UWF, established in 1963, is a public university in the State University System of Florida. UWF has more than 70 undergraduate degree programs, 36 graduate and specialist degree programs. UWF is a comprehensive research university without faculties of law or medicine, with the third largest campus area in the State University System.

About IHMC: IHMC is one of the nation's premier research institutes with multiple university and industry affiliations and more than 100 researchers and staff investigating a broad range of topics related to understanding cognition in both humans and machines. At IHMC, particular emphasis is placed on multidisciplinary approaches to building computational tools to leverage and amplify human's cognitive, physical and perceptual capabilities.

About ISR Program: ISR Ph.D. program brings together the strengths of UWF engineering and computer science programs and the expertise of the world-class research center, IHMC. The program will train the next generation of researchers who will develop technologies combining human and machine elements through hands-on and leading-edge research. This dynamic partnership between UWF and IHMC allows students to tap into the expertise of a world class research center to make their mark in the field.

Please reach out to rgriffin at if you have questions.

Company Description

The Institute for Human & Machine Cognition (IHMC) pioneers technologies aimed at leveraging and extending human capabilities. 

IHMC is a not-for-profit research institute of the Florida University System and is affiliated with several Florida universities.

Researchers at IHMC pioneer technologies aimed at leveraging and extending human capabilities. Our human-centered approach often results in systems that can be regarded as cognitive, physical, or perceptual orthoses, much as eyeglasses are a kind of ocular orthoses. These systems fit the human and machine components together in ways that exploit their respective strengths and mitigate their respective weaknesses. The design and fit of technological orthoses and prostheses requires a broader interdisciplinary range than is typically found in one organization, thus IHMC staff includes computer scientists, cognitive psychologists, neuroscientists, linguists, physicians, philosophers, engineers and social scientists of various stripes, as well as some people who resist all attempts to classify them.

Current active research areas include: artificial intelligence, cognitive science, knowledge modeling and sharing, human interactions with autonomy, humanoid robotics, exoskeletons, advanced interfaces and displays, cybersecurity, communication and collaboration, linguistics and natural language processing, computer-mediated learning systems, intelligent data understanding, software agents, expertise studies, work practice simulation, knowledge representation, big data and machine learning, as well as other related areas.

IHMC faculty and staff collaborate extensively with industry and government to develop science and technology that can be enabling with respect to society’s broader goals. IHMC researchers receive funding from a wide range of government and private sources. IHMC research partners have included: DARPA, NSF, NASA, Army, Navy, Air Force, NIH, IARPA, DOT, IDEO, Raytheon, IBM, Microsoft, Rockwell Collins, Boeing, Lockheed, and SAIC, among others.

Opportunity Details