NORWEGIAN UNIVERSITY OF SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY - NTNU

PhD, Non-Invasive (Electro) Mechanical Wave Imaging in Echocardiography

Location
Øya, Norway
Posted
02 Jun 2020
End of advertisement period
31 Jul 2020
Ref
186396
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Hours
Full Time

About the position

Purpose: 

  1. Develop technology to study the potential of mechanical wave imaging (MWI) in echocardiography
  2. Develop technology to study the potential of electro-mechanical wave mapping (EMW) in echo.

Both based on novel ultra-high frame rate imaging of the heart, using state of the art equipment.

Output: (to be further defined in more detail in collaboration with the team)

  1. Further develop ultra-high frame rate data acquisition schemes
  2. Develop improved signal processing for extracting mechanical wave propagation
  3. Develop an (AI-based) analysis tool for streamlining mechanical wave measurements
  4. Study the sensitivity and potential utility of (electro)mechanical wave measurements

Project description: Cardiac disease is a leading cause of mortality in the western world. Through cardiac disease the intrinsic properties of the heart muscle can change, for instance its morphology such as geometry, thickness, and stiffness. Also, its functional properties can become impaired, such as the ability to actively contract and relax as needed to properly eject blood into the body. This pattern of contraction and relaxation is governed by an elaborate electrical activation sequence which further can be disturbed through disease. Using ultrasound imaging, the morphology and function of the heart can be visualized and measured, termed echocardiography, recently also in 3D. But current methods are not perfect and suffer from limited accuracy and reproducibility which limits their everyday clinical utility. We thus continually seek to improve the accuracy and practicality of cardiac measurements.

Supervisors:

Main supervisors: Lasse Løvstakken, Professor, NTNU.

Co-supervisors: Morten Wigen, Post Doc, NTNU. Sebastien Salles, Researcher.

Duties of the position

We have in our group recently developed novel technology to image the heart at ultra-high frame rates (> 1000 images per second). This has enabled new kinds of measurements, and the ability to improve on existing measurements. In particular, we can now aim to measure and study how tiny mechanical waves travel in the heart muscle (the myocardium), as a consequence of mechanical events such as when a heart valve suddenly closes with a bang, or as a consequence of electro-mechanical propagation in the heart following the (impaired) electrical activation. When the cardiac muscle stiffness increases, the mechanical waves will travel faster than for normal tissue which is important diagnostic information. And when the electro-mechanical waves are disturbed, we can locate where this happens, which is essential for proper treatment.

The project will use advanced methods from signal processing (advanced signal filtering), measurement regularization (noise reduction), image analysis (segmentation), and 2D / 3D visualization. Development will mainly be in Python / C++.

This is an industry-close project which will be tied to on-going activity and interests of GE Vingmed Ultrasound AS.

Required selection criteria

The PhD-position's main objective is to qualify for work in research positions. The qualification requirement is that you have completed a master’s degree or second degree (equivalent to 120 credits) with a strong academic background in [subject area] or equivalent education with a grade of B or better in terms of NTNU’s grading scale. If you do not have letter grades from previous studies, you must have an equally good academic foundation. If you are unable to meet these criteria you may be considered only if you can document that you are particularly suitable for education leading to a PhD degree.

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, post doctor and research assistant.

  • A master’s degree or equivalent education with emphasis on theory and methods from acoustics, (bio)physics, mathematics, signal processing, electronics, or computer science, with a weighted-average grade of B or higher, in accordance with NTNU’s grading system
  • Good communication skills in both oral and written English
  • Good analytical and programming skills

Preferred selection criteria

  • Experience within the field of ultrasound in either medicine or industrial applications
  • Experience with methods and / or theory for one of the specific projects listed
  • Prior written, scientific output with relevance

CIUS aims to be a world-leading centre for research and innovation in next-generation ultrasound technologies. Candidates for this position will be selected in accordance with this aim. For some projects, it is imperative that the candidate has a proven ability to work in an experimental setting and is willing and interested in doing laboratory work.

Personal characteristics

  • Good communication abilities
  • Besides technical skills, we are looking for a curious, ambitious candidate who is highly self-motivated to do research and contribute to the innovative work carried out in CIUS

In the evaluation of which candidate is best qualified, emphasis will be placed on education, experience and personal suitability.

We offer

Salary and conditions

PhD candidates are remunerated in code 1017, and are normally remunerated at gross from NOK 479 600 per annum before tax, depending on qualifications and seniority. From the salary, 2% is deducted as a contribution to the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund.

The period of employment is 3 years.

Appointment to a PhD position requires that you are admitted to the PhD programme within three months of employment, and that you participate in an organized PhD programme during the employment period.

The engagement is to be made in accordance with the regulations in force concerning State Employees and Civil Servants, and the acts relating to Control of the Export of Strategic Goods, Services and Technology. Candidates who by assessment of the application and attachment are seen to conflict with the criteria in the latter law will be prohibited from recruitment to NTNU. After the appointment you must assume that there may be changes in the area of work.

It is a prerequisite you can be present at and accessible to the institution on a daily basis.

About the application

The application and supporting documentation to be used as the basis for the assessment must be in English.

Publications and other scientific work must follow the application. Please note that applications are only evaluated based on the information available on the application deadline. You should ensure that your application shows clearly how your skills and experience meet the criteria which are set out above. 

Joint works will be considered. If it is difficult to identify your contribution to joint works, you must attach a brief description of your participation.

Candidates from universities outside Norway are requested to send a Diploma Supplement or similar official document, which describes in detail the study and grade system and the rights for further studies associated with the obtained degree: https://europass.cedefop.europa.eu/documents/european-skills-passport/diploma-supplement. Candidates from non-English speaking countries outside the Nordic countries must provide official documentation of their English competence. Approved tests and results are:

  • TOEFL: 600 / writing 4.5 (paper-based test), 92 / writing 22 (internet- based test)
  • IELTS: 6.5, with no section lower than 5.5 (only Academic IELTS tests accepted)
  • Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (CAE) or
  • Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE): grade A or B

General information

A good work environment is characterized by diversity. We encourage qualified candidates to apply, regardless of their gender, functional capacity or cultural background. 

As an employee at NTNU, you must at all times adhere to the changes that the development in the subject entails and the organizational changes that are adopted.

Information Act (Offentleglova), your name, age, position and municipality may be made public even if you have requested not to have your name entered on the list of applicants.

For further information about the positions, please contact either:

Industry liason and researcher, Svein-Erik Måsøy, telephone: +47 92625082 or email: svein-erik.masoy@ntnu.no.

Professor, Lasse Løvstakken, telephone: +47 91347206 or email: lasse.lovstakken@ntnu.no.

For information concerning the application process, please contact: HR Consultant Julie Hoff, telephone: + 47 72576984, email: julie.hoff@ntnu.no

The application is to be accompanied by a cover letter explaining how your background and education fit the goals and requirements of the selected project(s) from the list of available positions. Please submit your application electronically via jobbnorge.no with your  cover letter, CV, diplomas and certificates.

Applications submitted elsewhere will not be considered. Diploma Supplement is required to attach for European Master Diplomas outside Norway. Chinese applicants are required to provide confirmation of Master Diploma from China Credentials Verification (CHSI).

If you are invited for interview you must include certified copies of transcripts and reference letters.

Application deadline: 31.07.2020

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.

The Department of Circulation and Imaging (ISB) has 260 employees, and its research units are at the Cardiothoracic Centre at St. Olav’s Hospital, integrated with collaborating clinical divisions. The Department of Circulation and Medical Imaging (ISB) includes anaesthesiology, radiology, radiography, ultrasound, magnetic resonance imaging, exercise physiology, cardiovascular physiology, pulmonary physiology, pulmonary medicine, cardiology, vascular surgery, thoracic surgery and biomedical engineering. The department is also responsible for the Centre for Innovative Ultrasound Solutions (CIUS), the Medical Simulation Centre and the MR Centre. More information about the department is available at http://www.ntnu.edu/isb

Deadline 31st July 2020
Employer NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Municipality Trondheim
Scope Fulltime
Duration Fixed Term
Place of service Øya

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