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Virtual Scientific Meeting of the Austrian Chapter of ESB November 30th

A virtual Scientific Meeting of the Austrian Chapter of ESB will take place on Monday, November 30, 2020, 09:30-16:30. 

Please see the agenda for download. 

Please pre-register yourself for the Zoom webinar – see below. After registering, you will automatically receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
Please feel free to forward the announcement to any interested colleague.

Practical guidelines: 
* Delegates joining the meeting using the provided link, will have the default capabilities of an „Attendee“, meaning they can observe the meeting content but cannot use their microphone, video or share their screen.

* Delegates are encouraged to submit their questions on-line on the Zoom Q&A at any time during the presentation. After each presentation, the chair will summarize the questions and ask them on behalf of the attendees.

* Attendees are requested to login at the meeting with their full name allowing the organizers to keep track of the participants.


You are invited to a Zoom webinar. 
When: Nov 30, 2020 09:30 AM Vienna 
Topic: Scientific meeting of Austrian Chapter of ESB

Register in advance for this webinar:

PostDoc @Heriot-Watt Edinburgh

Postdoctoral Research Associate in Multiscale Mechanics of Mineralised Tissues

Vacancy Details

Job ReferenceIRC27904
Closing Date8 Aug 2020 23:00 (UK time)
Salary£32,817– £38,017 (Grade 7)
DepartmentInstitute of Mechanical, Process and Energy Engineering
CategoryAcademic and Research
Duration of Contract (months)36 months
Informal enquiries by email to:Dr Uwe Wolfram at
How to apply:

About our Team

We are excited to be able to recruit a postdoctoral research associate in the area of Multiscale Mechanics of Mineralised Tissues to the Biomechanics group at Heriot-Watt University. The selected candidate will join a multidisciplinary team to work on a Leverhulme Trust funded project seeking to understand rapid cold-water coral habitat loss in a future ocean. Specifically, we seek to understand how climate change induced ocean acidification and bioerosion affect the multiscale mechanical properties of cold-water coral reefs and how these effects may accelerate reef-habitat loss.

The selected candidate will be based at Heriot-Watt University joining a multidisciplinary team working on multiscale mechanics of biologic tissues and structures. This is a joint project with the Changing Oceans Group at the University of Edinburgh, which conducts incubation experiments on live and dead coral skeletons under projected future conditions. The selected candidate will benefit from co-supervision by Dr Sebastian Hennige of the Changing Oceans Group along with visiting scholar access to University of Edinburgh.      

Detailed Description of Position

Ocean acidification threatens deep-sea coral reefs and could lead to dramatic and rapid loss of the habitat they make. Here we combine biology and engineering approaches to quantify the risk and time scales of such habitat loss. Increases in porosity and loss of skeletal material in structurally critical parts of the coral reef foundation could lead to physical habitat collapse on an ecosystem scale, reducing its potential to support associated biodiversity. Our unique interdisciplinary approach will identify the timescales and conditions such ‘tipping points’ would occur within, to allow more effective future management of these vulnerable ecosystems.

To do so, we seek to (i) quantify skeletal dissolution rates under different future oceanic conditions (primarily delivered by University of Edinburgh); (ii) develop a simulation framework that allows quantification of failure rates of coral skeletons; (iii) use results from (i) and (ii) to scale up to larger reef-type structures and estimate tipping points of habitat loss. The successful candidate will also develop and conduct characterisation and validation experiments based on extensive expertise in multiscale experimentation. The successful candidate will work closely with our collaborators (with regular joint meetings) to link results of (ii) and (iii) to the marine-biological aspects (i). The successful candidate will also work with our partners within JNCC (Joint Nature Conservation Committee) and NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, US Department of Commerce) to foster dissemination along the policy making route. This is an exciting new project with scope to contribute significantly to tackling some of the most pressing global challenges.

The successful candidate will make use of our excellent facilities including dedicated biomedical tissue laboratories, and cutting-edge equipment including a broad suite of tissue processing equipment, mechanical testing equipment, imaging equipment (micro-CT, microscopy and optical coherence tomography) and a dedicated node on a high-performance cluster for computation.

We are looking for someone who is ambitious and collaborative, with a passion for developing solution for pressing global challenges.  The post will be for 36 months.  There may be the opportunity for the post holder to develop their own fellowship applications during this post, with support from the PI.

The successful candidate will work in two departments that have an international reputation for engineering, strong expertise in biomedical engineering as well as marine biology, and world-class equipment and facilities.  

Key Duties and Responsibilities

The successful appointee will be expected to undertake the following:

  • Plan and execute work plans to progress investigations into the multiscale mechanical behaviour from ‘crystal building block to reef’
  • Lead and contribute to research dissemination (i.e. papers and conference attendance)
  • Work closely with the PI and collaborators to analyse, interpret, and present experimental and modelling data
  • Work closely with other postdoctoral associates, PhD students and collaborators to ensure smooth research team function
  • Participate actively in group meetings
  • Take a leadership role to ensure the effective running of computational analyses.
  • Participate in outreach activities, which may involve talks for the general public, attendance at science festivals or and preparation of demonstrators.
  • Participate in advisory meetings with Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC), which may involve talks to executive decision makers
  • Responsibilities will also include assistance in the day-to-day running of the simulations and computational analyses using own servers as well as HWUs HPC cluster, liaising with companies and external collaborators.
  • Contribute, under supervision, to the planning of research projects, including the development of new grant/contract proposals.

Please note that this job description is not exhaustive, and the role holder may be required to undertake other relevant duties commensurate with the grading of the post.  Activities may be subject to amendment over time as the role develops and/or priorities and requirements evolve. 

Education, Qualifications and Experience

this will form the basis of your selection criteria and shortlisting. Please use the examples below and delete /add as appropriate.

Essential Criteria

  • Applicants should a PhD in biomedical engineering, physics, material science, or a related subject (Applicants should have submitted their PhD thesis first draft by the start date.) broadly in one of the following areas:
    • Multiscale constitutive modelling (ideally but not necessarily biologic hard or soft tissues)
    • Multiscale mechanics of materials (mathematically, experimentally, or theoretically)
    • Image based multiscale computational modelling
  • Experience of programming and simulation
  • Working with image data (key word: imaged based modelling)
  • Experience working in a multidisciplinary environment/team and openness to dive into a novel research field in biomechanics
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • A record of high quality, peer-reviewed publications and evidence of contribution to the writing of these publications proportionate to opportunity.
  • Willingness and ability to travel for dissemination, outreach, and public engagement activities.

Desirable Criteria

  • Experience in conducting validation and material characterisation experiments (nanoindentation, micropillar testing, macroscopic testing, or similar)
  • Experience in using/developing artificial neural network approaches
  • Experience of research-student supervision.

When applying, please include a cover letter addressing these selection criteria. 

The intention is to hold the interviews towards the end of week commencing 17/8/2020.

Job Share

At Heriot-Watt University we understand that being diverse makes us better which is why we support a culture of respect and equal opportunity, and value diversity at the heart of what we do. We want to increase the diversity of our workplace to underpin a dynamic and creative environment.

While this is a full-time post, flexible percentage working regimes may be possible for the right candidate.

Post-doc in Biomedical Engineering, Biomechanics, partial placement MAX IV

Lund University, Faculty of Engineering, Biomedical engineering

Lund University was founded in 1666 and is repeatedly ranked among the world’s top 100 universities. The University has 40 000 students and more than 8 000 staff based in Lund, Helsingborg and Malmö. We are united in our efforts to understand, explain and improve our world and the human condition.

LTH forms the Faculty of Engineering at Lund University, with approximately 9 000 students. The research carried out at LTH is of a high international standard and we are continuously developing our teaching methods and adapting our courses to current needs.

MAX IV is a Swedish national large-scale research laboratory hosted by Lund University. It provides scientists from Sweden as well as internationally, with state-of-the-art instrumentation for research in areas such as engineering, physics, structural biology, chemistry and nanotechnology. Fully developed it will receive more than 2 000 scientists annually, conducting ground-breaking experiments in materials and life sciences using the brilliant X-ray light.

Subject description

Background:  The research in the biomechanics group is focused on understanding the link between mechanics and biology in the musculoskeletal system, with emphasis on solving problems in orthopaedics. Tissue characterisation, using synchrotron based techniques has become vital to understand the tissue’s function-, structure-, composition relationships.

NanoMAX and SoftiMAX are both nanoprobe beamlines, designed to take full advantage of MAX IV’s exceptionally low emittance and the resulting coherence properties of the X-ray beam enabling imaging applications at unprecedented resolution. NanoMAX uses hard X-rays, and has been operational since 2017. Available techniques include scanning X-ray diffraction and coherent imaging in the Bragg geometry, forward ptychography and coherent diffraction imaging, as well as X-ray fluorescence (XRF) imaging. SoftiMAX is a soft X-ray beamline, planned to be in user operation in 2021. Available techniques include Scanning Transmission X-ray Microscopy (STXM), ptychography, and XRF imaging.

Goals: The current position is primarily dedicated to XRF, with the main aim to develop a more intuitive data analysis pipeline with emphasis on applications for life science-oriented users. The goals will be accomplished through the framework of the research questions addressed within the biomechanics group with focus on understanding the function-structure-composition relationships in mineralized tissues. Specific emphasis is on elucidating the role of Zinc in mineralization of bone.

This employment is at Biomedical Engineering, but with a major part spent at MAX IV laboratory.

Work duties / Tasks

The main duties involved in the post-doctoral position is to conduct research and beamline development. User support is also included, but up to no more than 20% of working hours. The position shall include the opportunity for three weeks of training in higher education teaching and learning.

Detailed description of the work duties, such as:

  • The post-doc is expected to take responsibility for designing, planning and developing an intuitive and more automated analysis pipeline for XRF data, dedicated to life science users, connected primarily to NanoMAX and secondly to SoftiMAX.
  • The post-doc is expected to drive the research project connected to mineralization in bone using XRF.
  • Depending on interest, the post-doc may also combine XRF imaging techniques with other methods available at the beamlines (e.g. wide angle X-ray scattering, nano-diffraction, ptychography and STXM).
  • The post-doc is expected to assist with user support for relevant experiments, including experiment preparations and guiding in data analysis
  • The post-doc is expected to be active in workshops, lectures and outreach efforts towards the life science community
  • Opportunities to also supervise MSc degree projects and to assist the group when seeking external research funding is available.

Qualification requirements

Appointment to a post-doctoral position requires that the applicant has a PhD, or an international degree deemed equivalent to a PhD, within the subject of the position, completed no more than three years before the last date for applications. Under special circumstances, the doctoral degree can have been completed earlier.

Essential requirements:

  • Very good oral and written proficiency in English.
  • A background in physics, applied mathematics, engineering or other relevant fields
  • Demonstrated experience in synchrotron-related techniques, where experience in XRF Imaging holds special merit
  • Demonstrated experience in X-ray data analysis
  • Scientific computer programming skills, preferably in Python (or C++), and experience with large scale data processing.
  • Demonstrated ability to work in teams and interact with a diverse group of scientists and technical staff in a dynamic environment.

Additional requirements are considered assets

  • Experience from the life-science field with biological tissue characterization is meriting.
  • Experience with collaborative software development for scientific applications is meriting.
  • Experience in providing user support is meriting

Assessment criteria and other qualifications

This is a career development position primarily focused on research. The position is intended as an initial step in a career, and the assessment of the applicants will primarily be based on their research qualifications and potential as researchers.

Particular emphasis will be placed on research skills within the subject.

For appointments to a post-doctoral position, the following shall form the assessment criteria:

  • A good ability to develop and conduct high quality research.
  • Scientific communication skills.

Additional assessment criteria:

The post-doc should be able to independently drive his/her own project, as well as writing scientific publications. The post-doc should be able to assist users. International networks and experience is considered positive.

Consideration will also be given to good collaborative skills, drive and independence, and how the applicant’s experience and skills complement and strengthen ongoing research within the department, and how they stand to contribute to its future development.

Terms of employment This is a full-time, fixed-term employment of a maximum of 2 years. The period of employment is determined in accordance with the agreement “Avtal om tidsbegränsad anställning som postdoktor” (“Agreement on fixed-term employment as a post-doctoral fellow”) between Lund University, SACO-S, OFR/S and SEKO, dated 4 September 2008.

Instructions on how to apply

Applications shall be written in English. LTH uses a special qualifications portfolio to report and document qualifications. Draw up the application in accordance with the following outline and attach it as three PDF files (in the recruitment system). Read more here:

Lund University welcomes applicants with diverse backgrounds and experiences. We regard gender equality and diversity as a strength and an asset. We kindly decline all sales and marketing contacts.

To apply, please click the button “Login and apply”

Type of employmentTemporary position longer than 6 months
Contract typeFull time
First day of employmentBy agreement
SalaryMonthly salary
Number of positions1
Working hours100
CountySkåne län
Reference numberPA2020/2399
ContactHanna Isaksson, +46462221749,
Union representativeOFR/ST:Fackförbundet ST:s kansli, 046-222 93 62SACO:Saco-s-rådet vid Lunds universitet, 046-222 93 64SEKO: Seko Civil, 046-222 93 66
Last application date16.Aug.2020 11:59 PM CET

Postdoc Computational modeling of kidney toxin transport

25 Jun12 JulMaastricht

The department of Cell Biology-Inspired Tissue Engineering (cBITE) at the MERLN Institute for Technology-inspired Regenerative Medicine at Maastricht University in the Netherlands invites applications for a post-doctoral position. The post-doctoral researcher will perform cutting-edge research in computational modeling methods applied to regenerative medicine and more specifically, to kidney toxin transport in microfluidic set-ups, organoid culture systems and/or bioartificial kidney devices.


Regenerative medicine holds the promise to cure many of what are now chronic patients, restoring health rather than protracting decline, bettering the lives of millions and at the same time preventing lifelong, expensive care processes: cure instead of care. More specifically, at present, dialysis and transplantation are the only treatment options for end-stage kidney disease. In the Netherlands alone, 6,500 people currently depend on dialysis, approximately 1,300 of which will die this year. Regenerative medicine offers an alternative treatment in the form of a bioengineered kidney. As a first step, the partners of RegMed XB will work towards creating a functional subunit of a bioengineered kidney. This functional subunit is the nephron, of which there are approximately one million in the adult kidney. In order to inform the in vitro experiments as well as design a bioartificial kidney as an intermediate step towards a fully bioengineered kidney, this project will use computational models to simulate toxin transport and calculate the flow and geometry requirements for adequate toxin removal in various set-ups: microfluidic, organoid culture systems and bioartificial devices.

Project description:

  • Computational modeling of toxin transport, computational fluid dynamics, to inform the design of in vitro kidney organoid experiments and/or bioartificial kidney devices
  • Parameter optimization and sensitivity analysis
  • Analysis and integration of various in vitro/in vivo data for model calibration

What we offer:

  • Computational ecosystem at Maastricht University: Institute for Data Science (IDS), Department of Knowledge Engineering (DKE) and Maastricht Centre for Systems Biology (MacsBio)
  • Excellent computational and experimental facilities to validate the in silico analyses and predictions in vitro/in vivo
  • Interdisciplinary environment within MERLN and the RegMed XB consortium

Project embedding:

The project will be coordinated by the MERLN Institute for Technology-Inspired Regenerative Medicine ( at Maastricht University (UM), while closely collaborating with TU Eindhoven, Utrecht University and Leiden University as part of RegMed XB, which stands for “Regenerative Medicine Crossing Borders”. RegMed XB is a virtual institute composed of universities, health foundations, governments and private companies in the Netherlands and Belgium. The partners work together to tackle some of the greatest challenges in regenerative medicine, while building a community of researchers and companies to realize health and economic benefits. RegMed XB is best-suited for those scientists who are driven to make a difference in the lives of patients and who wish to join a growing initiative that promises to integrate entrepreneurial activities with the excellent scientific research performed within the universities. Joining RegMed XB means being part of a community working on research programs aimed to cure a chronic disease (for more information, please visit


Requirements and key expertise

  • PhD in data science, computer science, statistics, mathematics, bioinformatics, biomedical informatics, artificial intelligence, or equivalent
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently as well as in a team
  • Strong scientific background and publication record
  • Expertise in computational modeling, computational fluid dynamics
  • Good programming skills (for example Comsol, Matlab, Python, R, VCell)\
  • Basic knowledge of image processing and analysis
  • Affinity with regenerative medicine
  • Good oral and written English communication


Fixed-term contract: 1 year.

The position is temporary for the duration of the project (12 months). Depending on experience and qualification, the gross monthly salary is scale 10 (max. € 4.402,-), based on a full-time appointment.

The terms of employment of Maastricht University are set out in the Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities (CAO). Furthermore, local UM provisions also apply. For more information look at the website > Support > UM employees.


Maastricht University

Maastricht University (UM) is the most international university in the Netherlands and, with more than 18,000 students and 4,400 employees, is still growing. The university stands out for its innovative education model, international character and multidisciplinary approach to research and education. Thanks to its high-quality research and study programs as well as a strong focus on social engagement, UM has quickly built up a solid reputation. Today it is considered one of the best young universities in the world


MERLN Institute

The MERLN Institute for Technology-inspired Regenerative Medicine focuses on developing novel and challenging technologies to advance the field of tissue and organ repair and regeneration through, amongst others, the development of high-throughput material platforms to screen cell-biomaterial interactions. MERLN consists of an interdisciplinary team of researchers including fields as (stem cell) biology, materials engineering, chemistry, micro/nanofabrication, additive manufacturing, etc. The scientists at MERLN have an extensive network of collaborators within research institutions in and outside the Netherlands as well as with a number of biomedical companies, including their own spin-off companies, as entrepreneurship is highly fostered.


The application should contain:

  • Cover letter with motivation, fit and preferred starting date
  • Statement of research interests and accomplishments, max 2 pages
  • CV including a list of publications
  • Contact information of two references

For more detailed information you can contact dr. A. Carlier:

More details:

RA in Computational Modelling of the Human Knee @University of Leeds

We are looking for a Research Assistant in Computational Modelling of the Human Knee (institute of Medical and Biological Engineering, University of Leeds)

Do you have a strong technical background in computational mechanics with an interest in biomedical engineering? Would you like to work as part of a multidisciplinary team to address a clinically-driven challenge? We are recruiting a Research Assistant in Computational Modelling of the Human Knee (fixed-term position until Sept 2021), part of a major £4M EPSRC Programme Grant on Optimising Knee Therapies. The aim of the programme is to develop preclinical testing methods for early-stage treatments for knee osteoarthritis so their performance can be optimised.

With a degree in medical or mechanical engineering (or a related discipline), you will have a strong background in finite element analysis related to tribology or material interfaces and contact mechanics, and have a proactive approach to working in a multidisciplinary team with engineers, biologists and clinicians.

The role will include (see job advert for full list and details of the post):

  • Working independently to generate finite element models of the knee from existing image data. You will use methods that have been developed and previously documented in-house and proprietary software;
  • Undertaking initial testing of the finite element models using Abaqus software, and trouble-shooting/iteratively changing the models to obtain satisfactory outcomes;
  • Working collaboratively with researchers in the team to curate the models in such a way that they can be readily used by future researchers;
  • Independently writing reports and helping with the preparation of papers for publication;
  • Potentially contributing to the training of undergraduate or postgraduate students, including assisting with the supervision of projects in areas relevant to the project

How to apply

Applications will only be considered through — applications open until 17/07/2020
For any queries you may have, please contact: Marlène Mengoni and visit the institute website
The post can be started remotely.

PhD position: Smart design of porous structures for biomedical applications

Applications are invited for a fully-funded PhD studentship at Tecnun, School of Engineering of University of Navarra (San Sebastian, Spain).
Closing date: 1 July 2020

Description: Recent advances in additive manufacturing have made possible to manufacture highly complex porous structures. These structures exhibit a high specific stiffness, while being lightweight, which makes them ideal for several industries. In the biomedical sector, porous structures can be used to treat bone defects, which are the most common cause of physical disability. The objective of this thesis is to design, model and manufacture complex porous structures that meet a series of biomechanical requirements in order to create optimized next-generation orthopaedic implants and scaffolds for bone tissue engineering.

The ideal candidate will have:
– Masters degree in Mechanical Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, Industrial Engineering or similar.
– Knowledge in three or more of the following skills: Finite Element Modelling (i.e. Abaqus, Ansys); Computational Fluid Dynamics (i.e. Ansys Fluent); CAD and/or design tools (i.e. CREO, SolidWorks, Rhinoceros); Numerical computing tools (i.e. Matlab); Programming (i.e. Python).
– Experience in mechanical testing, additive manufacturing, machine learning and/or (medical) image processing will be valued.

How to apply: Please send the following documents via email to
– Motivation letter
– CV (with photo)
– Transcript of Records, including the average grade of the studies;

It would be great if it was advertised in the website. Please let me know if you require further information.

Best wishes,


Fully funded PhD studentship | 3D human pose estimation and shape reconstruction for biomechanics |

Closing Date: Review of applications will commence on 1 August 2020 and remain open until filled

Department: Bioengineering, Faculty of Engineering.

Applications are invited for an exciting fully-funded PhD studentship at the Faculty of Engineering, the University of Nottingham.

Research area. The research topic focuses on developing computer vision and machine learning based solutions that enable in-natura markerless motion capture for biomechanical modelling in Biomedical and Sports Engineering. Specifically, it addresses the fundamental research problem of reconstruction of person-specific human pose, kinematics, and surface geometry to enhance our understanding of the non-linear behaviour of human motion, musculoskeletal injury and disease and enable modelling of soft-tissue dynamics and human-object interaction.

The project. The candidate is expected to develop a fast and robust method for inferring and tracking 3D human pose and surface geometry. The method will be mainly based on visual sensing complemented by Inertial and force sensors. The method can use either or both of model-based and learning-based approaches, such as CNN based segmentation, geometric CNNs, or convolutional kernel filter based tracking. The candidate will have access to a newly established state-of-the-art motion capture laboratory.

The candidate. The ideal candidate will have;

  1. a first or upper second class honours or Masters degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Physics, Computer Science, or other relevant and equivalent degree from a quality recognised institution.
  2. a solid background in mathematics and excellent analytical and numerical skills, as well as problem solving skills
  3. strong background in 3D computer vision, pose estimation, shape reconstruction, structure from motion, segmentation, or object detection.
  4. experience in image or video processing and digital signal processing.
  5. strong programming skills in Matlab, C/C++, or Python. Previous hands-on experience with deep learning platforms and agile software development as well as experience of working within industry will be an advantage.
  6. very good written and communication skills and fluency in English.
  7. a driven, independent professional and self-reliant work attitude within a fast-paced & collaborative environment.

The offer. The scholarship on offer (to eligible students) is for a minimum of three years and includes a tax-free stipend of 15,285 per year (for 2020/21) and tuition fees. It is available to students of UK and EU nationality. Applicants must obtain the support of the potential supervisor prior to submitting their application.

Informal enquiries about the project may be addressed to Dr Ami Drory. Please (i) insert your cover letter, CV, copies of academic transcripts, a list of publications, and contact details for two academic referees into a single pdf file. (ii) Name the file with your name as ”firstName_lastName_phd”. (iii) e-mail to: Ami.Drory [ at ], with [3D shape reconstruction PhD application – lastName] as the email subject. Applications without academic transcripts or academic referees will not be considered. Applicants are advised to include copies of any publications or examples of their technical writing, such as code projects, project report or dissertation in support of the application.

Application instructions. With the support of the potential supervisor, formal applications are to be made via

Closing date for applications. Review of applications will commence on 1 August 2020 and remain open until filled. A start date is expected to be as soon as practical thereafter.

2x PhD positions starting in November 2020 @University of Bologna


About this doctorate program

This PhD program has a duration of 3 years. The Doctorate in Health and Technology is an interdisciplinary program, where each PhD student has a supervisor from the technical area (engineering, chemistry etc) and one from the clinical or biological area.

The objective of the interdepartmental Doctoral Programme in Health Sciences and Technologies is to train the next generation of leaders in industrial, clinical, and academic research. Our goal is to develop an organic research programme at the interface between engineering and medicine, which is inspired by the quantitative and integrative approach of physical sciences, and by the latest development in biomedical research, drive the development and clinical translation of disruptive health technologies.

The doctoral training programme will prepare students in conducting research which:

– Extend the comprehension of how human physiology and pathology work in term of physical and chemical mechanisms, and how these mechanisms respond when perturbed by external factors such as therapies, changes in life style, and environmental factors.

– Develop new technologies that by leveraging on this mechanistic understanding pursue a wide spectrum of applications relevant to human health, including prevention, diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, and rehabilitation.

How to apply:

Formal application must be submitted through the UniBo portal:

Each student, depending on their degree, will be able to apply only for a sub-set of projects among those advertised for this PhD program; among them each student will be allowed to select three projects, and name them in order of preference; however, in some cases it might not be possible to satisfy all requests, and some students might be offered a research project different from those they selected.

The full call is available online:

Profile of the candidate

We are looking for a highly motivated young researchers with a Master degree (or equivalent) in Mechanical Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, Physics, Material Science, or related disciplines, willing to study and do research at the leading edge of biomechanical engineering, in close contact with a clinical environment.

Individuals expecting to obtain their Master degree before 31 October 2020 can conditionally apply. In order to be admitted to the selection, a student needs a five-year higher education degree, which includes at least one module for each of the following disciplines: mathematics, physics, computer science, biology, physiology, and anatomy.

Candidates must be fluent in English as it will be the language used to interact with supervisors and colleagues during the project, and to interact with partners. Although some understanding of Italian may be useful for daily living, this is not a mandatory requirement. Communication and team-working skills are required in our international team.


Applications must be submitted through the Unibo portal by 21 May 2020, 13:00 Italian time (UTC +1)

Selection procedure: selection takes place in two phases. First the documents submitted by the applicants are examined, with no interaction with the candidates (early June). The eligible applications are shortlisted and the candidates are informed. In the second stage, the shortlisted candidates are interviewed. All interviews are performed remotely, in videoconference (mid-June).

Salary: 19 367 € per year before taxes.

More information: Perspective applicants are encouraged to contact Professor Luca Cristofolini for informal discussion about the research projects.


Biomechanical evaluation of knee mechanical behaviour and interface stresses with a new concept of alignment for total knee arthroplasty (NEW-KNEE)


At least one knee replacement out of 5 are dissatisfactory due to continuous pain. This is mainly related to inadequate joint kinematics with the current paradigm for prosthesis alignment, causing painful patellar motions and poor balance of soft tissue. Recently, a different rationale has been proposed based on kinematical alignment (KA). This PhD student will work under the joint supervision of an orthopaedic surgeon focusing on knee replacement, and of two engineers with a background in biomechanical in vitro testing, and numerical modelling respectively. During these three years, the PhD student will develop a numerical to estimate how the knee joint loads are affected by implant positioning, and a series of in vitro tests to measure how this affects the implant-bone interaction.

Objectives of this project

The overall objective of this PhD project is to evaluate in vitro the biomechanical effectiveness of the kinematical alignment (KA) method for total knee arthroplasty (TKA).

The following specific objectives will be tackled:

• How the stresses at bone-prosthesis interface change with the KA alignment respect traditional mechanical alignment (MA)

• How bone stresses propagate in the distal femur and proximal tibia during specific motor tasks

• How the KA alignment interferes with the kinematics of the knee and if there is a threshold of safety in degrees from a mechanical neutral axis

• if KA alignment requires a specific prosthetic design (from the already present on the market) to be successful

This project covers some basic science (improving the understanding of knee biomechanics), it focuses on technological development (implementing a modeling strategy for the human knee) and has clinical relevance (improving the outcome of knee replacement).

The research team

This candidate will have an engineering background. While this will facilitate him/her in grasping the technical part of the project, some time and effort must be dedicated at the beginning to improve his/her understanding of the clinical problem. This project is rooted between three groups:

– The group of Prof. Cristofolini (Department of Industrial Engineering) will provide “training through research” in the area of biomechanics and material characterization. Prof. Marco Viceconti will be the supervisor for all computational aspects.

– The group of Prof Traina will provide training and supervision on the surgical procedures for tendon and ligament repair, on complications, and will supervise the design of the implantation technique.

Prof. Traina and prof. Cristofolini have been intensively collaborating for over 15 years on research projects at the intersection between orthopaedic clinical application and biomechanics research, and specifically on total joint replacement. A strong integration of the two research groups has been achieved by involving the clinical staff in lab activity, and the lab staff in clinical research. This PhD candidate will enjoy this extremely stimulating interdisciplinary environment, and will share his/her research time between clinics (in tight collaboration with Rizzoli Orthopaedic Institute) and biomechanics lab.

The Department of Industrial Engineering includes a large Biomechanics lab that is extremely active in the field of orthopaedic biomechanics. The focus of the biomechanics group directed by prof. Cristofolini within DIN is on the multi-scale biomechanical characterization of skeletal structures and orthopaedic devices, and on the integration of in vitro tests and numerical modeling. Their group, in collaboration with the Electrospinning group, recently developed and characterized innovative regenerative scaffolds. Furthermore, this group is acknowledged internationally for the applications of DIC to biomechanics.

The Dept. of hip and knee primary and revisions prosthetic surgery of Rizzoli Orthopaedic Institute is nationally recognized for the treatment of severe hip and knee conditions primarily through joint replacements. Its activity is mainly focused on surgical treatment of complex cases, analysis and data collection of multiple type of joint replacement surgery through different surgical approach and procedures. Comparison between different procedures and cases are routinely performed in order to continuously improve the patient’s provision of care and to develop innovative implant design and surgical tools The Labs of the Department of Industrial Engineering are equipped with the testing facilities required for this project, including:

– Approved procedures and dedicated space and facilities for safe storage, preparation, testing and disposal of biological tissue specimens (both human and animal)

– Five universal testing machines

– A proprietary multiaxial simulator for biomechanical testing

– State-of-the-art digital image correlation (DIC) system (4-camera system, up to 100 frames per second).

– Access to the In Silico Medicine group computational infrastructure, including high-level workstations, secure storage for clinical data within IOR network, and to a collection of specialised software tools for musculoskeletal dynamics modelling.

Specific skills useful for this PhD project

The following skills will be considered during the selection: good laboratory practice; mechanical testing and experimental stress analysis; handling and testing of biological tissue; orthopaedic biomechanics; mechanical properties of living tissues; Bone biomechanics; Soft tissue mechanics; Prosthetics; in vitro biomechanical testing; experimental stress analysis (digital image correlation); statistics and design of the experiment.


1. Howell SM, Kuznik K, Hull ML, Siston RA. Results of an initial experience with custom-fit positioning total knee arthroplasty in a series of 48 patients. Orthopedics. 2008;31:857–863.

2. Abdel MP, Ollivier M, Parratte S, Trousdale RT, Berry DJ, Pagnano MW. Effect of Postoperative Mechanical Axis Alignment on Survival and Functional Outcomes of Modern Total Knee Arthroplasties with Cement: A Concise Follow-up at 20 Years. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2018 Mar 21;100(6):472-478.

3. Eckhoff DG, Bach JM, Spitzer VM, Reinig KD, Bagur MM, Baldini TH, Flannery NM. Three-dimensional mechanics, kinematics, and morphology of the knee viewed in virtual reality. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2005;87 Suppl 2:71-80.

4. Castagnini F, Sudanese A, Bordini B, Tassinari E, Stea S, Toni A. Total Knee Replacement in Young Patients: Survival and Causes of Revision in a Registry Population. J Arthroplasty. 2017 Nov;32(11):3368-3372.


Understanding the causes of junctional failure in lumbar spine fixation through retrospective clinical analysis and in vitro tests


Fixation of the lumbar spine is associated with a high failure rate, both in young and in elderly patients. This project is expected to improve the general understanding of spinal biomechanics, the effect of different treatment options, including the detrimental effect of some surgical treatments. The main focus will be on the failure of the disc caudal to the fixation (junctional pathology).

This project will start from a retrospective analysis of clinical cases available within the Rizzoli database. The focus will be on the determinants for failure after corrective spinal surgery, including both patient-specific ones (anatomical, radiographical, etc.) and surgical ones (type of correction used).

On the experimental side, we will apply digital image correlation (DIC, a powerful experimental technique to measure deformations during in vitro mechanical tests) to analyze functional spinal units (FSU) and multivertebrae segments. DIC allows investigating both hard and soft tissue at the same time, providing a full-field view of the spine specimen. The focus will be on the biomechanical condition of the intervertebral discs after a range of spine surgery procedures.

Objectives of this project

The purpose of this 3-years project is to improve the understanding about the mechanism leading to failure after fixation of the lumbar region of the spine, with a main focus on the instability associated with failure of the caudal disc (junctional pathology) [1. 2]. While the incidence and consequences of such failures are known, the biomechanical causes are still unclear. In fact, different approaches have been proposed to mitigate this problem, with limited success. One causes of failure for such attempts has been the lack of interdisciplinarity: the surgical technique and instrumentation has been modified, without a strong biomechanical background.

This PhD candidate will integrate his/her clinical background, with dedicated training in biomechanics. He/she will apply in vitro tests to analyze functional spinal units and multi-vertebrae segments. This will provide asystematic quantitative assessment of the determinants of fixation failures. This approach will also enable improving the understanding of the biomechanics of the intervertebral discs and ligaments after different procedures such as facetectomy, instrumentation, etc.

The research team

This candidate will have an engineering background. While this will facilitate him/her in grasping the technical part of the project, some time and effort must be dedicated at the beginning to improve his/her understanding of the clinical problem. This project is rooted between three groups:

– The group of Prof. Cristofolini (Department of Industrial Engineering) will provide “training through research” in the area of biomechanics and material characterization.

– The group of Dr Giovanni Barbanti-Bròdano will provide training and supervision on the surgical procedures for spinal correction, and about the most critical complications.

Dr Barbanti-Bròdano and prof. Cristofolini have been intensively collaborating in the last 5 years on research projects at the intersection between orthopaedic clinical application and biomechanics research, and specifically on spine pathologies. A strong integration of the two research groups has been achieved by involving the clinical staff in lab activity, and the lab staff in clinical research. This PhD candidate will enjoy this extremely stimulating interdisciplinary environment, and will share his/her research time between clinics (in tight collaboration with Rizzoli Orthopaedic Institute) and biomechanics lab.

The Department of Industrial Engineering includes a large Biomechanics lab that is extremely active in the field of orthopaedic biomechanics. The focus of the biomechanics group directed by prof. Cristofolini within

DIN is on the multi-scale biomechanical characterization of skeletal structures and orthopaedic devices, and on the integration of in vitro tests and numerical modeling. Since the beginning (nineties), the focus of this group has been on joint replacement, and in the last decade the group has also been active in the spine area (basic science, osteoporotic fractures, vertebroplasty, fixation). Furthermore, this group is acknowledged internationally for the applications of DIC to biomechanics.

The Complex Structure of Spine Surgery prevalently Oncologic and Degenerative, operating at the Rizzoli Orthopaedic Institute, is a division dedicated to the diagnosis and the treatment of rachis pathologies of oncologic, degenerative and post-traumatic origin. The clinical activity concerns the field of spinal column pathologies: primary and secondary tumors of the mobile rachis and the sacrum, hematopoietic tumors with vertebral localization; degenerative discopathy of the lumbo-sacral rachis, herniated lumbar disc, spondylolisthesis, thoracic-lumbar stenosis, herniated thoracic-rachis disc, pathologies of the cervical rachis; Deformities in adults; Traumatic fractures and insufficiency fractures (osteoporosis). This Complex Structure is the reference center for AOSpine International, a scientific association of vertebral surgeons gathering over 40.000 members worldwide, and favorite destination for all-around specialists for the study and in-depth analysis of the surgical techniquesapplied. The Division participates to the international multicenter Registry for the collection of data on primary tumors of the spinal column (PTRON) and to the international multicenter Registry for the collection of data on metastatic tumors of the spinal column (MTRON), both promoted by the international scientific Association AOSpine Foundation; to the international database for spinal column pathologies “SpineTango”, promoted by the International Association EuroSpine; to the international multicenter study promoted by the Italian Sarcoma Group on the comparison between surgical and radiotherapy treatment of the sacrum chordoma.

The Labs of the Department of Industrial Engineering are equipped with the testing facilities required for this project, including:

– Approved procedures and dedicated space and facilities for safe storage, preparation, testing and disposal of biological tissue specimens (both human and animal)

– Five universal testing machines

– A proprietary multiaxial simulator for biomechanical testing

– Top-of-the-range digital image correlation (DIC) system (4-camera system, up to 100 frames per second). Specific skills useful for this PhD project

The following skills will be considered during the selection: good laboratory practice; mechanical testing and experimental stress analysis; handling and testing of biological tissue; orthopaedic biomechanics; mechanical properties of living tissues; bone biomechanics; soft tissue mechanics; spine biomechanics; in vitro biomechanical testing; experimental stress analysis (digital image correlation); statistics and design of the experiment.


1. Lee, G. A., Betz, R. R., Clements, D. H. & Huss, G. K. Proximal kyphosis after posterior spinal fusion in patients with idiopathic scoliosis. Spine 24, 795–799 (1999).

2. Park et Al. (Spine 29, 17, 2004).

3. Lau, D. et al. Junctional kyphosis and failure after spinal deformity surgery: a systematic review of the literature as a background to classification development. Spine 39, 2093–2102 (2014).

4. Smith, M. W., Annis, P., Lawrence, B. D., Daubs, M. D. & Brodke, D. S. Acute proximal junctional failure in patients with preoperative sagittal imbalance. Spine J. Off. J. North Am. Spine Soc. 15, 2142–2148 (2015).

5. Colangeli S, Barbanti Brodàno G, Gasbarrini A, Bandiera S, Mesfin A, Griffoni C, Boriani S. Polyetheretherketone (PEEK) rods: short-term results in lumbar spine degenerative disease. J Neurosurg Sci. 2015 Jun;59(2):91-6.

6. Yagi, M. et al. Characterization and surgical outcomes of proximal junctional failure in surgically treated patients with adult spinal deformity. Spine 39, E607-614 (2014).

7. Pipola V, Gasbarrini A, Girolami M, Griffoni C, Zaccaro R, Barbanti Bròdano G. Isthmic spondylolisthesis and interspinous process device. Hype, hope, or contraindication? Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. 2019: 2340-44.

8. Barbanti Bròdano G, Lolli F, Martikos K, Gasbarrini A, Bandiera S, Greggi T, Parisini P, Boriani S. Fueling the debate: Are outcomes better after posterior lumbar interbody fusion (PLIF) or after posterolateral fusion (PLF) in adult patients with low-grade adult isthmic spondylolisthesis? Evid Based Spine Care J. 2010 1(1):29-34.

9. Palanca, Ruspi, Cristofolini (2018) “Full-field strain distribution in multivertebra spine segments: An in vitro application of Digital Image Correlation” Medical Engineering & Physics 52: 76-83

10. Palanca, M., Ruspi, M.L., Cristofolini, L., Liebsch, C., Villa, T., Brayda-Bruno, M., Galbusera Fabio, Wilke, H.-J., La Barbera, L., (2020). The strain distribution in the lumbar anterior longitudinal ligament is affected by the loading condition and bony features: an in vitro full-field analysis. PLOS ONE.

Computational Tissue and Material Mechanics Tenure Track Assistant Professor at TU/Eindhoven

Job description

The Department of Biomedical Engineering. There is an endless demand in modern healthcare for technologies to improve the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of health problems. To meet this demand, TU/e has a strong focus on Health in its research and education programs and has a department devoted entirely to this socially vital area: Biomedical Engineering. Biomedical engineers improve human health by cross-disciplinary activities that integrate the engineering sciences with the biomedical sciences and clinical practice.

The Department of Biomedical Engineering presently consists of thirteen research groups, organized in 3 clusters and covers everything from regenerative engineering to biomedical image analysis to biomolecular engineering. With 58 (assistant, associate and full) professors, over 100 researchers and postdocs, 158 PhD candidates and circa 950 bachelor and master students, the Department of Biomedical Engineering provides high-quality academic education and cutting-edge research.

See here for more information about the department, and here or more information about the current research programs.

Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) is ranked as one of the most innovative universities located in the heart of the high-tech industry in the Netherlands, the Brainport region. The unique positioning in one of Europe’s leading tech regions also means excellent job opportunities for spouses. TU/e actively facilitates career opportunities for partners of successful candidates. Eindhoven is the fifth largest city in the Netherlands, and including suburbs, it has about 420,000 inhabitants.  Our training and research programs are highly regarded, and we foster close relationships with companies, organizations, and research institutes in the Brainport region and beyond.  Fundamental and applied research are equally valued here.  The high rank of the TU/e is due to the impact of its scientific research and also to its scientific co-­publications with industry.  TU/e is a social and inspiring university with a vibrant culture.  Surrounded by people who share your scientific ambitions, we translate our basic research into meaningful solutions. The TU/e currently has nine departments, with over 11,000 students in total.

Job requirements

What we are looking for: We seek to appoint a scientist/engineer who is passionate about research as well as teaching. We are looking for a creative and pro-active team player to establish a complementary research line.

Computational tissue and material mechanics:

Natural systems, where evolution has crafted unique base materials into hierarchical structures with dynamic physical functionalities, can serve as a blueprint to create new materials with biomimetic structure-function properties that can sense, respond to and actuate their environment. Such materials can integrate with natural tissues to create systems that restore adaptive functions lost during disease. This position will utilize computational methods to develop and characterize such systems.

Conditions of employment

What we offer: We offer a Tenure Track, Assistant Professor position in a successful and internationally oriented department. The city of Eindhoven offers a relaxed, multicultural environment, high quality of life and many options for extra-curricular activities. The city has a mild climate, and it is well-connected by rail, air, and road links with major European cities. The city is at the heart of the Brainport region of Netherlands, a region with high growth, high innovation, and many permanent employment opportunities for expats. Candidates moving to the Netherlands from abroad may qualify for a tax incentive scheme, where 30% of your income is tax free for a (maximum) period of five years. Click here for more information.

Salary will be based on your background and working experience and according to the Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities (CAO NU).  Monthly gross salary is in the range of € 3.637 to € 4.978 (on a full-time basis). Additionally, we offer a yearly holiday allowance of 8% of the annual salary and a yearly end-of-year bonus of 8.3% of the annual salary. In addition we offer a pension scheme, partially paid parental, commuting expenses, savings schemes, child care and excellent on campus sports facilitiesleave, Dual Career program for spouses (before and after arrival), flexible employment conditions, the possibility to participate in a collective health care plan, and other benefits such as support in moving expenses.

Information and application


How to apply: If you would like to apply, please send us your application by using the ‘apply now’ button on the TU/e website (see link below). Your application must include: 

  • One-page personal motivation letter
  • Curriculum vitae, including a list of your publications and the contact information of three references

Please keep in mind: you can upload only 5 documents up to 2 MB each.