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PhD position on AI-guided robotics for surgical navigation: Shared-control and Surgical Cockpit

Job description

Minimal invasive Image-guided Interventions (MII) is emerging as a new discipline in medicine. To date, no single specialist area has the necessary proficiencies to deliver MII. These interventions are combined with sophisticated imaging technologies, primarily to perform minimally invasive surgery. MII can be characterized by the following key steps: target location, target verification (lesion volume), target destruction, treatment monitoring and verification. Smart Mechatronic Devices can be developed to improve surgeon manipulation skills. It includes dexterous instrument, co-manipulated tool holder. These systems require new intuitive control mode that uses image mentorship, haptic feedback to fit into the clinical workflow. Dedicated man-machine interfaces will allow the user selecting the appropriate assistance.

This project is part of European consortium that includes industrial, clinical and academic partners from the Netherlands, Sweden, Turkey and Belgium.

About the position:
Path planning algorithms are well developed, however visualizing the planned trajectory and giving feedback to the physician to mentor the interventional procedure are still limited. Augmented Reality and Haptic feedback offer a promising platform during robotic assisted treatment by providing the operator with visual feedback and haptic feedback about the planned trajectory. Additionally, the haptic feedback can give the clinical operator feedback about the interaction forces between the interventional tool and the surrounding tissue. This will increase the safety and minimize the chances of damaging sensitive tissue by the interventional tools.

Your profile

  • You are a very enthusiastic, positive and hardworking researcher and highly motivated about this project;
  • You have, or will shortly acquire, a Master degree in Robotics, Control, Mechatronics, Bio-mechatronics, Biomedical Engineering or in a closely related field;
  • You have excellent skills and practical experience in one or more of the following research areas: mathematical optimization, mechatronics, machine and deep learning or image processing and experience with programming. Experience at the intersection of one or more of these areas is desirable.
  • You are proficient in English;
  • You are able to work independently yet able to function in this multi-disciplinary project and have experimental skills;
  • You have excellent communication and teamworking skills.

Our offer

The terms of employment are in accordance with the Dutch Collective Labour Agreement for Universities (CAO) and include:

  • A fulltime PhD position for four years, with a qualifier in the first year.
  • Full status as an employee at the UT, including pension and health care benefits.
  • The salary will range from € 2.434,- (1st year) to € 3.111,- (4th year) per month, plus a holiday allowance of 8% and a year-end bonus of 8.3%;
  • A solid pension scheme;
  • We provide a stimulating, modern research environment with world-class research facilities, including access to top supercomputers.
  • A personal development program within the Twente Graduate School, combined with excellent mentorship.

Information and application

Are you interested in this position? Please submit your application before October 29 via the 'Apply now' button below and include:

  • A cover letter outlining your specific interest, qualifications and motivation to apply for this position;
  • A detailed CV;
  • Transcripts from your Bachelor and Master degrees;
  • Contact information of two scientific staff members (one should be the supervisor of your MSc thesis project) who are willing to provide a recommendation letter at our request;
  • Please send the aforementioned documents as a SINGLE PDF file.

An interview and a scientific presentation will be part of the selection procedure.

If you have any questions about the vacancy, please contact Momen Abayazid (m.abayazid@utwente.nl).

About the department

The Robotics and Mechatronics (RaM) group is active on both fundamental and application-driven topics in the field of robotics. (Physical) modelling, dynamical systems, control, sensors, actuators, real-time (embedded) software,  computer vision, and systems design are the research topics. We develop novel fundamental paradigms and physically based methodologies, which we then translate in the Lab into demonstrators and prototypes. Area of robot application is mostly in healthcare, and inspection and maintenance. The research is embedded in the TechMed and DSI Institutes.

One unique and characterizing feature of our research philosophy is the use of the port-based approach in modeling and analysis of systems, i.e. bond graphs, port-Hamiltonian descriptions, process-orientation using CSP process algebra.

Robot application areas we investigate are: inspection robotics (UAVs, UGVs, UUVs); medical robotics (assistance to surgeons, diagnostics); service robotics (street cleaning, service to people). The science and engineering topics we work on are: modeling and simulation of physical systems; intelligent control; robotic actuators; computer vision and medical imaging; embedded control systems.

For further information, click here.

About the organization

The faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science (EEMCS) uses mathematics, electronics and computer technology to contribute to the development of Information and Communication Technology (ICT). With ICT present in almost every device and product we use nowadays, we embrace our role as contributors to a broad range of societal activities and as pioneers of tomorrow's digital society. As part of a people-first tech university that aims to shape society, individuals and connections, our faculty works together intensively with industrial partners and researchers in the Netherlands and abroad, and conducts extensive research for external commissioning parties and funders. Our research has a high profile both in the Netherlands and internationally. It has been accommodated in three multidisciplinary UT research institutes: Mesa+ Institute, TechMed Centre and Digital Society Institute.

University of Twente (UT)

University of Twente (UT) has entered the new decade with an ambitious, new vision, mission and strategy. As ‘the ultimate people-first university of technology' we are rapidly expanding on our High Tech Human Touch philosophy and the unique role it affords us in society. Everything we do is aimed at maximum impact on people, society and connections through the sustainable utilisation of science and technology. We want to contribute to the development of a fair, digital and sustainable society through our open, inclusive and entrepreneurial attitude. This attitude permeates everything we do and is present in every one of UT's departments and faculties. Building on our rich legacy in merging technical and social sciences, we focus on five distinguishing research domains: Improving healthcare by personalised technologies; Creating intelligent manufacturing systems; Shaping our world with smart materials; Engineering our digital society; and Engineering for a resilient world.

As an employer, University of Twente offers jobs that matter. We equip you as a staff member to shape new opportunities both for yourself and for our society. With us, you will be part of a leading tech university that is changing our world for the better. We offer an open, inclusive and entrepreneurial climate, in which we encourage you to make healthy choices, for example, with our flexible, customisable conditions.

PhD position on AI-guided robotics for surgical navigation: Shared-control and Surgical Cockpit
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