ENAC – PhD position in human-machine interaction for remote sensing in the Alps

As a PhD student, you will investigate the potential of human-machine interaction in remote sensing. In particular, you will study the potential of systems based on visual question answering (VQA) for information retrieval from satellite images. The system researched would allow anyone (from laymen to experts) to query remote sensing images in search of relevant information, by asking questions in English about spatio / temporal varying topics of interest. Possibility of including data from multiple sources (historical maps, social media) will also be at the core of the research.

The system will be tested in a series of monitoring tasks in Alpine environments, in particular towards aspects related to quantification and detection of changes in natural environments, tourism attractivity and/or yield prediction. It will lead to a demonstrator 

Main duties and responsibilities:

  • Perform data acquisition of large amounts of satellite data over the Swiss Alps.
  • Create a database of spatio/temporal image-question-answer triplets.
  • Develop machine learning-based methodologies to analyze the data and create a demonstrator of the potential of spatio/temporal remote sensing VQA.
  • Test alternative solutions, in particular to improve the language model.
  • Write publications.
  • Attend international conferences.
  • Participate to education of the ENAC

Your profile:

  • You have a Master in environmental engineering or computer science.
  • You have experience with remote sensing, machine learning and computer vision.
  • You are proficient in Python coding.
  • You are fluent in English.
  • You are motivated, curious and willing to work in a highly dynamic team.

We offer:

  • An opportunity to develop a scientific career in an exciting area of science.
  • A unique opportunity to learn high-end techniques and approaches.
  • Excellent educational conditions and competitive remuneration.
  • A multi-cultural and stimulating scientific environment, in the new EPFL-Valais campus in Sion.
  • Start date: September 1st, 2020.  More information on PhD studies at EPFL can be found here.

Application procedure: If you are interested in this position, please submit your motivation letter, CV, contact details of three referees and all university records as a single pdf-file to Prof. Devis Tuia ([email protected]). The position is open until filed.