Siddharth Dadhich's research is about automation of construction machines. He has worked with driver-assistance function for bucket loading in wheel-loaders. Such a function can help to realize full autonomous construction machines relieving humans from repetitive and tedious tasks. Alternatively, such a function can reduce operator workload and enable tele-operation of construction machines resulting in comfortable working conditions for operators.
– I used imitation learning to teach a wheel-loader to dig in a pile from examples from a human operator. Furthermore, I demonstrated, using reward based learning, that the wheel-loader can learn to improve the performance beyond human operators. These are exciting results in the field of construction engineering and applied artificial intelligence.
What are the greatest challenges you’ve faced as a PhD?
– As a PhD candidate, challenging times are bound to come to you. The biggest challenge for me was to keep myself motivated while working on the same problem for four years. Another big challenge can be to find the right people to collaborate with. I was involved in projects with industry and some tasks did not directly produce research results so part of my time was spent on non-publishable work.
What is the most important thing you have learned?
– How to stay focused on the main goal of my work. I have been discussing my research with many people I met and it has happened that many were proposing different ideas that could have deviated me from my chosen research path. As a PhD in technological area, one has to be able to distinguish research from development to get publishable research results.
What is it like to be a PhD student specifically at Luleå University of Technology and EISLAB?
– You will typically work in a project but you will have a lot of liberty to choose the exact problems you want to work on. It also depends from one PhD advisor to another, but in general there is enough freedom at EISLAB to find your own path towards becoming an independent researcher. At EISLAB, you are not part of a research group since there are not many people working in the same research field, but this has started to change lately.
You have soon reached the end of your PhD journey, how does that feel?
– It feels great to have persisted in this long PhD journey. It is ultimately an education and I have in totality enjoyed it. I have attained a technological outlook that I could have never attained otherwise. I can easily recommend doing a PhD to anyone who has a craving for lifelong learning.
If you were to give a new PhD student some advice, what would that be?
– On a cautious note, I would like to advise someone who is deciding to start a PhD to consider their motivations beforehand. This should help them to stay focused throughout their PhD, even in times of disappointments such as lack of results or rejections of submitted papers, which are part of the journey.