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PhD position: Acoustic cavitation from microfabricated pits: surface cleaning and enhanced chemical reactions.

The Physics of Fluids group is part of the MESA+ Institute for Nanotechnology, of the Technical Medical (TechMed) Centre and, since 2018 is also a Max Planck Center for complex fluid dynamics. The activities of the group encompass turbulence, soft matter, wetting, granular flow, biomedical flow imaging, ultrasound, microfluidics and nanoscale flow, phase change dynamics, heat and mass transfer… The group therefore offers a rich, multidisciplinary and very international (over a dozen nationalities) environment where experimental physics, theoretical physics and large scale simulation work in synergy to approach a collection of physical problem that span from fundamental to applied and from curiosity-driven research to industry-driven research. The group is in embedded within an international network and promotes international collaboration and exchanges. https://pof.tnw.utwente.nl https://www.utwente.nl/en/max-planck-center

Job description

Ultrasonic cavitation has extended use in biomedical and industrial fields such sono-thrombolysis, drug delivery, cell destruction, dental cleaning, Blood-Brain Barrier (BBB) opening, neuro-stimulation and even to provide contrast with application in medical imaging. On a microscale, microbubbles collapse generates high pressure/temperatures, and induces tremendous stresses on the surroundings. Such extreme conditions can also produce highly reactive free radicals. Despite extensive fundamental work on the topic, various experiments still do not agree with theoretical predictions. On a macroscale, bubble nucleation in fluids/tissues, bubble cloud interaction with shockwaves, and the deformable boundaries of soft matter (tissues, membranes and blood cells), remain largely unexplored due to its complexity. Despite the paramount importance of these topics, well-controlled experiments and powerful computational models are still missing.

8 major research organization across Europe joined in a considerable collaborative effort to tackle these challenges (University of Twente, University of London, Technische Universitaet Muenchen, Ecole Polytechnique federale de Lausanne, Sorbonne Universite, Institute of Cancer Research – Royal Cancer Hospital, Otto-von-Guericke-Universitaet Magdeburg and Universite de Geneve). With the support of this consortium, the candidate will design and build an experimental setup to investigate the effect of surface types and treatments, as well as ultrasound characteristics (amplitude, frequency etc.) on cavitation and formulating a model for predicting its spatiotemporal distribution. The aim is to investigate the bubble transport after nucleation and free radical production due to collapsing bubbles with chemiluminescence techniques (luminol light emission) and to propose mathematical models describing nucleation and free radical transport. The candidate is expected to collaborate closely with and spend some time in Magdeburg University whose expertise on fundamental bubble dynamics and cavitation nucleation will be instrumental.

Keywords: ultrasound/micropit/microbubble/cavitation/chemical reaction/modeling

Your profile

We are looking for highly motivated candidates with a MSc degree in (biomedical) engineering, physics, micro or nanotechnology, or related topic. You should be an enthusiastic person with well-developed communication skills. You should be capable of working independently as well as in a multidisciplinary team. Innovative and creative thinking are other requirements.

Information and application

If this offer interests you, please contact Prof. Michel Versluis (m.versluis@utwente.nl) or Dr. David F. Rivas (d.fernandezrivas@utwente.nl) for more information. Your application must consist of a short motivation letter, a curriculum vitae and Copies of relevant diplomas and grade lists. Candidates should upload their application before 1 august 2019 using the application button below.

Our offer

As a PhD candidate you will be offered a full-time (38 hours/week) position for four years, after which you should have completed your PhD thesis. In accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities, the gross monthly salary for a PhD increases from € 2.325,-- in the first year to € 2.972,-- in the final year plus a holiday allowance (8%), an end-year bonus (8.3% of the annual salary) and a number of additional benefits. The University of Twente provides excellent campus facilities, and actively supports professional and personal development.

The organization

The University of Twente. We stand for life sciences and technology. High tech and human touch. Education and research that matter. New technology which leads change, innovation and progress in society. The University of Twente is the only campus university of the Netherlands; divided over five faculties we provide more than fifty educational programmes. We have a strong focus on personal development and talented researchers are given scope for carrying out groundbreaking research.

We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our company. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status or disability status. Because of our diversity values we do particularly support women to apply.

Within the TNW Faculty (Faculty of Science & Technology) of the University of Twente some 700 staff members and 2000 students are involved in training and research on the interface of chemical technology, applied physics and biomedical technology. Fields of application include sustainable energy, process technology and materials science, nanotechnology and technical medicine. Research, which enjoys a high profile both at home and internationally, has been accommodated in the multidisciplinary research institutes: Mesa+ Institute, TechMed Centra and Digital Society Institute. The faculty works together intensively with industrial partners and researchers in the Netherlands and abroad and conducts extensive research for external commissioning parties and funders.

PhD position: Acoustic cavitation from microfabricated pits: surface cleaning and enhanced chemical reactions.
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