Fully-funded PhD scholarship in AR/VR Interface Design for Rehabilitation by Exoskeleton

Technical University of Denmark

Deadline: 5th January 2020

The Department of Technology, Management and Economics, DTU-Technical University of Denmark, invites applications for a 3-year position in rehabilitation by exoskeleton, funded by the Horizon2020 EU project called ReHyb - Rehabilitation based on Hybrid neuroprosthesis. This includes the design of an active exoskeleton that allows flexible training and mobility of the stroke patients plus active control through functional electrical stimulation (FES). Such hybrid systems are advantageous because the users’ own muscular activity initializes the movements.

The PhD position will be based in the Innovation Division and specifically in the research group Engineering Systems Design. The Engineering Systems Design group is characterised by a vibrant and supportive research environment with engaged staff and strong research collaborations with leading universities and industry worldwide. Our research focuses on understanding and improving the ways in which complex socio-technical engineering systems are designed and managed throughout their life cycles. We have a number of health innovation research projects and are members of the Copenhagen Center for Health Technology (CACHET).

The research field is advanced interface design, and design for behaviour change. The objective is to design, develop and test a prototype of an AR/VR interface for a patient-specific, assist-as-needed device which maximises the training efficiency during home-based rehabilitation via, for example, serious gaming, and offers a pleasant user experience by supporting patients in daily life activities. In addition to the European research partners, here at DTU, new positions connected to the project also include a Post-Doc project on Digital-twin patient system modelling for rehabilitation by exoskeleton.

Responsibilities and tasks
You will become part of a research team working intensively with design and development of parts of a robotic device for neurorehabilitation for stroke patients. The focus for the PhD study will be to design and develop feedback to the user and the therapist with a multimodal approach where visual guidance to the patients are given in AR glasses, acoustic cues are given via headphones and haptic and vibrotactile signals are transmitted from the robot. The therapist will be able to monitor the training session on an interface showing current training status, active user feedback and logs of previous training sessions. In particular, you will be designing multimodal interaction for the patient, who will use arm- and hand movement, plus gaze and head to control the robot. 
  • Are you interested in advanced health technology then perhaps you are our new PhD student
  • You will be responsible for design and development of AR/VR applications
  • You will contribute to the advanced research conducted in our department on design methods within robotics, AI, AR/VR and multimodal interaction.
  • Your research could include monitoring of patients engagement and wellbeing from motion sensors, eye movement data, pupil dilation, galvanic skin response and ECG/EMG
  • You will engage in iterative design on basis of co-creation sessions and user tests
  • You have the ability to work focused and to achieve ambitious goals
  • You will be collaborating closely with leading European research partners and high-tech companies
  • You are capable of working within and for a wider research project requiring deliveries of modular and tightly connected project tasks

Candidates should have a two-year master's degree (120 ECTS points) or a similar degree with an academic level equivalent to a two-year master's degree. A relevant background could be a master’s degree in electrical engineering, computer science, interaction design, engineering design, game design or a degree in other areas with additional qualifications relevant for the responsibilities and tasks.

Approval and Enrolment
The scholarship for the PhD degree is subject to academic approval, and the candidate will be enrolled in one of the general degree programmes at DTU. For information about our enrolment requirements and the general planning of the PhD study programme, please see the DTU PhD Guide.  

We offer
DTU is a leading technical university globally recognised for the excellence of its research, education, innovation and scientific advice. We offer a rewarding and challenging job in an international environment. We strive for academic excellence in an environment characterised by collegial respect and academic freedom tempered by responsibility.

Salary and appointment terms
The appointment will be based on the collective agreement with the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. The allowance will be agreed upon with the relevant union. The period of employment is 3 years. 

You can read more about career paths at DTU here

Further information
Further information may be obtained from Professor John Paulin Hansen, jpha@dtu.dk, +45 4046 9626, Professor Anja Maier, amai@dtu.dk, +45 4525 6045 or Associate Professor Philip Cash, pcas@dtu.dk, +45 4525 4550. 

You can read more about the Engineering Systems Design group at www.es.man.dtu.dk/english.  

Please submit your online application no later than 5 January 2020 (local time). Applications must be submitted as one PDF file containing all materials to be given consideration. To apply, please open the link "Apply online", fill out the online application form, and attach all your materials in English in one PDF file. The file must include: 

  • A letter motivating the application, including your research activities and ideas for the research project (cover letter, max 3-pages)
  • Curriculum vitae (CV)
  • Grade transcripts and copies of your original BSc/MSc diploma, certificates, and lists of subjects with your results as well as their preferably official translation into English.
  • Excel sheet with translation of grades to the Danish grading system (see guidelines and Excel spreadsheet here)
  • Two reference contacts who may be contacted by the assessment committee
Candidates may apply prior to obtaining their master's degree but cannot begin before having received it.

Applications and enclosures received after the deadline will not be considered.

All interested candidates irrespective of age, gender, race, disability, religion or ethnic background are encouraged to apply.

Technology for people
DTU develops technology for people. With our international elite research and study programmes, we are helping to create a better world and to solve the global challenges formulated in the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Hans Christian Ørsted founded DTU in 1829 with a clear vision to develop and create value using science and engineering to benefit society. That vision lives on today. DTU has 11,500 students and 6,000 employees. We work in an international atmosphere and have an inclusive, evolving, and informal working environment. Our main campus is in Kgs. Lyngby north of Copenhagen and we have campuses in Roskilde and Ballerup.

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