[robotics-worldwide] [jobs] PhD: Fully-funded PhD-position on development of smart flexible instruments for robotic surgery, KU Leuven, Belgium

Emmanuel Vander Poorten emmanuel.vanderpoorten at kuleuven.be
Sat Sep 24 05:45:13 PDT 2016

The Robot-Assisted Surgery (RAS)-group of KU Leuven is offering a

Fully-funded PhD-position on the development of smart flexible instruments for robotic surgery KU Leuven, Belgium

Successful candidates can start right away (as soon as all administration is finished) and receive a one-year contract which is prolonged after positive evaluation. Applying for this vacancy or searching for more information can be done at https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__icts.kuleuven.be_apps_jobsite_vacatures_53904308&d=DQIFAg&c=clK7kQUTWtAVEOVIgvi0NU5BOUHhpN0H8p7CSfnc_gI&r=0w3solp5fswiyWF2RL6rSs8MCeFamFEPafDTOhgTfYI&m=2a52Yze1dKiLUvK2ANkHdK8YpLhkdvLBof8Hz1n4kXI&s=CPrinj8_Z2HC4grnB2tfiuaSYNBHpcICm96eO5asEOo&e= .

-- Background --

The advent of minimally invasive surgery caused no less than a revolution in surgery reducing the need to create large incisions, allowing surgeons to access the targeted organs and tissue through a number of long slender but rigid instruments. These days a 2nd technology-pushed evolution is taking place as attention shifts to developing flexible instruments to replace former rigid devices. These flexible instruments enter the body through similar or even smaller incisions. In contrast to their rigid counterparts flexible instruments can more easily adjust shape and conform to their surroundings. Aside from an increased dexterity (workspace) they are potentially safer in use. Being compliant they can give away upon contact and give the surgeon more time to react. With embedded sensing it becomes possible to improve the understanding of the instrument's configuration or from the tissue that is treated. When having a closed feedback loop to automatically respond to the environment, we talk about 'smart' instruments.

The Robot-Assisted Surgery (RAS) group of the department has gained substantial expertise in developing and controlling smart instruments through its various international projects: SCATh and CASCADE, EU-funded FP7-projects dealt with smart robotic catheters; GIFT-Surg project, a Wellcome-Trust EPSRC-funded project focuses on fetal surgery; PRESLICE that starts October 1st addresses ENT surgery. Within this PhD project you will develop innovative flexible instruments for ENT in particular, but also with broader applicability in other surgical fields.

-- Institute --

GROUP T - International Engineering School is an internationally oriented campus of the KU Leuven undertaking education, research, and rendering services in the fields of Engineering, Enterprising, and Educating. Campus GROUP T aims to create an environment in which students and professors alike can develop themselves by experiencing these core activities, both locally and internationally.

This position is embedded within the research group 'smart instrumentation' which is a part of the 'Robot-Assisted Surgery' (RAS)-group (https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__www.mech.kuleuven.be_en_pma_research_ras&d=DQIFAg&c=clK7kQUTWtAVEOVIgvi0NU5BOUHhpN0H8p7CSfnc_gI&r=0w3solp5fswiyWF2RL6rSs8MCeFamFEPafDTOhgTfYI&m=2a52Yze1dKiLUvK2ANkHdK8YpLhkdvLBof8Hz1n4kXI&s=diIO4YMSGxA8yyMrkQC52rua8DggcIIdb_JZrgILmV8&e= ). The group's laboratory is located in Heverlee, Celestijnenlaan 300B at walking distance from the university hospital and the campus Group T in the Dekenstraat were the didactic tasks will take place. The research group performance at international top level thanks to a close collaboration between engineers from the engineering and science, engineering technology, biomedical engineering disciplines, clinicians and surgeons. Located just above the workshop, in the middle between the electronics lab and the robotics research group all technical and know-how is within close reach.

-- Profile --

Within this PhD, the candidate will design, manufacture, assemble and finally control various new flexible smart instruments. A strong affinity with mechanical design, machining, precision mechanics is therefore very much welcomed. Apart from tailoring these instruments for a particular application, through this PhD we seek to understand and address the requirements necessary to bring this technology right into the clinic. Issues like mass-manufacturing, bio-compatibility, sterilization and safety - will need to be addressed in order to allow validation in clinical trials.

We are looking for enthusiastic candidates in the possession of a Master degree in mechanical engineering, mechatronics, robotics, biomechanical engineering, computer science or similar. Applications should contain a C.V., a cover letter describing research interests and goals, a full list of publications, names and contact information for up to three references (letters of recommendation can be included to strengthen further the application). In case you want to apply for this position or require more information please refer to https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__icts.kuleuven.be_apps_jobsite_vacatures_53904308&d=DQIFAg&c=clK7kQUTWtAVEOVIgvi0NU5BOUHhpN0H8p7CSfnc_gI&r=0w3solp5fswiyWF2RL6rSs8MCeFamFEPafDTOhgTfYI&m=2a52Yze1dKiLUvK2ANkHdK8YpLhkdvLBof8Hz1n4kXI&s=CPrinj8_Z2HC4grnB2tfiuaSYNBHpcICm96eO5asEOo&e=  .

Assist. Prof. E.B. Vander Poorten, Surgical Robotics, Haptic Interfacing, Teleoperation & Training Faculty of Engineering Technology, University of Leuven Andreas Vesaliusstraat 13, 3000 Leuven Dept. of mechanical engineering, division PMA Celestijnenlaan 300B, B-3001 Heverlee, Belgium Emmanuel.VanderPoorten at kuleuven.be<mailto:Emmanuel.VanderPoorten at kuleuven.be>

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