Postdoc position (m/f/div)

in Materials for Small-Scale Robotics at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems

A new research group at the MPI-IS in Stuttgart led by Dr. Florian Hartmann is looking for one Postdoctoral researcher, starting from March 1st, 2024. We are interested in sustainable technologies that can biodegrade after use and in building autonomous robotic systems inspired by nature’s diversity. To this end, we will combine materials innovation with robotic technologies to engineer functional material systems that address societal challenges in healthcare, resource availability, and climate change. A core mission of the lab is to develop high-performance actuators and sensors for centimeter-scale robots.

The positions will be broadly in the area of advanced manufacturing of miniature systems and soft robotics. Some research directions that we are interested in exploring within this domain are:

  1. Sustainable materials and technologies – Material-driven solutions for biodegradable electronics and robotics
  2. Soft robotic systems – Small-scale transducers and integrated systems capable of locomotion
    1. Multi-material additive manufacturing – Engineering-driven approaches for multi-material systems via additive manufacturing

        The specific directions of the individual position will be determined jointly with the candidate and will be in part based on the expertise and interests of the candidate. One candidate will not be working on all the research directions listed above.

        The Max-Planck Society is committed to increasing the number of individuals with disabilities in its workforce and therefore encourages applications from such qualified individuals. The Max Planck Society strives for gender equality and diversity. Furthermore, the Max Planck Society seeks to increase the number of women in those areas where they are underrepresented and therefore explicitly encourages women to apply.

        Candidate Profile:

        • Doctoral degree in mechanical engineering, materials science, mechatronics, physics, or a related field
        • Experience in preparing research articles
        • Experience with advanced manufacturing methods (microfabrication, screen printing, inkjet printing) is an advantage
        • Experience with polymers, fluidics, or bio-materials is an advantage
        • Excellent communication skills in English (written and spoken)
        • Interest in materials development, additive manufacturing, and building prototypes
        • Interest in interdisciplinary research
        • Interest in outfitting a new research lab

        We offer:

        • An international, multidisciplinary, and highly motivating working environment
        • Extensive mentoring, supervision, and career planning opportunities
        • Collaborations with world-leading research groups at MPI-IS and beyond
        • Network opportunities through conferences, seminars, and research visits
        • Competitive salaries and fully funded positions
        • Financial contribution to the job ticket (ÖPNV)
          • Possibility of mobile working

            The postdoc receives a fixed-term employment contract and remuneration according to pay group 13 of the collective agreement for the public service (TVöD-Bund).

            Expected start dates and durations:

            The preferred start date will be March 1st, 2024.The position is fully funded and for a maximum of 5 years.

            Your application:

            Applications should include a curriculum vitae, a full list of publications (please highlight the 3 most important ones) a cover letter (no more than one page), and contact information for 2-3 references. We encourage you to use the cover letter to tell us which research direction you are interested in, why you are interested in it, and how your prior experiences (research and others) have prepared you for it. Please include a paragraph on how you envision your career development.

              Review of applications will start in December 2023. The application deadline is January 21st, 2024. Applications that do not receive a response by February 1st, 2024 are no further considered.

              For further information about the position, please contact Dr. Florian Hartmann (

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