PhD Position in Mechanical Engineering

ETH Zürich


PhD Position in Mechanical Engineering

100%, Zurich, fixed-term

This highly interdisciplinary research project builds on previous and ongoing work carried out in close collaboration with neurosurgeons from the University Hospital Zurich, biomedical engineers and veterinarians from the University of Zurich, and international collaborators. We aim to develop a profound knowledge base for hydrocephalus and a novel treatment for hydrocephalus patients.

Project background

Hydrocephalus is a severe and common condition that occurs in many different forms from childhood to old age. The disease presents with an enlargement of the brain ventricles, presumably due to a mismatch of secretion and resorption of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). Patients exhibit symptoms such as mental disorders, gait disturbance, and incontinence. It is usually treated by lifelong therapy with shunts that drain CSF from the brain ventricles into the abdomen. This technology is seventy years old, and the disease is still not well understood.

We aim to develop a hydrocephalus ovine model mimicking the functional characteristics of CSF disorders.

Job description

The PhD research topic includes developing acute and chronic pathologic ovine models and developing a miniaturized actuation device for long-term in vivo implantation as well as the quantification of hydrocephalus onset and neurologic deficits by assessing magnetic resonance or computer tomography imaging. Furthermore data analysis, modeling, and application using the existing testbench and artificial intelligence, machine learning, and computer vision.

Your profile

You will have:

  • a Master of Science degree from a recognized university (or close to completion) in electrical engineering, biomedical engineering, or physics
  • a passion for practical and theoretical work following a systematic and sound approach in a medical application
  • strong interest in working in a highly interdisciplinary environment and pursuing animal trials
  • a background in signal and data processing, modeling, applied artificial intelligence, and machine learning
  • curiosity, open-mindedness, and good communication skills
  • proficient oral and written English skills

We offer

We are a highly motivated research group, offering an excellent research infrastructure and environment, as well as a competitive salary and benefits.

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We value diversity

In line with our values, ETH Zurich encourages an inclusive culture. We promote equality of opportunity, value diversity and nurture a working and learning environment in which the rights and dignity of all our staff and students are respected. Visit our Equal Opportunities and Diversity website to find out how we ensure a fair and open environment that allows everyone to grow and flourish.

Curious? So are we.

We look forward to receiving your online application with the following documents:

  • CV
  • short statement of objectives and research interests (1-2 pages)
  • transcripts of all degrees obtained (in English)
  • names and contact information of three references
  • one publication (e.g. thesis / paper)

Please note that we exclusively accept applications submitted through our online application portal. Applications via email or postal services will not be considered.

Further information about the Department of Mechanical and Process Engineering/Intelligent Control Systems can be found on website. Questions regarding the position should be directed to Dr. Marianne Schmid Daners, (no applications).

About ETH Zürich

ETH Zurich is one of the world’s leading universities specialising in science and technology. We are renowned for our excellent education, cutting-edge fundamental research and direct transfer of new knowledge into society. Over 30,000 people from more than 120 countries find our university to be a place that promotes independent thinking and an environment that inspires excellence. Located in the heart of Europe, yet forging connections all over the world, we work together to develop solutions for the global challenges of today and tomorrow.

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