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Scientific activities / projects

Anomaly detection for maritime focused detector systems

Starting date


Duration of contract

initially limited to 3 years


up to German TVöD 13

Type of employment

Full-time (part-time possible)

The safety and security of critical infrastructures is an essential foundation for the economic prosperity and stability of governments and societies. The Institute for the Protection of Maritime Infrastructures focuses on this challenge and develops new concepts, approaches and technologies that may be used to analyse and enhance the safety and security of maritime infrastructures regarding people, technologies and systems.

One focus of the Department of Maritime Security Technologies is anomaly detection by means of machine learning to analyse data resulting from maritime focused detector systems. Developed algorithms are used to identify rare events in data from tomographic scanning systems as well as in the analysis of time series from various optical and acoustic sensor systems. The aim of this work is to improve the overall level of safety and security within a maritime infrastructure through the identification of events and patterns which might not be directly detectable by eye, but which may indicate a threat or illegal activity.

This position involves the development of algorithms for the detection of rare anomalies in density distribution resulting from tomographic reconstruction of data from a prototype container scanner based on muon tomography. The technology is expected to enable fully automated threat detection and support decision making without the need to offload cargo, whilst the passive nature of the radiation makes the technology harmless for use in the presence of humans. Anomalies in data may be the result of hazardous or contraband items hidden among similarly dense materials within a shipping container. In parallel, the extent to which these methods can be transferred to other maritime detector systems (e.g. optical or hydroacoustic systems providing continuous monitoring of regions of interest) will be investigated and if possible implemented and evaluated in that context. The option to perform a PhD study in the context of this work can be supported.
Your tasks will include:

  • development, implementation, optimisation and comparison of suitable algorithms for anomaly detection and rare event identification
  • profiling of developed algorithms to determine and optimise the computational power and execution time per data frame
  • testing and validation of implemented algorithms; comparison of predictions of developed algorithms on data known to contain anomalies and data free of anomalies
  • integration and testing of positively evaluated algorithms into the final analysis chains of existing instruments and systems

Your qualifications:

  • completed scientific university studies (master or diploma) in computer science, physics, applied mathematics or comparable
  • experience in the development of algorithms using machine learning methods
  • experience in scientific writing and presentation of results
  • excellent programming skills (Python, C/C++)
  • very good communication skills
  • knowledge of the English language, both written and spoken

Your benefits:

Look forward to a fulfilling job with an employer who appreciates your commitment and supports your personal and professional development. Our unique infrastructure offers you a working environment in which you have unparalleled scope to develop your creative ideas and accomplish your professional objectives. Our human resources policy places great value on a healthy family and work-life-balance as well as equal opportunities for persons of all genders (f/m/x). Individuals with disabilities will be given preferential consideration in the event their qualifications are equivalent to those of other candidates.

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Technical contact

Dr. Jannis Ulrich Stoppe
Institute for the Protection of Maritime Infrastructures

Phone: +49 471 924199-43

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Dr. Sarah Barnes
Institute for the Protection of Maritime Infrastructures

Phone: +49 471 924199-49

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Vacancy 59924

HR department Göttingen

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DLR site Bremerhaven

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DLR Institute for the Protection of Maritime Infrastructures

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