Wallenberg Autonomous Systems Program (WASP) is Sweden's largest individual research program ever, and provides a platform for academic research and education, fostering interaction with Sweden's leading technology companies. The program addresses research on autonomous systems acting in collaboration with humans, adapting to their environment through sensors, information and knowledge, and forming intelligent systems-of-systems. Software is the main enabler in autonomous systems, and is an integrated research theme of the program. WASP's key values are research excellence and industrial relevance.
The goal of the WASP National Graduate School is to educate PhDs with skills in strategically important disciplines of this program, together with a broad knowledge of autonomous systems and software development. A major motivation for the graduate school is to provide Swedish industry with highly trained specialists in the area. The graduate school should also provide active researchers and engineers with state-of-the-art knowledge in the area by leveraging modern education technologies.
The graduate school will provide added value on top of the existing PhD programs at the partner universities providing unique opportunities and pushing the good students to become great.
Two especially important core courses that will be developed are Autonomous systems and Software development for autonomous systems. These core courses will be designed in close cooperation with leading researchers to outline the scope of the WASP program for the students. This will create a common frame of reference for the PhD students and also help create a sense of belonging among them.
Besides the core courses and the traditional disciplinary courses the curriculum will include WASP-specific project courses to support the creation of new interdisciplinary research projects and to create a meeting point between different research areas. In these courses groups, with members from different departments, sites, and research areas, will perform application-oriented and interdisciplinary projects. It is an explicit objective to promote projects that are connected to research laboratories or demonstrators in WASP.
A fourth type of course is the multi-perspective course, which is a small course or workshop that illustrates important topics from different aspects and theoretical viewpoints. Two examples could be Planning and optimal control and System identification and machine learning. These courses are a means for researchers from related areas to jointly explore a topic to find new synergies and to show students, researchers and engineers how the areas are related and potentially can be integrated.
The courses within the school will be adapted to the needs of the participants. The target participants for the courses are industrial and university-based PhD students, postdoc and senior researchers, as well as engineers from industry. The wide range of participants requires a flexible course format that can be tailored to the individual needs, such as intensive courses with a few days of lectures and seminars, and blended learning combining online material with face-to-face meetings.
The WASP National Graduate School will also actively support forming a strong international academic network by an ambitious program for research visits, partner universities, and visiting lecturers. A yearly conference with top-level invited speakers where PhD students present their work will provide further opportunities for networking and feedback.
The expected result is that the graduate school will establish a strong multi-disciplinary and international professional network between PhD-students, researchers and industries, and help creating new research collaborations, both within academia and with industry.
WASP is now (October 30) offering up to 26 graduate positions at the five partner universities: