ESR-2: PhD at the University of Groningen, The Netherlands


Adaptive random non-linear mappings for neural computing in ferroelastic films


Prof. dr. Lambert Schomaker

Non-academic supervisor:

Ir. Roeland Huijink (SmartTip B.V., The Netherlands)

Adaptive random non-linear mappings for neural computing in ferroelastic films

This project will focus on the construction of computational models that allow exploiting the properties of oxide films with nanoscale conduction paths that resemble basic neural networks. Local variability of conduction patterns in oxide films offer functional potential. The ESR will describe the pattern capacity for a proposed basic input/output architecture (grid), yielding theoretical predictions of scalability. Machine learning will be used to determine the relation between the measured conductivity maps and the actual connectivity between given leads. The main part of the research will be performed at the Bernoulli Institute for Mathematics, Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence, University of Groningen. Additionally, the ESR will spend the secondments at the University of Bielefeld, Germany to design a neural circuit (1 month) and at IBM Research – Zurich, Switzerland to acquire industrial experience and the right tools for the needed simulations (1 month).

The University of Groningen is the second oldest in the Netherlands. With its 6500 employees, it houses ~30000 students (incl. 3750 international students) and 1500 PhD students, 48% of whom are international. It belongs to the top 100 research universities in the world and is a member of the distinguished international Coimbra Group of European universities. The University of Groningen is in the top 3 of European research universities in the fields of Material Sciences and Chemistry.

The Bernoulli Institute focused on modeling, computation, and cognition with a focus on science and technology, keeping a balanced mix of fundamental and applied aspects. It plays a leading role in the cross-disciplinary research theme on Data Science and Systems Complexity (DSSC) of the Faculty. The research within MANIC belongs to the research initiative CogniGron (Groningen Cognitive Systems and Materials center), that joints the expertise from the Bernoulli Institute and that of the Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials. A holistic approach that coordinates efforts in materials science, physics, mathematics, computer science and artificial intelligence to develop materials and systems that can learn, towards a future cognitive computer.

Additional information for applicants

  • We look for a candidate with a master/bachelor degree in Artificial Intelligence.
  • Local application requirements apply. Please visit the RUG website for more information.


For more details on the project, contact