Fraunhofer IDMT, Oldenburg

Location: Oldenburg, Germany

PHD POSITION – AUDIO SIGNAL ENHANCEMENT

Fraunhofer is Europe’s largest application-oriented research organization. Our research efforts are geared entirely to people’s needs: health, security, communication, energy and the environment. As a result, the work undertaken by our researchers and developers has a significant impact on people’s lives. We are creative. We shape technology. We design products. We improve methods and techniques. We open up new vistas.

The objective of the Division “Hearing, Speech and Audio Technology HSA” of the Fraunhofer Institute for Digital Media Technology IDMT in Oldenburg is to translate scientific findings related to hearing perception and man-machine interaction into technological applications. Its research and development priorities are the enhancement of sound quality and speech intelligibility, personalized audio reproduction, automatic speech recognition and acoustic event detection with the help of artificial intelligence. A further focus is the use of mobile neurotechnology, which specifically facilitates the recording of brain activity and utilization of the resulting data outside the laboratory.

Application fields include consumer electronics, the automotive sector, industrial production, security, telecommunications and healthcare. Through scientific partnerships, Fraunhofer IDMT-HSA has close links with the Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg, Jade University of applied Sciences and other institutions engaged in hearing research in Oldenburg. Fraunhofer IDMT-HSA is a partner in the Cluster of Excellence >Hearing4all<.

The Division Hearing, Speech and Audio Technology HSA is funded in the program >Vorab< by the Lower Saxony Ministry of Science and Culture (MWK) and the Volkswagen Foundation for its further development.

The group “Audio Signal Enhancement (ASE)” focuses on single and multichannel based enhancement of disturbed audio signals (e.g. speech), separation of targeted sounds, automatic speaker recognition and acoustic analysis of dangerous situations.

At Fraunhofer IDMT, one fully funded Marie Skłodowska-Curie PhD position in the field of audio signal enhancement is under the supervision of Prof. Jörg Bitzer / Simon Doclo. The position will become available from April 1st, 2021, or as soon as possible thereafter.

The PhD Student employed at Fraunhofer IDMT will be fully embedded in the SOUNDS research and training network and will carry out theoretical and applied research in the interdisciplinary fields of signal processing, audio processing, communication networks and machine learning.

The topics of the position relate to the following fields:

–  Sound source localization
–  Sound source detection and separation
–  Development of machine learning / deep learning based algorithms for acoustic signal processing
–  Realtime implementation (low delay processing)

THE “SOUNDS” PROJECT

The SOUNDS European Training Network (ETN) revolves around a new and promising paradigm coined as Service-Oriented, Ubiquitous, Network-Driven Sound. Inspired by the ubiquity of mobile and wearable devices capable of capturing, processing, and reproducing sound, the SOUNDS ETN aims to bring audio technology to a new level by exploiting network-enabled cooperation between devices. We envision the next generation of audio devices to be capable of providing enhanced hearing assistance, creating immersive audio experience, enabling advanced voice control and much more, by seamlessly exchanging signals and parameter settings, and spatially analyzing and reproducing sound jointly with other nearby audio devices and infrastructure. Moreover, such functionality should be self-organizing, flexible, and scalable, requiring minimal user interaction for adapting to changes in the environment or network. It is anticipated that this paradigm will eventually result in an entirely new way of designing and using audio technology, by considering audio as a service enabled through shared infrastructure, rather than as a device-specific functionality limited by the capabilities and constraints of a single user device.

To attain this paradigm shift in audio technology not only requires additional research but also calls for a new generation of qualified researchers with a transdisciplinary and international scientific profile, strong collaborative research and research management skills, and the intersectoral expertise needed to carry research results from academia to industry. It is believed that the SOUNDS ETN will offer the best possible framework for achieving these goals, by organizing advanced interdisciplinary research training, developing solid transferable skills, and providing intersectoral and international experience in a network of qualified and complementary industrial and academic institutions.

The SOUNDS ETN strongly values research integrity, actively supports open access and reproducible research, and strives for diversity and gender balance in its entire research and training program. The SOUNDS ETN adheres to The European Charter for Researchers and The Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers.

What we expect from you

–  scientific University degree in Signal Processing, Informatics, Computer Science or equivalent
–  knowledge about audio signal processing (single- and multi-channel)
–  knowledge about machine learning and state-of-the-art frameworks (PyTorch, TensorFlow, etc.)
–  programming skills in Python, C/C++, MATLAB
–  Excellent proficiency in English is required, as well as good communication skills, both oral and written.
–  Fullfilment of the MSCA Early Stage admission requirements:
– Researchers must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in Germany more than 12 months in the 3 years   immediately before the recruitment date. Compulsory national service, short stays such as holidays, and time spent as part of a procedure for
obtaining refugee status under the Geneva Convention are not taken into account.
–  Researchers must have less than 4 years of FTE researcher experience since their graduation and should not yet have a PhD.
–  working independently
–  team ability
–  problem solving ability

What you can expect from us

–  An interesting task area at the junction of science and application
–  Excellent technical infrastructure
–  Flat hierarchies, a loyal work environment in a committed international team
–  Room for creativity
– Very good work-life-balance and family friendly arrangements (e.g. flexible working hours and a “parent-child office”)

The working time consists of 39 hours per week

The position is limited to 3 years.

In case of identical qualifications preference will be given to severely disabled candidates.

We would like to point out that the chosen job title also includes the third gender.

The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft emphasizes gender-independent professional equality.

Please submit your online application until March 10, 2021:

https://recruiting.fraunhofer.de/Vacancies/56144/Description/2

For questions about this position, please get in contact to:

Femke Grotelüschen

www.idmt.fraunhofer.de

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