After only a few months, when a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems in Stuttgart and Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) in Pittsburgh, the joint PhD program initiated by these two renowned research institutions comes to life. From Spring 2018 onwards, some of the world´s most promising PhD students interested in Robotics will benefit from the research environment both CMU and MPI-IS provide. Students who get accepted to participate in the joint PhD program will receive a top education and training in Robotics at CMU, which is one of the world´s top universities in this field. The students will begin their research with a Professor at CMU for 1.5 to 2 years and continue their research under the supervision of a Director or Group Leader at the MPI-IS for at least another 2 years. Successful graduates will eventually receive their PhD degree from CMU.
Already there is a strong collaboration between MPI-IS and CMU, as Dr. Metin Sitti, who initiated the partnership, is both a Director at the MPI-IS and a Professor of Mechanical Engineering at CMU. “I have two PhD students researching both at CMU and MPI-IS already. Roughly 2 to 3 new PhD students are estimated to be admitted to this program each year in the next 5 years”, Dr. Metin Sitti says. Since 2014, he heads the Physical Intelligence Department at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems in Stuttgart. Before coming to Germany, for twelve years he was a professor at the Department of Mechanical Engineering and the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, USA.
There is a formal meeting happening on December 15th in Pittsburg to kick-off the PhD program between the CMU and MPI-IS. Joining Dr. Metin Sitti in representing the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems will be Dr. Katherine Kuchenbecker, the Director of the Haptic Intelligence Department as well as Dr. Peer Fischer, Group Leader of the Micro, Nano and Molecular Systems Lab and Dr. Alexander Spröwitz, head of the Dynamic Locomotion Research Group.