Postdoc Position University of Twente: Soft Actuation and Sensing

Do you have the talent we are looking for?
Do you want to improve yourself and make a scientific and societal impact?

We are seeking for a postdoc in the area of Soft Robotics. Is that you?

In 2018, the 4TU.Federation has started research programs within the theme ‘High Tech for a Sustainable Future’. With this she gives a strong impetus to research into sus­tain­able technology. The Netherlands’ four universities of technology (TU Delft, TU Eind­hoven, University of Twente and Wageningen University) are making a significant impact on social challenges in the long term. Within the programs, the four technical universities work closely together.

Robots that will daily operate in human environments, will need a ‘soft touch’. The robots we know from industrial production, are extremely precise and fast, but very rigid as well. For physical and safe contact with people, or for handling vulnerable food products, they don’t perform well. The ‘4TU Soft Robotics’ program chooses a nature-inspired approach: the grip of a tree frog and the flexible arm of a cuttlefish. For this, knowledge of biology, fully new control systems and innovative robot design strategies go hand in hand. The partners of the technical universities strengthen each other in this.


Robotics is a booming field of research, with the potential to transform our society. Soft robotics is a very young and promising field, and offers an exciting, radically different approach to operate safely and reliable in human-inhabited environments. Our ambition is to take the lead in realising the next generation of soft robotic systems through the integrated design of affordable flexible hardware, power-efficient lightweight actuators, and efficient and intuitive control. Inspired by biology, new transduction principles and geometries will be explored, characterised by flexible geometries of materials with imperfect and anisotropic properties. Our vision embraces integrated design of soft robots, including desirable mechanical properties, embedded sensing and actuation, modelling and control. From this vision many scientific challenges arise in the areas of statics, dynamics and materials and transducers science for which you will take the lead in progressing these fields.

You will be embedded in a thriving national program that has been established to advance the emerging field of Soft robotics. You will be working in a team of top scientists and you will have the opportunity to carry out excellent research, set up and contribute to educational programs and work on concrete solutions within our broad network of partners in policy and practice. We foster interdisciplinary collaboration between the six tenure trackers and the six postdoc positions to be appointed within this 4TU Soft Robotics program, and associated scientific staff, and public and private partners. It offers prospective candidates excellent opportunities to extend their networks with academic and societal partners.



You have a PhD in (soft)robotics, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, physics, general engineering or in any other topic related to the program core domains.

You have an excellent publication record covering at least one of the following areas: (soft)robotics, material science, additive manufacturing or sensors and actuators.

You are a good collaborator who is able to combine and extend current knowledge and know-how to the departmental domains. You will be in the intersection of joint research between the Robotics and Mechatronics department (Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science faculty) and the Biomechanical Engineering department (Engineering Technology faculty) of the University of Twente. You need an excellent command of English (level C1 or higher, or comparable, see this table).

Information and application

For more information please contact Prof. dr. ir. Gijs Krijnen with the subject “Postdoc position 4TU SoftRobotics” and check the websites and

Please upload your application, including the following documents as a *single* PDF file named “Application Soft Robotics: Postdoc Soft Actuation and Sensing” through the button below.

  • A cover letter carefully describing research interests and goals
  • CV (including contact information for at least two academic references)
  • Transcripts from your Bachelors, Masters and PhD degrees
  • Transcripts of your language certificates
  • A link to your personal website or multimedia portfolio highlighting your work in soft robotics is encouraged.

Applications should be uploaded via A selection assessment can be part of the procedure. The deadline for application is October 1st, 2020. 


We offer a challenging postdoc position for 1.0 fte, duration contract 24 months (other construction negotiable). A trial period of 1 year is customary. Working hours are 40 hours a week and salary may range from € 3353 to € 4402 gross monthly (on full-time basis) depending on your experience.

The University of Twente offers an attractive benefits package, including a flexible workweek and the option of assembling a customized compensation and benefits package (the ‘IKA’). Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities.


The University of Twente. We stand for life sciences and technology. High tech and human touch. Education and research that matter. New technology which leads change, innovation and progress in society. The University of Twente is the only campus university of the Netherlands; divided over five faculties we provide more than fifty educational programmes. We have a strong focus on personal development and talented researchers are given scope for carrying out groundbreaking research.

We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our company. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, colour, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status or disability status. Because of our diversity values we do particularly support women to apply.