PhD/Master student positions

PhD in computational spine biomechanics and ASD patient stratification @ DTIC-UPF, Barcelona, Spain

Host institution and work environment

The Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF) was established in 1990 in Barcelona as a public university with a strong dedication to excellence in research and teaching. It is the 1st Spanish university in teaching and research performance (U-Ranking, BBVA Foundation & Ivie, 2016), in terms of quality output, normalized impact and percentage of collaborative papers with international institutions (Scimago 2014).

DTIC is the UPF ICT department. It was created in 2009 and has an important track record of active participation in international projects (66 FP7 and 20 H2020 projects up to now). DTIC is the Spanish university department with the largest number of ERC grants (19 from FP7 on), and it has been awarded the “Maria de Maeztu” excellence award by the Spanish government for the quality and relevance of its pioneering scientific research.

The proposed PhD will take place at DTIC as a collaborative project between the Biomechanics and Mechanobiology and the Medical Imaging Analysis research areas of BCN MedTech. BCN MedTech ( is the Barcelona Centre for New Medical Technologies at UPF. Its focus is on biomedical integrative research, including mathematical and computational models, algorithms and systems for computer-aided diagnosis and treatment of health problems. It has a team of 60 full time researchers working on computational simulations, medical image analyses, signal processing, machine learning, computer-assisted surgery and biomedical electronics.


The project

The successful candidate will work on the modelling of adult spine deformity (ASD), focussing on patient-specific modelling techniques and intelligent analyses of biomechanical simulation outcomes in ASD patient cohorts. The project is a collaboration among UPF, the Instituto Ortopedico Galeazzi (Milan, Italy), the Hospital del Mar (Barcelona, Spain) and the Hospital de Vall d’Hebron (Barcelona, Spain). It will combine patient data with statistical shape modelling, finite element analyses and machine learning techniques to infer on the physical rationales that lay behind current clinical classifications of ASD patients.

The PhD thesis will be funded full time for a period of four years and will be co-supervised by Dr Jérôme Noailly and Prof Miguel Ángel González Ballester (UPF), and by Dr Fabio Galbusera (Instituto Ortopedico Galeazzi).


Requirements and application

Candidates are expected to have a Bachelor and Master in Physics, Applied mathematics, Biomedical engineering or in related fields. Proficient English is necessary. Applications should be sent by email to Dr Jérôme Noailly ( and to Dr Fabio Galbusera ( and should include a full CV, letter of motivation, Bachelor and Master academic transcripts and the contact of two referees.

PhD Position at EMPA (CH) in Biomechanics 

Empa – the place where innovation starts
Empa is the research institute for materials science and technology of the ETH Domain and conducts cutting-edge research for the benefit of industry and the well-being of society.

Our Laboratory for Mechanics of Materials and Nanostructures is looking for a PhD Student in the field of Biomechanics

Your Tasks
You will work on a research project funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation that will contribute to the understanding of deformation and failure of bone on the microscale and its impact on whole bone strength. You will be enrolled in a doctoral program at ETH Zürich and exploit the micromechanical yield- and postyield properties of bone on the level of the extracellular matrix. During the course of the project, you will be involved in sample preparation, micromechanical experiments at different environmental conditions, electron microscopic imaging, Raman spectroscopy, as well as data analysis and interpretation.

The project is initiated in cooperation with Prof. Edoardo Mazza of the Institute of Mechanical Systems of ETH Zürich.

Your Profile
You must hold a Master’s or an equivalent Degree in Mechanical Engineering or Materials Science. A high motivation to work at the leading edge of measurement science and to work in international, multidisciplinary research teams is essential. Knowledge of English (oral and written) is important and knowledge of German would be an advantage. Experience in nanomechanical testing techniques like nanoindentation, electron microscopy based techniques as well as programming (e.g. Matlab, Labview, Python) is desirable.

For further information about the position please contact Dr. Jakob Schwiedrzik, or Dr. Johann Michler, and visit our website and Empa-Video

We look forward to receiving your online application including a letter of motivation, CV, diplomas with transcript and contact details of two referees. Please upload the requested documents through our webpage
Applications via email will not be considered.

Call for PhD students – Curabone EU project
CuraBone is a European Industrial Doctorate, financed by ITN Marie
Sklodowska-Curie Action, looking for 5 highly motivated PhD Students.
CuraBone is a research project that aims to develop a new generation of
patient-specific implants, using advanced modelling techniques such as
Finite Element Analysis, MusculoSkeletal Modeling and bone healing.
The call is open now for all candidates, find all the requirements to
apply here:
PhD position at UPC, Barcelona, Spain: Mechano-Chemical organisation in single cells

We have an open PhD position to study the mechano-chemical organisation of cells from a physical and mathematical point of view. Individually or collectively, cells move due to mechanical and chemical gradients and doing so they self-organise in very specific forms. Understanding the physical laws under mechano-chemical gradients can head to establish new protocols in the control of cell structures. The final goal of the project is to manipulate cells so that the morphology of cell structures can be predicted, e.g. in biological-based prosthesis.

The eventual candidate will work in a newly established and young research group in the field of mechanobiology under the supervision of Dr. Pablo Saez  (, at the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya. The lab is part of a broader group with focus on numerical methods in engineering ( The candidate will also collaborate with Prof. Marino Arroyo  (  with a broad expertise in numerical methods and cell mechanics. The project is related to a recently granted European Research Project on the mechanobiology of cells at different scales.

The eventual student will work at different scales of the problem. Depending on the candidate’s background the work will be more related to theoretical or numerical developments required to accomplish the project. Therefore, we are looking for students with a wide background of knowledge, with a bachelor degree in mechanical engineering, physics or applied mathematics. The candidate should be a highly dynamic and eager student looking forward expand his/her current knowledge on the field of cell mechanobiology. Biological background is not necessary. The candidate is expected to have a high profiency of the English language, both written and spoken.

Interested candidates should send a motivation letter and the CV along with the academic transcript to We aim to start the project after the summer of 2017 at the latest. We encourage any interested candidate to send his/her application as soon as possible.