Research Assistant / Associate (f/m/d)

ESR fellow within the Marie Sklodowska-Curie project xCTing



Benjamin Montavon


+49 2418020576



Chair for Production Metrology and Quality Management

Our Profile

RWTH Aachen University is one of the most renowned technical universities of Europe and has recently successfully renewed its position as German University of Excellence. The Laboratory for Machine Tools and Production Engineering WZL is among the largest and leading institutes in the domain of production technology. Within this framework, the Chair for Production Metrology and Quality Management held by Prof. Dr.-Ing. Robert H. Schmitt conducts research on data-driven approaches to sensing, automation, process control, quality management, sustainability and organisational development.
The research group Industrial Tomography and the team of WZL's measuring room within the department Model-based systems work on further innovation in industrial X-ray Computed Tomography (xCT) and its application in highly relevant industry sectors, e.g. battery production or additive manufacturing. The high extent of academic and industrial collaboration in this field over the recent years manifests the research group's expertise.

About the Project xCTing
First-time-right and zero-defect manufacturing of customized lot-size-one products are essential elements of the Industry 4.0 paradigm shift to reinforce Europe's global leadership in manufacturing. X-ray Computed Tomography (CT) metrology has a key role to play in this transition, since it is the only known technology that can certify nondestructively the quality of internal complex structures, such as those produced by additive manufacturing or found in assemblies.
However, CT largely remains an off-line technology, due to the unsolved trade-off between scan speed and scan quality, and the need for extensive expert user input. xCTing will therefore focus on significantly increasing autonomy, robustness and speed in CT metrology in order to support its transition towards a fully in-line quality assurance technology as required in Industry 4.0 environments. Meeting these challenges requires the integration of a broad range of interdisciplinary expertise, including physics, manufacturing, dimensional metrology, machine learning, as well as efficient and reliable big data analytics and visualization.
In order to achieve the envisaged innovation breakthrough in the European industry, Europe is in dire need of young innovators who can combine this variety of competences with entrepreneurial skills. The xCTing project is a pan-European industrial-academic initiative committed to provide the unique and encompassing training environment required to foster this new generation of innovation-minded research engineers, that will act as catalysts in the further transformation of Europe's manufacturing industry towards global technological leadership. The overall aim of the xCTing project is to train 15 young and promising researchers (ESRs) that will take the lead in conceiving the next generation of European Industry 4.0-ready CT technology. The xCTing consortium consists of 9 beneficiaries and 6 partner organisations.

xCTing is a European Marie Sklodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network, funded by the European Union within the Horizon 2020 framework.

Your Profile

We are looking for a research associate (f/m/d) joining our interdisciplinary and motivated team. Beside posssing excellent communication skills and a target-oriented, analytic working style, you should identify yourself within the following profile:

oYou have successfully completed an University Degree (Master or equivalent) in Computer Science, Physics, Mathematics, Mechanical Engineering or similar studies with above-average results
oYou possess programming skills in at least Python, C++ or CUDA
oPrior experience in data analysis and data visualisation is beneficial
oYou are affine to novel technologies and significantly interested in industrial metrology
oYou have a significant interest in computed tomography, industrial metrology and are open to interdisciplinary work
oProfound skills in written and oral English are required
oYou are willing to take responsibility for the success of the project right from the beginning

The mobility rules for Marie Skodowska-Curie projects apply. In most cases, applicants can be of any nationality but must not have resided or carried out his/her main activity (work, studies, etc.) in Germany for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to this recruitment. Moreover, the applicant must be an early stage researcher, i.e. be within the first four years of his/her research career and not have a doctoral degree. Please refer to the Guide for Applicants provided by the European Commission ( for full details and exceptions.

Your Duties and Responsibilities

Your involvement as ESR fellow will be focused on the sub-project «Autonomous adaption of CT acquisition parameters». The main objective is to develop a model to automatically optimize exposure parameters to reduce dimensional measurement uncertainty and increase defect detection probability. In function of dimensional measurement uncertainty, defect detection probability and region of interest, the model will determine the optimal combination of tube voltage, tube current, exposure time per projection, workpiece orientation for conventional CT scanning geometries, and then expand the work towards non-conventional fast and adaptive CT scanning geometries to fit in with the work performed by other researchers in the project. The initial model will be developed based on simulated data, and then validated in experimental conditions using calibrated work pieces. The expected result is a validated model to determine the optimal set of exposure parameters that can be applied to any given work piece, including for nonconventional CT acquisition geometries.
The research group has extensive prior experience with modelling CT acquisition parameters. Using state-of-the-art simulation and image processing techniques, it is considered feasible to not only include the full set of available exposure parameters (incl. the scanning geometry) in a single model, but to do this in a task- specific manner.
As an ESR fellow, you are expected to pursue a PhD within your focus project. Therefore this job offer includes a PhD opportunity. Moreover, within the framework of the xCTing project you will benefit from regular multi-competence training weeks fostering your personal and academic development. During the programme, two personal secondments at Volume Graphics and Fraunhofer IIS are planned.

During the addressing of the research objective outline above, your daily work will involve, among others, the following activities:
oExecution of measurement campaigns using on-site xCT equipment
oImplementation and documentation of advanced software solutions for xCT acquisition parameter optimization
oPresentation of research results in publications and presentations targeted at academic and industrial audiences
oSupervision of undergraduate students, e.g. for Bachelor and Master Theses
oProject management for the outlined sub-project
oParticipation in measures and events for knowledge exchange with academia and industry

What We Offer

The successful candidate will be employed under a regular employment contract.
The position is to be filled 01.09.2021 until scheduled as 3-year employment (until 31.08.2024)..
This is a full-time position.
The successful candidate has the opportunity to pursue a doctoral degree in this position.
The salary corresponds to pay grade EG 13 TV-L of the German public service salary scale (TV-L).
RWTH is a certified family-friendly University. We support our employees in maintaining a good work-life balance with a wide range of health, advising, and prevention services, for example university sports. We also offer a comprehensive continuing education scheme and a public transportation ticket available at a significantly reduced price.
RWTH is an equal opportunities employer. We therefore welcome and encourage applications from all suitably qualified candidates, particularly from groups that are underrepresented at the University. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment and will not be discriminated against on the basis of national or ethnic origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, disability or age. RWTH is strongly committed to encouraging women in their careers. Female applicants are given preference if they are equally suitable, competent, and professionally qualified, unless a fellow candidate is favored for a specific reason.
As RWTH is committed to equality of opportunity, we ask you not to include a photo in your application.
You can find information on the personal data we collect from applicants in accordance with Articles 13 and 14 of the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) at

Application deadline:31.03.2021
Mailing Address:Benjamin Montavon
Werkzeugmaschinenlabor WZL
RWTH Aachen
52056 Aachen
Applicants are invited to submit their applications via email. For data protection reasons, however, we recommend sending applications via mail.