3 PhD Positions, Minimally Invasive Robotics in An MRI Environment (MIRIAM), University of Twente, Netherlands

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The Institute of Biomedical Technology and Technical Medicine at the University of Twente, Netherlands has openings for three PhD student positions for the project MIRIAM - Minimally Invasive Robotics in An MRI Environment.

Research Project Description
Needle insertion is one of the most common minimally invasive clinical procedures. It is used for diagnosis, localized drug delivery, and tissue sample removal from tumours deep within the body. These procedures are often performed under the guidance of magnetic resonance (MR) images. For effective medical diagnoses and treatments, the needle must reach its intended target. However, tissue inhomogeneity, organ deformation, and physiological processes cause the needle to deviate from its intended path. In order to increase the targeting accuracy of needles and improve clinical outcomes, the goal of this research project is to develop:

  1. An MR-compatible robotic device (PhD: Mechanical Design – Position 1)
  2. Patient-specific biomechanical tool-tissue interaction models (PhD: Biomechanical Modeling – Position 2)
  3. Techniques to track and control needle path using MR images (PhD: Image Processing, State Estimation and Control – Position 3)

The following collaborating research groups at the University of Twente will conduct this project: Biomechanical Engineering (http://www.bw.ctw.utwente.nl/), Control Engineering (http://www.ce.utwente.nl), and Signals and Systems (http://www.sas.el.utwente.nl/).

External collaborators: Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Demcon Twente BV, Xivent Medical BV, and Siemens Nederland NV.

The University of Twente (http://www.utwente.nl) is an entrepreneurial research university, located in Enschede, the Netherlands. The present project is part of MIRA – Institute for Biomedical Technology and Technical Medicine (http://www.utwente.nl/mira/).

What We Ask
The successful applicant has completed a Master`s degree in mechanical, biomedical, electrical engineering or a closely related discipline. He or she should possess excellent skills and practical experience in one or more of the following research areas: mechanical design, soft tissue mechanics, finite element modeling, image processing, and signal processing. Experience at the intersection of one or more of these areas are desirable. Proficiency in written and spoken English is required. An interview will be part of the selection procedure.

What We Offer
We offer a contract for four years. The extent of this position is a maximum of 38 hours per week (1 fte) according to the Dutch university rules. The monthly salary of a PhD student, in accordance with the collective labour agreement for Dutch universities (CAO-NU), ranges from € 2042 gross in the first year to € 2612 gross in the fourth year. Additionally, the University of Twente provides excellent facilities for professional and personal development, a holiday allowance and an end-of-year bonus, and a number of additional benefits. Your main responsibility will be to carry out research, but you will be given the opportunity to acquire some teaching experience as well.

Information and Application
Applications will be evaluated on an ongoing basis until the position is filled. Please email your application, including cover letter, CV, and the contact information for at least two references as a `single` PDF file with `Application MIRIAM: Position #` in the subject line to: CeSecretary@ewi.utwente.nl

Contact information:
Ms. Carla Gouw-Banse / Ms. Jolanda Boelema-Kaufmann
Control Engineering
University of Twente
P.O. Box 217
7500 AE Enschede
Tel. +31-53-4892606
Fax +31-53-4892223 Email: CeSecretary@ewi.utwente.nl
Vacancy number 10/043

If you have questions regarding the positions, please contact:

  1. Dr. Herman van der Kooij (H.vanderKooij[at]utwente.nl) – Position 1
  2. Dr. Sarthak Misra (S.Misra[at]utwente.nl) – Position 2
  3. Dr. Ferdi van der Heijden (F.vanderHeijden[at]utwente.nl) – Position 3


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