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Free University of Bozen-Bolzano

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PhD in

Advanced-Systems Engineering

The purpose of this international PhD programme is to train a new generation of researchers able to carry out independent research in the areas of Advanced-Systems Engineering and give them the opportunity to transfer and exchange knowledge with national and international research centers and industries.

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The call is open unti 11 July 2024!

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This international PhD program trains a new generation of researchers who focus on Mechanical and Manufacturing Systems, Automation and Electronic Systems and Computer Systems to carry out independent research in the areas of Advanced-Systems Engineering and to give them the opportunity to transfer and exchange knowledge with national and international research centers and industries.

The three-year PhD programme focuses on the study and development of advanced and intelligent systems through an interdisciplinary approach that responds to recent technological developments (e.g., Cyber-Physical-Systems, Industry 4.0, Internet of Things) by integrating the disciplines of mechanical engineering, manufacturing engineering, information engineering and computer science. They are supported by specific skills in mathematics and artificial intelligence. 

PhD student projects pertain to the following research areas, which are actively pursued by research groups at unibz on a long-term basis, and are considered in the PhD on Advanced-Systems Engineering:

Mechanical-and-Manufacturing-Systems Engineering

  • Mechanical and Mechatronic Systems
  • Advanced Manufacturing Technologies
  • Mechanical Engineering Design and Optimization
  • Production Systems and Management
  • Smart Factory

Automation and-Electronic-Systems Engineering

  • Autonomous systems
  • Humanin-the-loop systems
  • Thinfilm devices and sensors
  • Flexible and wearable electronics, smart textiles
  • Micro and nano technology
  • Soft biocompatible sensor systems
  • Robotic Systems
  • Automatic Control
  • Intelligent Sensor/Actor Networks

Computer Systems Engineering

  • Systems of Systems
  • Complex Networks
  • Distributed Systems and Security
  • SelfAdaptive Software Systems
  • Development and Operation of IoT Systems
  • Operations Research

The main features of the PhD are an interdisciplinary scientific approach and the participation of internationally renowned scientists on the Scientific Committee.

At a Glance

Duration of the programme: 3 years
Courses will be taught in English
Places available: 14 with scholarship + 4 without scholarship
Campus: Bozen-Bolzano
Tuition fees: € 189 per year

Programme Structure

The PhD covers the research areas of Advanced-Systems Engineering and offers you a stimulating, multilingual environment with fellow researchers from a wide range of cultural and linguistic backgrounds. Upon acceptance into the programme, you will be required to design a research project and write a study plan in collaboration with your supervisor, including the purpose of your project and the steps necessary to implement it. You will conduct a thorough literature survey, which includes a summary and analysis of the state-of-the-art of your research topic. Occasionally, you will be required to update the study plan in consideration of the progression of your work and the latest developments in your research field.

Your stay for at least three (and up to twelve) months at a foreign research center is mandatory. You will be required to publish at least one article in an international peer-reviewed journal and present your results at least at one international conference. During the three-year program, you will also be required to regularly attend classes and seminars, specifically designed for PhD students.

The stages of the PhD

The PhD research activities are organized into five phases: 

  • Phase 1 (first 2 months): In collaboration with your supervisor, you shall identify your research topic and develop a study plan.
  • Phase 2 (2nd -6th month): After an exhaustive review of the literature concerning your subject area, you shall define your research programme based on the state of the art of your research topic.
  • Phase 3 (6th -12th month): you will start/continue your work applying the approach defined for your project.
  • Phase 4 (12th -24th month): you will continue your research, you will plan your stay abroad, and you will be expected to begin preparing the manuscript(s) for publication in peer-reviewed journals.
  • Phase 5 (24th-36th month): During the final stage you will complete your research project, the publication of your manuscript(s), and your dissertation.

Course Offering

Study abroad

During the three years of the PhD programme, you will be required to commit to your research project full-time. Your stay at a renowned foreign research center for at least 3 months (up to 12) is compulsory. This will be an opportunity to diversify your study experience, by conducting research in highly stimulating and competitive contexts, exchanging ideas with other researchers, and, thereby, networking with international colleagues.


PhD Programme Coordinator: Prof. Barbara Russo (photo)
Student Representative in the Lecturer's Committee: Moritz Mock


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Studying at unibz

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Study at unibz phd

Coming to unibz from Abroad

Application procedure, Visa, Residence permit and more

Application and Admission

You can find key information to apply and gain admission to this PhD Programme. For detailed information browse the general and specific calls below.

In order to gain admission to the PhD programme, you will need to have obtained 300 ECTS credit points (master degree) and have some relevant academic experience in the field of the programme. You will also have to demonstrate competence in the English language during the interview.

1st Call

Application deadline: by 11/07/2024 (by noon local time)
Admission interviews:  to be defined (via MS Teams)
Publication of ranking lists: by 05/08/2024

Confirmation of the PhD position - 1st Call

Applicants with scholarship: by 20/08/2024 at 12pm (local time);
Applicants without scholarship: starting from 21/08/2024 until 30/08/2024.
Enrolment: Starting from 21/08/2024 until 31/10/2024 (by noon local time)

1st Call

Publication of the call: from 10/06/2024
Application deadline: by 11/07/2024 (by noon local time)


Call - FSE+

Publication of the call: from 10/06/2024
Application deadline
: by 11/07/2024 (by noon local time)


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