Permanent employment
Den Haag
Doctorate/PhD (EQF 8), Master (EQF 7)
Apply before:
Hours p/wk:


Contribute to research on the underlying technology of unmanned systems. Envision it. Become a scientist of intelligent autonomous systems at TNO in The Hague.


Unmanned and autonomous systems have become a fixed part of our society. Drones, robots, self-propelled ships, smart factories, intelligent sensor networks, smart grids – the list goes on. TNO’s Intelligent Autonomous Systems (IAS) department conducts research into the technology underlying such systems. Using practical demonstrators and prototypes, we help our clients to develop new products and solve social issues. Our automation has enabled, for example, naval ships to sail with smaller crews or the swarm-like deployment of unmanned systems. Our more than forty professionals work closely with public authorities, industrial partners, and universities. 

What will be your role? 

As a medior scientist, you’ll make an important contribution to applied scientific research. Simultaneously working on multiple projects for different clients, your work will be very varied. You’ll work with colleagues from different TNO departments, with partners, and clients. By developing and deploying techniques from various fields – such as complex systems, planning and execution, trustworthy AI, and distributed sensing – you’ll bring the intelligent systems of the future one step closer to reality. 

You’ll immediately start working on different subjects across several projects. Depending on your options and ambitions, you can grow in various directions (e.g. as a project leader or a substantive expert). 

How do you want to contribute to tomorrow's world? How big can your impact be? Come and work at TNO and envision it. 


What we expect from you 

  • More than five years of experience in the design, development, implementation, and deployment of collaborative autonomous, unmanned systems. 
  • A scientific university degree (MSc or PhD) in an area such as mathematics (preferably AI), physics, or aviation and aerospace, with experience in planning, optimisation, reasoning and learning methods. 
  • Broad knowledge of systems engineering and the functional modelling of problems. 
  • Strong analytical and problem-solving skills. 
  • Demonstrable knowledge of and experience with mathematical modelling and the development of artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms for the automated planning and task execution of autonomous systems and optimisation techniques. 
  • Collaboration in multidisciplinary teams. 
  • Affinity with programming and software engineering, knowledge of programming languages (e.g. Python, Java, or C++), and the ability to quickly learn new programming languages. 
  • Good written and oral communication skills. 
  • Affinity with Defence applications of UXVs for ground, air, surface, or undersea operations. 


What you’ll get in return 

Challenging and varied work with a real impact. And plenty of opportunities as, at TNO, you are in charge of shaping your career. We offer a gross monthly salary between € 3.800,- and € 5.400,- (based on your knowledge and experience), 8% holiday pay, a 13th month bonus of 8.33% and a flex budget (5.58% + € 180). In addition, you will be given every opportunity to develop yourself. 

TNO offers optional employee benefits, enabling you to tailor your benefits package to match your personal situation. You may also expect: 

  • An extremely professional, innovative working environment where colleagues are leading experts in their field. 
  • The opportunity to attend courses, workshops and conferences, and to receive training and coaching based on your needs. 
  • 33 days annual leave on a full-time basis. 
  • An employer that values and encourages diverse talent, with initiatives like the Female Leadership Program, our Rainbow Community and round tables on inclusion topics. 
  • Travel allowance. 
  • Great social events with your team and others. That’s how you will get to know a lot of people really quickly. 
  • Flexible working hours and the possibility of working from home. 
  • A good pension scheme. 


TNO as an employer 

At TNO, we innovate for a healthier, safer and more sustainable life. And for a strong economy. Since 1932, we have been making knowledge and technology available for the common good. We find each other in wonder and ingenuity. We are driven to push boundaries. There is all the space and support for your talent and ambition. You work with people who will challenge you: who inspire you and want to learn from you. Our state-of-the-art facilities are there to realize your vision. What you do at TNO matters: impact makes the difference. Because with every innovation you contribute to tomorrow’s world.

At TNO we encourage an inclusive work environment, where you can be yourself. Whatever your story and whatever unique qualities you bring to the table. It is by combining our unique strengths and perspectives that we are able to develop innovations that make a real difference in society. 


The selection process 

Please apply before the 21st of May, 2022. The selection process comprises two interview rounds. The preliminary interview takes place on the 25th of May, 2022. In a final meeting we will discuss the terms of employment and your tailored benefits package. We aim to finalize the entire process within four weeks. 

The selection process may include an online assessment and a reference check. 

As you will be working for clients in the domain of defence and security, a Certificate of No Objection issued by AIVD (The Dutch General Information and Security Service) is mandatory. This means you will have to undergo a security screening. 


Has this job opening sparked your interest? 

Then we’d like to hear from you! Please contact us for more information about the job or the selection process. To apply, please upload your CV and covering letter using the ‘apply now’ button.