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Human-Centered AI, Tenure Track Assistant Professor

Delft University of Technology - Faculty Industrial Design Engineering

Working hours: 32-40 hours weekly

Contract: Tenure Track (6 years)

The faculty of Industrial Design Engineering is the largest and broadest scientific design institute in the world, with over 2,000 students, more than 6,000 alumni and 300 staff (researchers and lecturers, including designers from industrial practice). The faculty aims to contribute to a better living environment and respond to social challenges by combining human values and desires with technological feasibility and economic viability. We are excellently placed to do so, as we ground design methods and skills in scientific knowledge from a wide range of disciplines, leading to concrete solutions.

The Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering consists of three departments: Industrial Design (ID), Design Engineering (DE), and Product Innovation Management (PIM). The Design Engineering Department is as a centre for system-oriented product development and innovation, taking into account the full value chain from conception, development, prototyping, manufacturing to sustainability. The aim of our work is to empower designers through breakthrough technology innovations and to contribute to the innovative capability and competitiveness of the creative industry sector.

  • The Design Engineering Department is organized around a strategy with three core research and education areas, Sustainability, Data & Intelligence and Fabrication, responding to three long-term industrial design trends:
  • A future where most products and services will be built around machine intelligence and will exhibit reactive or adaptive behaviours. This push is driven by advances in materials, micro-electric sensors and actuators, and artificial intelligence algorithms.
  • A future where more and more products and services will be sustainable by design and support a circular product lifecycle. This push is driven by advances in sustainable materials, fabrication processes and new business models.

A future were agile fabrication technologies such as 3D printing, additive manufacturing and robotic manufacturing will be widely used for fabrication of personalised products.

The long-term ambition of the department is to set up design strategies, methods and tools as well as a virtual and digital prototyping facilities that allow intelligent creative design solutions to be moved almost seamlessly from imagination to manufacturing, in a sustainable way.

Relationship to IDE and TU Delft: 

The candidate will join the Data and Intelligence group at the Department of Design Engineering led by Prof Gerd Kortuem and Prof Alessandro Bozzon, a growing research group comprising experts in Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things, Data Analytics, Crowd Computing, Human-Robot Collaboration and Design. The key mission of this group is to develop innovate methods for the design and engineering of next-generation intelligent products, services and system. The candidate is expected to contribute a human-centred perspective to existing expertise.

Beyond the Department of Design Engineering, opportunities exist to connect with AI-related research at TU Delft:

  • AITech: AITech is a mission-oriented science, design and engineering initiative with a focus on Meaningful Human Control Over Autonomous Intelligent Technology. The AID Chair will be expected to contribute to the AITech initiative in several ways: (1) contribute examples and case studies of AI-enabled products (2) contribute to research of meaningful human control and apply results to product case studies (3) incorporate knowledge generated by the AITech initiative into design education.
  • TU Delft Robotics Institute and 3ME Cognitive Robotics department: The TU Delft Robotics Institute addresses the challenge to get robots and humans to work together effectively in unstructured environments, and real settings. The AID Chair will focus on products which increasingly may include robotic features without being strictly classified as robots. The AID chairs Insights in design and development methods for AI-enabled products will be of high relevance for the Robotics Institute.
  • INSY Department and Interactive Intelligence Group (EWI): The Interactive Intelligence Group focuses on human-agent collaboration and develops theories, models and methods of interactive intelligence.
  • Institute of Advanced Metropolitan Solutions (AMS): AMS Institute is a research collaboration between the City of Amsterdam, Delft University of Technology and MIT with the aim of developing solutions for key urban challenges of the city of Amsterdam.       

Job description

This tenure track position focuses on design and engineering of Human-Centered AI Systems. Particular research topics of interest include:

  • Human-AI collaboration 
  • Human control of autonomous intelligent systems
  • Human and automated decision making
  • Human-centered machine learning
  • AI design and engineering methods
  • AI in domains such as healthcare
  • Responsible AI

The selected candidate is expected to establish a new line of research on the intersection of artificial intelligence, engineering and design. The successful candidate will have an outstanding research record and expertise in combining human-centered and technology-driven research. The research should investigate both theoretical aspects of the proposed research topic as well as its practical application in authentic real-world settings.

New tenure-track assistant professors are expected to develop an externally-funded research program of international distinction. Responsibilities include teaching bachelor and master level courses as part of the Industrial Design Engineering education, supervising bachelor, master and PhD students, and providing service to the department and university community. 

The tenure track should:

  • Strive towards scientific work that is rigorous in its methods and relevant in its results;
  • Work in line with the philosophy of the Industrial Design Faculty
  • Establish a network of scientific, commercial and societal partners
  • Combine science, design and engineering. 


Candidates should have demonstrated research and teaching potential in the area of human-centered Artificial intelligence, and have a strong interest in collaboration with researchers from other disciplines, and with industrial partners. Successful applicants will be expected to maintain an active research program, assume teaching responsibilities at the undergraduate and graduate levels, and serve the department and university in various capacities. Applicants must therefore demonstrate clear interest in and potential to achieve excellence in research, teaching, and service to the academic community.

Applicants are expected to have the following qualifications: 


  • PhD or doctoral degree.
  • Post-doctoral experience at a university or other research institution.
  • A track-record of excellent research and publications
  • Pedagogic and didactic skills
  • Administrative and organisational skills


  • Experience in university teaching.
  • Experience in raising research funds and managing scientific research projects.
  • Leadership skills
  • Gender sensitivity and social skills    

Conditions of employment

A tenure-track position is offered for six years. Based on performance indicators agreed upon at the start of the appointment, a decision will be made by the fifth year whether to offer you a permanent faculty position. For circumstances as having children or parental leave during the tenure track, it is possible to delay the definitive assessment and extend the Tenure Track appointment to a maximum of 8 years. The TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, a discount for health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged. Coming to Delft Service and Partner Career Advice can support with advice for you and your accompanying partner about your individual settling needs in the Netherlands. Once arrived you can be supported with individual consults and diverse workshops. Located on campus are the International Children’s Centre and an international primary school which are subject to availability as well as several bilingual schools in the nearby surrounding. Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities. The TU Delft sets specific standards for the English competency of the teaching staff. The TU Delft offers training to improve English competency. Inspiring, excellent education is our central aim. If you have less than five years of experience and do not yet have your teaching certificate, you get the chance to obtain this within three years. 

Information and application

For information about this vacancy, you can contact Gerd Kortuem, Professor, email:, tel: -015 27 82625.

To apply, please send a detailed CV including a publication list, at least three international references, a research statement, a vision on teaching, and a copy of five key publications along with a letter of application to Sara Bedin, When applying for this position please refer to the vacancy number ATIO 0783.    

The selection procedure and interviews will likely take place during the first 2 weeks of September 2019. 

Enquiries from agencies are not appreciated.

Location: Delft - Netherlands
Salary: €3,637 to €4,978
£3,234.75 to £4,427.44 converted salary* monthly (full-time basis).
Hours: Full Time
Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
Placed On: 11th June 2019
Expires: 11th August 2019
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* Salary has been converted at the prevailing rate on the date placed
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