Full-time PHD positions in the dutch NWA-ORC project 'load' on real-time monitoring in daily life for individuals with osteoarthritis

University of Twente is seeking an employee for the Full-time PHD positions in the dutch NWA-ORC project 'load' on real-time monitoring in daily life for individuals with osteoarthritis. Please check the vacancy for more information.

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The two PhD positions include:

  • PhD position 1: This PhD position will focus on the load pattern investigation by means of measuring movements of the users. Specifically, the PhD researcher will work towards minimizing the required number of inertial measurement units (IMUs) to obtain insights in both the kinematics and kinetics of the user. The relation between kinematics and kinetics is very important to improve the daily life functioning of OA patients. The goal is to estimate knee loading using IMUs by developing individual models based on biomechanical principles. Additionally, the PhD researcher will work towards a feedback application to minimize such loads to decrease the disease progression.
  • PhD position 2: This PhD position will focus on the daily monitoring of the integrated factors across load patterns, physical fitness, and psychosocial factors. Specifically, the PhD researcher will develop multimodal human signal and system fusion algorithms to track the health condition and psychosocial factors of individuals with osteoarthritis using different modal physiological signals, such as inertial measurement unit (IMU), electrocardiography (ECG), photoplethysmogram (PPG), and Electrodermal activity (EDA) signals, to answer the questions, such as, why someone (does not) start exercising, or (does not) stop exercising, as well as providing relevant inputs of a recommender system for coaching. The PhD researcher will apply and develop techniques, including multimodal and multidimensional signal processing, human physiological dynamic systems, and machine learning techniques.

The prospective PhD candidates are expected to perform high quality- and internationally visible research with publications in high rank peer-reviewed journals. The candidates will be mainly (co-)supervised by dr. Frank Wouda, dr. Ying Wang, dr. Bert-Jan F. van Beijnum, and dr.ir. Monique Tabak, Biomedical Signals and Systems (BSS) at the University of Twente and closely collaborate with the other partners within the LOAD project. The candidate will be appointed for a period of four years, at the end of which a PhD thesis needs to be delivered. During this period, the PhD candidate will be offered the opportunity to broaden their knowledge by joining Dutch LOAD consortium meetings and by participating in (inter) national conferences and workshops.


We are looking for highly motivated, enthusiastic and curiosity-driven researchers:

  • You have, or are about to get, a master’s degree in biomedical engineering, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, computer science, technical medicine, or a related field;
  • You have a solid background in (preferably medical) signal analysis, dynamic system, mathematical optimization, and machine learning techniques;
  • You have strong programming skills, such as, in Matlab\Python;
  • You are creative, like to push boundaries and have strong organization skills in designing, planning and implementing research activities;
  • You are highly motivated to work on the challenges we are facing in healthcare by using personalized innovative eHealth technology and preferably have experience in human-behaviour research;
  • You are an excellent team player in an enthusiastic and hardworking group of scientists epidemiologists, engineers, physicians, working on a joint assignment;
  • You are proficient in English and able to collaborate intensively with healthcare professionals as well as with industrial and academic parties in regular meetings and work visits;
  • You are able to do independent research, have excellent writing skills and preferably, have publication skills.


We offer you a four-year fulltime PhD position;

  • We provide excellent mentorship and a stimulating research environment with excellent facilities;
  • You are offered a professional and personal development program within the Twente Graduate School and a training program in which you and your supervisor will make up a plan for additional suitable education and supervision;
  • Your salary and associated conditions are in accordance with the collective labour agreement for Dutch universities (CAO-NU), like a a gross monthly salary ranging from € 2.541,- (first year) to € 3.247,- (fourth year);
  • There are excellent benefits including a holiday allowance of 8% of the gross annual salary, an end-of-year bonus of 8.3%, and a solid pension scheme;
  • A minimum of 232 leave hours in case of full-time employment based on a formal workweek of 38 hours. A full-time employment in practice means 40 hours a week, therefore resulting in 96 extra leave hours on an annual basis.
  • Free access to sports facilities on campus
  • A family-friendly institution that offers parental leave (both paid and unpaid);
  • We encourage a high degree of responsibility and independence, while collaborating with close colleagues, researchers and other university staff, as well as with other partners within the LOAD consortium.

Bedrijfsprofiel Universiteit Twente

About the department

Biomedical Signals and Systems is a multidisciplinary group based in Electrical Engineering, focussing on finding solutions for medical challenges via signal and system analysis. Advanced (ambulatory) sensor technology combined with our broad knowledge of the human body as a dynamic system enables (eHealth) technology to improve prevention, diagnosis and treatment of sensory, motor and internal dysfunction in clinical and home/selfcare setting. Our research helps to improve the quality of life of older people with chronic diseases and rehabilitation patients.  The research mission of the Biomedical Signals and Systems (BSS) group is to:

  • enable improved diagnosis and treatment of patients with motor, sensory and cardiopulmonary dysfunction in clinical and home/self-care setting,
  • by developing knowledge, methods and tools for identification, control and modulation of neural, muscular and cardiopulmonary systems, cognition and behaviour. 
  • using smart sensing, novel data analysis techniques and selective actuation technology or personalized eHealth technologies that enable prevention, timely diagnostics, and personalised coaching & treatment for chronic care and rehabilitation.

About the organisation

The faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science (EEMCS) uses mathematics, electronics and computer technology to contribute to the development of Information and Communication Technology (ICT). With ICT present in almost every device and product we use nowadays, we embrace our role as contributors to a broad range of societal activities and as pioneers of tomorrow's digital society. As part of a people-first tech university that aims to shape society, individuals and connections, our faculty works together intensively with industrial partners and researchers in the Netherlands and abroad, and conducts extensive research for external commissioning parties and funders. Our research has a high profile both in the Netherlands and internationally. It has been accommodated in three multidisciplinary UT research institutes: Mesa+ Institute, TechMed Centre and Digital Society Institute.


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