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Postdoc fellowship: measuring skeletal muscle adaptation to exercise for applications in rehabilitation robotics

Job description

Are you passionate about investigating how human skeletal muscles change their biological structure in response to injury, training and robot-interaction? Are you interested in contributing to developing breakthrough rehabilitation robotics technologies for improving human movement?

The Neuromechanical Modeling and Engineering Lab (http://bit.ly/NMLab) is seeking for an outstanding post-doctoral fellow to work within the ERC project INTERACT. You will join an international team working on a high-gain/high-risk project at the frontiers of neurophysiology, biomechanics and robotics (http://bit.ly/NMLTube).

The opening:

Neurological injuries such as stroke leave millions of people disabled worldwide every year. Motor improvement is promoted via physical training with appropriate stimuli to the nervous system and the musculoskeletal system. If neuro-rehabilitation robots could be controlled to generate optimal stimuli to the body, a new era in neurorehabilitation would begin!

This post-doc opening focuses on the experimental study of skeletal muscle adaptation and remodeling in response to load and strain across large time scales, e.g., multiple weeks. The successful candidate will employ multi-scale measuring techniques to investigate changes in muscle activation, fascicle length, pennation angle, volume, and force-generating capacity (e.g., torque and stiffness). This will involve the combined use of imaging (i.e., ultrasound, MRI), dynamometry and electromyography techniques

Your profile

  • Performing multi-week muscle training using dynamometry and experience in conducting longitudinal (i.e., 16 weeks) experiments.
  • Ultrasound-based and MRI-based imaging of muscles to quantify muscle structure (e.g., fascicle length, pennation angle, volume).
  • Obtaining experimental data using dynamometry and electromyography.
  • Interest (and courage) in performing ground-breaking science to go beyond current knowledge boundaries.
  • Coordinating undergraduate and graduate students.
  • Proficient in written and oral English.

Desired skills:

  • Experience in working with ultrasound-based imaging to measure skeletal muscle structural and architectural features (i.e., fascicle length, pennation angle).
  • Experience in working with MRI-based imaging of skeletal muscles (i.e., muscle segmentation, muscle volume computation)
  • Experience with dynamometry to measure muscle force-generating capacity across different activations, lengths and contraction speeds.
  • Interpersonal and organizational skills, motivation, and communication (oral and written) ability.

Our offer

We offer a position with a generous allowance:

  • Gross salary between € 3.408 and €4.474 per month depending on experience and qualifications.
  • A full-time 2-year position with 30% tax ruling option and a solid pension scheme.
  • A holiday allowance of 8% of the gross annual salary and a year-end bonus of 8.3%;
  • Professional and personal development programs.
  • Access to Neuromechanics and Wearable Robotics Labs outstanding facilities.
  • Proximity to Enschede, a mid-size city with a large social offer, immersed in the nature of the Twente region.
  • Fun work atmosphere with social lab retreats.

Information and application

Apply by November 8th, 2021. Applications must include the following documents:

  • A video (2-minute max) describing your scientific interests and why you want to apply for this position.
  • A cover letter (1-page max) specifying how your experience and skills match the position as well as summarizing work in your PhD and prior postdocs.
  • A CV including English proficiency level, nationality, visa requirements, date of birth, experience overview, and publication list.
  • Contact information for at least two academic references. A support letter will be requested only if your application is considered.

The successful candidate is to start around January 2022. For questions, please contact Prof. Massimo Sartori, mail: m.sartori@utwente.nl. Please, only apply via the web platform and not via email.

About the organization

The Faculty of Engineering Technology (ET) engages in education and research Mechanical Engineering, Civil Engineering and Industrial Design Engineering with a view to enabling society and industry to innovate and create value using sound, efficient and sustainable technology. We are part of a ‘people-first' university of technology, taking our place as an internationally leading centre for smart production, processes and devices in five domains: Health Technology, Maintenance, Smart Regions, Smart Industry and Sustainable Resources. Our faculty is home to some 1,800 Bachelor's and Master's students, 400 employees and 150 PhD candidates and offers three degree programmes: Mechanical Engineering, Civil Engineering and Industrial Design Engineering. Our educational and research programme are closely connected with UT research institutes Mesa+ Institute, TechMed Centra 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.

Postdoc fellowship: measuring skeletal muscle adaptation to exercise for applications in rehabilitation robotics
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