City:  Karlsruhe
Date:  Mar 23, 2024

PhD Student for Information Representation and Management of Product Instances

The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft ( currently operates 76 institutes and research institutions throughout Germany and is the world’s leading applied research organization. Around 30 800 employees work with an annual research budget of 3.0 billion euros. 

We offer a full-time position for a doctoral researcher/PhD student for the DFG Collaborative Research Center SFB 1574 - Circular Factory concerning the subproject Information Representation and Management of Product Instances (beginning 01.04.2024)


For each individual physical object instance (objects can be parts, assemblies or complete products) within the Circular Factory, it is necessary to describe all its quality relevant attributes together with uncertainties and mutual dependencies. For this purpose, parametrized probability distribution models with universal approximation capabilities are to be used, e.g. Gaussian Mixture Models. To cover different sources and causes of uncertainty, probability is consistently interpreted as a Degree of Belief (DoB), the interpretation also adopted in Bayesian statistics and in the ISO/IEC Guide to the expression of uncertainty in measurement (GUM). The radical approach is to use DoB-distributions as a canonical format to uniformly represent every attribute.

For each object instance, all pertaining attributes are organized in a suitable data structure that is managed by an individual SW-agent, which provides the dynamic, operative integration of an object instance into the control system of the circular factory.


What you will do

In this context, the following initial research questions are to be pursued and answered:

  • How can different kinds of data, information and knowledge about attributes be consistently transformed into DoB-distributions? Can this be accomplished by transforming available data, information and knowledge into constraints with respect to which DoB-distributions with maximum entropy are calculated? How can information loss and bias be minimized in this transformation process?
  • What is an appropriate information model for object instances with attributes in DoB-format? How can such an information model be managed by an associated SW-agent which cares for all object-relevant tasks like: communication, information transformation, information fusion, lifetime management of an instance, etc.


What you bring to the table

  • A master's degree or university diploma in one of the following or related fields: computer science, engineering, physics, mathematics or other disciplines
  • Good analytical and conceptual skill are your key strengths
  • You are a team player and a strong communicator
  • The ambition to familiarize yourself with new topics
  • Your language skills in German and English are very good 


What you can expect

  • Motivated colleagues mutually inspired by the interdisciplinary and international environment of Fraunhofer IOSB and KIT
  • Excellent technical equipment
  • Close cooperation with renowned industry and research partners
  • Freedom to take responsibility and to implement your own ideas
  • A fixed term employment contract for two years with an option for a prolongation by another two years


The weekly working time is 39 hours. This position is also available on a part-time basis. We value and promote the diversity of our employees' skills and therefore welcome all applications - regardless of age, gender, nationality, ethnic and social origin, religion, ideology, disability, sexual orientation and identity. Severely disabled persons are given preference in the event of equal suitability. 

With its focus on developing key technologies that are vital for the future and enabling the commercial utilization of this work by business and industry, Fraunhofer plays a central role in the innovation process. As a pioneer and catalyst for groundbreaking developments and scientific excellence, Fraunhofer helps shape society now and in the future. 

Interested? Apply online now. We are looking forward to getting to know you!

If you have any questions about this position, please contact:

Prof. Dr.- Ing. habil. Jürgen Beyerer


Fraunhofer Institute of Optronics, System Technologies and Image Exploitation IOSB 


Requisition Number: 71534                Application Deadline:


Job Segment: Computer Science, Physics, Developer, Intern, Technology, Science, Research, Entry Level