The National Ph.D. Program in Autonomous Systems
One of the enabling technologies of the digital transition is Autonomous Systems (AS), which are systems capable of automatically achieving a given goal without the intervention of a human operator. They are able to collect information about the environment in which they operate, process data from multiple sources, and determine and plan actions to be taken to optimize performance, ensuring the safety of people and the proper functioning of devices.
Autonomous systems enable sustainable problem-solving in extremely diverse application fields, such as manufacturing processes, automotive, aerospace, defense, road and rail mobility, smart cities, home automation, energy networks, water networks, environmental monitoring, smart agriculture, logistics, telecommunications, biomedicine, green transition, etc. There is no doubt that they will assume a crucial role in society: large multinational companies such as Microsoft and ABB have recently launched innovation projects focused precisely on autonomous systems.
The development of Autonomous Systems is thus one of the great challenges that Information Engineering and in particular Systems Engineering has already taken up, to which the latter provides answers by integrating various innovative technologies for monitoring, decision-making, control, intelligent systems development, big data analysis, learning-based optimization, diagnosis, and securing large-scale, distributed, networked systems. The systems approach is based on an overview that, partly on the basis of data, identifies and learns complex models that are used for automatic and optimal process management, prediction, and control.
The DAUSY National Ph.D. Program
The Doctoral program in AUtonomous SYstems (DAUSY) aims at providing a rigorous research training and preparing students to become versatile and knowledgeable professionals, with the broad fields of automation engineering as a major focus, together with connections to theoretical and applied mechanics, optimization, communication, information theory, machine learning, computing, mathematics, and signal processing.
Ph.D. graduates will conduct high-quality original research, creating new knowledge, deriving valuable insights, and making tangible impacts on academia and the field.
The doctoral program DAUSY is established according to the Ministerial Decree DM226/2021 that establishes the “Doctorates of national interest”. DAUSY includes 25 participating institutions (24 Italian universities and a national research center) and numerous partner university institutions. DAUSY faculty boast researchers from 38 Italian universities and a national research center, as well as 19 foreign prestigious universities around the world.
The strategic goal is to establish a doctoral school with critical mass and quality that will systematize the expertise distributed throughout the country and allow doctoral students from Italy but not only (since the entire doctoral program is in English) to specialize in autonomous systems, comparing themselves with leading experts in the field in the Italian and international spheres and grasping the challenge of the digital transition in the technology transfer of the country’s most important industrial sectors and public administration.
DAUSY has the support of many faculty members from SIDRA (Italian Society of Teachers and Researchers in Automatics) who are part of the faculty college. The support of SIDRA is an important added value, not only in terms of teaching but especially in terms of networking opportunities among doctoral students, including at events and assemblies organized by SIDRA, as well as in terms of disseminating the results of doctoral students’ research. Among its annual awards for doctoral students, SIDRA will offer a specific award dedicated to DAUSY doctoral students.