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PhD Position in Resilient Sensor and Communication Networks for Complex Medical Systems-Of-Systems

Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium

The ETERNITY Beneficiaries are 3 high-technology companies in the area of medical technology: Philips Medical (NL), PLUX (PT), and Ficosa (ES). The consortium is completed by 5 universities: TU Eindhoven (NL), University of Twente (NL), KU Leuven (BE), Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya (ES), and FCT/UNL Lisboa (PT). Together, these universities have a proven track record in the management of electromagnetic interference (EMI), medical engineering, system engineering and risk management, and are the leaders in their field in Europe. The essential clinical involvement is arranged via 2 hospitals, which are Partner Organisations in ETERNITY: Hospital Utrecht (NL) and Hospital CIMA Sanitas (ES). The industrial involvement is completed by 3 Partner Organisations: Eurofins (BE), Barco (BE) and the start-up Plasmacure (NL). Each of the 14 ESRs will be trained to work in multi-disciplinary and multi-cultural teams, with a new mindset tuned towards the inclusion of the three main elements of a risk-based approach into innovative design methods (e.g., concurrent engineering and agile/scrum design methods). For this inclusion to occur, each ESR will develop through their research the missing dedicated tools and techniques, and apply them to a representative set of medical devices under development. This hands-on training is supplemented with several scientific professional courses and an immersive training where the ESRs can fine-tune their skills for the Jobs of tomorrow, while addressing the societal challenges of the ETERNITY program. This particular ESR-position will be executed with the M-Group at KU Leuven Bruges Campus.


Many technological innovations in medical applications will rely on distributed sensors and (wireless) communication networks. This brings major safety and reliability challenges as there will be more reliance on the (wireless) interconnections to operate reliably for all scenarios, and this over the system's entire life-cycle. As such, it is necessary to guarantee the connectivity's robustness, considering a combination of stresses, including EMI disturbances, environmental conditions, aging, etc. For complex distributed sensor and communication networks, this can only be achieved by a holistic approach that covers at the same time the software, middleware and hardware layers. Therefore, this ESR-project aims to develop novel software, middleware and hardware techniques to obtain fault-tolerant and/or fault-operation behaviour for the overall system-of-systems.


Career stage: Early Stage Researcher (ESR) or 0-4 yrs (Post Graduate)

Eligibility Criteria:

Early-stage researchers (ESR): those who are, at the time of recruitment by the host, in the first four years (full-time equivalent) of their research careers. This is measured from the date when they obtained the degree which formally entitles them to embark on a doctorate, either in the country in which the degree was obtained or in the country in which the research training is provided, irrespective of whether or not a doctorate was envisaged.
Conditions of international mobility of researchers: researchers are required to undertake trans-national mobility (i.e. move from one country to another) when taking up the appointment. At the time of selection by the host organisation, researchers must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the country of their host organisation for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to their recruitment. Short stays, such as holidays, are not taken into account.
English language: Network fellows (ESRs) must demonstrate that their ability to understand and express themselves in both written and spoken English is sufficiently high for them to derive the full benefit from the network training.


The successful candidates will receive an attractive salary in accordance with the MSCA regulations for Early Stage Researchers. The exact (net) salary will be confirmed upon appointment and is dependent on local tax regulations and on the country correction factor (to allow for the difference in cost of living in different EU Member States). The salary includes a living allowance, a mobility allowance and a family allowance (if married). The guaranteed PhD funding is for 36 months (i.e. EC funding, additional funding is possible, depending on the local Supervisor, and in accordance with the regular PhD time in the country of origin). In addition to their individual scientific projects, all fellows will benefit from further continuing education, which includes internships and secondments, a variety of training modules as well as transferable skills courses and active participation in workshops and conferences.

For more information please contact Prof. dr. ir. Davy Pissoort, tel.: +32 50 66 48 49, mail: or Dr. Dries Vanoost, mail:

You can apply for this job no later than November 30, 2020 via the application link:

KU Leuven seeks to foster an environment where all talents can flourish, regardless of gender, age, cultural background, nationality or impairments. If you have any questions relating to accessibility or support, please contact us at

Employment percentage: Voltijds
Location: Brugge
Apply before: November 30, 2020
Tags: Industriele Ingenieurswetenschappen