PhD Fellowship in Meal Detection by Analysis of Bowel Sounds

Trondheim, Norway
14 Mar 2019
End of advertisement period
01 May 2019
Contract Type
Full Time

About the position

We have a vacancy for a PhD fellowship within analysis of bowel sounds for meal detection in diabetes patients at the Department of Engineering Cybernetics (ITK), Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). The position is affiliated with the Artificial Pancreas Trondheim (APT) research group.

The long term aim of the APT research group is to establish a robust artificial pancreas by combining continuous intraperitoneal (IP) glucose sensing, IP insulin delivery, and robust control algorithms. APT currently has two large research projects “Double Intraperitoneal Artificial Pancreas” and “Listening to the patients – Analysis of body sounds for diagnostics and monitoring” in the Centre for Digital Life Norway funded by the Research Council of Norway. The candidate will be part of an interdisciplinary research team with broad expertise in medicine (endocrinology, pharmacology, anesthesia and comparative medicine), biomedical cybernetics (modeling, identification and control), biosensor technology, and optical spectroscopy.

The position is supervised by Associate Professor Anders Lyngvi Fougner.

Job description

This PhD project aims to analyse recorded sounds from the upper body (mostly targeted at the intestines/bowel) in order to detect meals in patients with diabetes. The recorded sound will also be combined with continuous glucose sensor data and motion data in order to achieve larger robustness to e.g. ambient noise. The equipment is being built by SINTEF, but the PhD candidate will be involved in the design. Methods may include sensor fusion, calculation of time/frequency domain features, pattern recognition and machine learning. The APT group has access to facilities, staff and other necessary resources for acquisition of data from healthy people and diabetes patients, and the candidate will be involved in the planning and conduction of such experiments as part of a larger experienced team.

The candidate is expected to spend part of the project period with a collaborating group abroad.

Qualification requirements

The PhD position's main objective is to qualify for work in research positions. The qualification requirement is:

  • Completion of a master’s degree or second degree (equivalent to 120 credits) with a strong academic background in cybernetics, control engineering, electrical engineering, physics, biomedical engineering or equivalent education with a grade of B or better in terms of NTNU’s grading scale. Applicants with no letter grades from previous studies must have an equally good academic foundation. Applicants who are unable to meet these criteria may be considered only if they can document that they are particularly suitable candidates for education leading to a PhD degree.
  • Proficiency in oral and written English.
    • The following tests can be used as documentation: TOEFL, IELTS, Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (CAE) or Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE). Minimum scores are:
      • TOEFL: 600 (paper-based test), 92 (Internet-based test)
      • IELTS: 6.5, with no section lower than 5.5 (only Academic IELTS test accepted)
      • CAE/CPE: grade B or A.
  • Strong skills in signal processing, pattern recognition, machine learning and/or related topics.
  • Significant skills in computer programming.

The appointment is to be made in accordance with the regulations in force concerning State Employees and Civil Servants and national guidelines for appointment as PhD, postdoctor and research assistant.

Emphasis will also be placed on:

  • Signal processing in general and biosignal processing in particular
  • Experience with acoustics and analysis of sound, including speech analysis.
  • Knowledge of biology in general and human physiology in particular.
  • Experience in transdisciplinary work.
  • Excellent communication skills, both oral and written.
  • Willingness to learn Norwegian.

Applicants that expect to complete their master’s degree by summer 2019 can apply.

Personal characteristics

  • Applicants are required to justify their candidacy by explicitly explaining their personal motivation and academic aptitude for pursuing a doctoral degree within this research field.
  • This position is within a highly inter-disciplinary group – the candidate as a result must be able to articulate her/his ideas and be open to those well outside her/his comfort zone.

Academic results, publications, relevant specialization, work or research experience, personal qualifications, and motivation and a desire to make an impact on critical societal problems will be considered when evaluating the applicants.

In the evaluation of which candidate is best qualified, emphasis will be placed on education, experience and personal suitability, in terms of the qualification requirements specified in the advertisement.

We offer

  • exciting and stimulating tasks in a strong international academic environment
  • an open and inclusive work environment with dedicated colleagues
  • favourable terms in the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund
  • employee benefits

Salary and conditions

PhD candidates are remunerated in code 1017, and are normally remunerated at gross from NOK 449 400 before tax per year. From the salary, 2 % is deducted as a contribution to the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund.

The period of employment is 3 years. For candidates mastering a Scandinavian language, a 4 years position with duty work (teaching) is possible. Appointment to a PhD position requires admission to the PhD programme in Engineering Cybernetics.

As a PhD candidate, you undertake to participate in an organized PhD programme during the employment period. A condition of appointment is that you are in fact qualified for admission to the PhD programme within three months.

See and for more information about the programme.

Appointment takes place on the terms that apply to State employees at any time, and after the appointment you must assume that there may be changes in the area of work.

General information

Working at NTNU

About the department

The Department of Engineering Cybernetics (Institutt for teknisk kybernetikk, ITK) has 29 professors, 14 adjunct professors, about 25 postdocs and researchers as well as 70 PhD candidates. Approximately 160 candidates graduate annually from the three MSc programs in cybernetics, which comprise over 700 students in total. Also, about 35 candidates graduate annually from the BSc study in electrical engineering with specialization in automation.

The research and educational activities at ITK include both fundamental and applied activities in areas such as automatic control and systems theory; estimation and optimization; cyber-physical systems; autonomous unmanned vehicles; robotics; ships and marine systems; process control; smart grids; offshore renewable energy; automated drilling; biomedical technology; safety-critical systems; embedded and real-time systems; systems engineering; and fisheries and aquaculture cybernetics.

A good work environment is characterized by diversity. We encourage qualified candidates to apply, regardless of their gender, functional capacity or cultural background. Under the Freedom of Information Act (offentleglova), information about the applicant may be made public even if the applicant has requested not to have their name entered on the list of applicants.

About the application:

Publications and other academic works that the applicant would like to be considered in the evaluation must accompany the application. Joint works will be considered. If it is difficult to identify the individual applicant's contribution to joint works, the applicant must include a brief description of his or her contribution.

Please submit your application electronically via with your CV, diplomas and certificates. Applicants invited for interview must include certified copies of transcripts and reference letters.

Please refer to the application number 2019/8301 when applying.

Applicants are kindly requested to send a diploma supplement or a similar document, which describes in detail the study and grading system and the rights for further studies associated with the obtained degree.

Questions about the position can be directed to Associate Professor Anders Lyngvi Fougner, email: .

Application deadline: 01.05.2019.

NTNU - knowledge for a better world

The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) creates knowledge for a better world and solutions that can change everyday life.

Department of Engineering Cybernetics (ITK)

Engineering cybernetics is the study of automatic control and monitoring of dynamic systems. We develop the technologies of tomorrow through close cooperation with industry and academia, both in Norway and internationally. The Department contributes to the digitalization, automation and robotization of society. The Department of Engineering Cybernetics is one of seven departments in the Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering.

Deadline 01.05.2019
Employer NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Municipality Trondheim
Scope Fulltime
Duration Project
Place of service Trondheim

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