Computer Science

Faculty of Engineering, LTH

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Elin Anna Topp

General info:

Please observe: I will NEVER consider any application material (CV, cover letters, etc) that is sent to me directly.  There needs to be a call and you need to apply in response to that call through Lund University's recruitment system for me to consider any material.


Link to my LU Research Portal page


Some pro-active comments on spontaneous applications for internships and PhD studies

While I am certainly flattered to be considered a suitable supervisor for a research internship of whatever duration and format, or even for PhD studies, prospective applicants might want to consider the following:

Internships: During summer, usually from mid June to mid August, activities at the University are cut down to a minimum and I personally tend to take a longer period of vacation during that time. Hence, I am not the most available supervisor during these months.

PhD studies: Sweden sees PhD students as employees, hence, even if I would like to grant an applicant the possibility to pursue their studies, I can only do that, if a proper PhD student position is available. These are usually announced through the respective website of the university (and here, if they concern my work).

In general: Applicants, who still think it is worth their time to contact me with their ideas, should consider reading my personal statement below and relate to my work with their proposal. I am not considering impersonal bulk-messages as to be taken serious.


About me

I have been appointed vice / deputy head of the department from January 2023. This entailed me taking on the role of Director of Graduate Studies at the department, as well as becoming the official representative for the department in the working group for Equality, Equal Opportunities, and Diversity at the Faculty of Engineering (LTH). Since July 2012, I am an associate professor (universitetslektor) at the Department of Computer Science at Lund University - LTH, where I already in May 2009 joined the group for Robotics and Semantic Systems as postdoctoral researcher. In June 2019 I was then also accepted as Reader (docent) at the Department of Computer Science and further received the status Excellent Teaching Practitioner / member of the Faculty of Engineering's Pedagogical Academy in June 2022.


Since fall term 2018 my main efforts are devoted to the new course Applied Machine Learning (EDAN96 from 2022/23, before EDAN95) which I am formally responsible for. The course is however taught in collaboration with several teachers from the groups for AI and Robotics, Machine Learning and Natural Language Processing.
From the spring term in 2023 there is now also a follow-up course Advanced Applied Machine Learning (EDAP30), which explores some particular areas of ML more deeply than this can be done in the first course.

Otherwise I am involved to a significant extent in the course Applied Artificial Intelligence (EDAF70, former EDA132) and the directly related Computer Science project course (EDAN70) during the spring term as well as the course Intelligent Autonomous Systems (EDAP20) given in the early fall.

My teaching responsibilities have also included some involvement in our basic courses in Computer Science, e.g., Programmeringsteknik - fördjupningskurs (EDAA01) and between 2012 and 2017 (with exemption of 2014) I was responsible for the course on Realtime systems (EDA698) at Lund University's campus in Helsingborg. This course has since fall term 2017 the new course code EDAF85, and since fall term 2018 also a new responsible teacher.


My research interests originate from my work with service robots during my PhD project, located somewhere between robotics and human-robot interaction, including both the design and implementation of system components for interactive robotic systems,  the design and realisation of user studies that aim to inform about the issues and challenges for the previously named systems, and the investigation of the (cognitive) models needed to link a user's understanding of their surroundings with a respective robotic representation.

Currently however, I am focusing more and more on the "other" side of robotics and HRI, investigating in how far results from HRI with service robots can be transferred to industrial robotic systems and to interaction with (semi-)autonomous system in general. Those investigations were started in the scope of the EU-funded project SMErobotics, that ran from January 2012 through June 2016 and were further carried out within the EU-funded project SARAFun (2015-2018, website not available as of 2019-07-05).

(PhD) Projects 

I am involved in the supervision of several PhD students in one or the other way, most of them funded through either the Wallenberg AI, Autonomous Systems and Software Program (WASP) or the Excellence Center at Linköping – Lund in Information Technology (ELLIIT):

  • Supervisor for WASP-AS funded industrial PhD project (Mårten Lager, SAAB Kockums Malmö, project successfully concluded in February 2021).
  • Supervisor for WASP-AI funded academic PhD project (Alexander Duerr) / Co-PI for WASP-AI Collaboration Project with Örebro University 
  • Co-Supervisor for WASP-AS funded academic PhD projects (Hampus Åström, Dept of Computer Science; Faseeh Ahmad, Dept of Computer Science; Erik Gärtner, Centre for Mathematical Sciences (concluded in January 2023))
  • Supervisor for ELLIIT-funded PhD project (Ayesha Jena, Dept of Computer Science)
  • PI for Lund University efforts in WASP-Aalto postdoctoral collaboration project  (Stefan Reitmann, Dept of Computer Science)

Commitments and affiliations

  • Member of the WASP Graduate School Management Group (since January 2019)
  • WASP Affiliated Researcher 
  • Steering group member of the COMPUTE research school at Lund University:
  • Member of Advisory Board of the Swedish Agency for Digital Government, DIGG.
  • Associate Editor for ACM Transactions on Human-Robot Interaction (THRI)

Other commitments include taking roles in the organisation of conferences, in particular as one of the Local Chairs for the ACM/IEEE Conference on Human-Robot Interaction (HRI) 2023 in Stockholm. 

Super short bio

Before coming to Lund I received my doctoral degree in January 2009 based on my work at the Centre for Autonomous Systems at KTH in Stockholm, Sweden. I defended my thesis on "Human-Robot Interaction and Mapping with a Service Robot: Human Augmented Mapping" in October 2008. Until spring 2008 I was working within the now concluded EU-project COGNIRON, where I investigated the integration of human and robotic spatial representations in the framework of Human Augmented Mapping (HAM). Despite my very Swedish (or at least Nordic) first name, I am originally from Germany, where I received my MSc degree in Computer Science (Diplominformatikerin) from Karlsruhe University (now KIT).








046 - 222 4249

visiting address:

Ole Römers väg 3

(Google maps)


postal address: 

Box 118, 221 00 Lund


E:4131 (see below)