Two PhD student positions in musculoskeletal biomechanics and imaging in Finland

Type of employment: PhD student, 4 years (2-4 positions, fully funded)

Host institution: University of Eastern Finland and/or University of Oulu

Funding: Biomedical Engineering and Medical Physics doctoral program, funded partly by the European Union and Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions and partly by the University.

Any eligible candidates (please see call for the doctoral program, are encouraged to contact Drs. Korhonen or Saarakkala below, with CV, for more information (before submitting an application).

Ultimate goal of the project 

 Investigate adaptation of knee joint tissues (articular cartilage, subchondral bone, menisci, ligaments) to abnormal loading and during the progression of osteoarthritis, develop and validate models of bone and cartilage adaptation to loading, and apply models in patient-specific knee joint geometries for the evaluation of the progression of osteoarthritis and for the investigation of the effects of treatments and operations.


Mechanical properties and structure of subchondral bone, cartilage, menisci and ligaments are determined and implemented in the biomechanical model of the knee joint. The model is validated against extensive experimental data, e.g. motion analysis and clinical imaging. The model with algorithms for cartilage and bone adaptation to loading will be validated against experimental data of the altered cartilage and bone properties and/or osteoarthritis grade (in vitro, in situ, humans in vivo). The effect of different tissue injuries (e.g ligament rupture, bone microcracks), treatments and operations (e.g. weight loss, ACL reconstruction) on osteoarthritis progression will be evaluated in animal models and patients.

PhD student position #1, experimental (University of Eastern Finland and/or University of Oulu) 

Conduct in vitro and/or in vivo experiments to follow up the progression of post-traumatic and spontaneous osteoarthritis. Determine time- and loading force-dependent mechanical properties and structure/composition of articular cartilage, bone, ligaments and menisci from normal (healthy) knees and osteoarthritic knees using mechanical testing, microscopy, spectroscopy and biochemical analysis. One of the aims is to investigate osteoarthritic changes at the cartilage-bone interface, including microcracks in calcified cartilage and subchondral bone. Mechanical data of soft tissues is analyzed using fibril reinforced poroviscoelastic modeling and structure-function relationships are determined. For in vivo studies, clinical imaging and motion analysis data of patients is collected and analyzed. This data is later used for model validation and input.

PhD student position #2, computational (University of Eastern Finland) 

Evaluate the importance of realistic bone and soft tissue properties in the models of knee joints on cartilage and chondrocyte responses. Combine musculoskeletal and finite element models, and develop and validate computational models of the knee joint with adaptive properties of articular cartilage and bone. Predict the effect of abnormal loading, as well as cartilage lesions and bone microcracks, on altered cartilage and bone properties during the progression of osteoarthritis. Aforementioned experimental data (in vitro experiments, animal models, patients) is used for model validation.


We are looking for highly motivated candidates with the background in one or several of the following or related disciplines; biomedical engineering, biomechanics, medical physics, mechanical engineering, or related field. For the PhD student position #2, good modeling skills and experience in the use of Abaqus or FEBio and user materials are advantages. All studies will be conducted in close collaboration with the groups’ post-doc fellows and other collaborators. Therefore, good collaborative attitude is needed in both positions.

Specific requirements by the European Union (

The successful candidates should be eligible to be admitted to the doctoral program and has the following qualifications:

 MSc degree (or close to graduating) in biomedical engineering, medical physics, mechanical engineering, or other relevant field. Less than 4 years of research experience, as measured from the date of the MSc degree.

 The mobility rule of the EU funded doctoral program require that a PhD student cannot have resided for more than 12 months over the past 3 years in the country where he/she applies to.


The research projects include both national and international collaboration and mobility with several internationally recognized research groups in their own field.

Primary supervisors 

Professor Rami Korhonen (,

Associate Professor Simo Saarakkala (,

15 PhD candidate positions in Biomedical Engineering and Medical Physics

15 PhD candidate positions in Biomedical Engineering and Medical Physics – Marie Skłodowska-Curie – COFUND: Kuopio Finland (coordination), Lund SE, Chieti-Pescara IT, Zaragoza ES, Oulu FI, Helsinki FI, Tampere FI, Turku FI 

Applications are invited for 15 PhD candidate positions under EU Horizon 2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie COFUND Action – BioMEP doctoral programme – which offers unique inter/multidisciplinary research and training opportunities for young scientists in Biomedical Engineering and Medical Physics across Europe.

This doctoral programme brings together complementary expertise of 8 leading European research groups in the field of Biomedical Engineering and Medical Physics and major private industrial companies and university hospitals. BioMEP aims to fulfill the demand for highly-qualified biomedical engineers and medical physicists addressing the needs of the academic, healthcare and industry sector, and thus to fully prepare them to meet the increasing demands of the European labor market. Together with the University of Eastern Finland (Finland), the following universities are participating in the project: Lund University (Sweden), University of Oulu (Finland), Aalto University (Finland), Tampere University of Technology (Finland), University of Turku (Finland), Gabriele d’Annunzio University of Chieti-Pescara (Italy) and Zaragoza University (Spain).

The BioMEP training and research activities are characterized by a multidisciplinary approach and allow candidates to submit proposals under the following five focus research areas:

o Musculoskeletal biomechanics 

o Molecular, cell and tissue engineering 

o Biosignals 

o Multimodal neuroimaging 

o Biomedical devices and diagnostics 

We offer: 

Successful candidates are appointed on a full-time basis for a total of 4 years while working towards a PhD in biomedical engineering and/or medical physics. All successful candidates will be offered a local employment contract, compatible with national and regional legislation and will include competitive salary to cover living plus mobility costs and social and healthcare benefits (according to each host university salary system).

Successful PhD candidates will have:

• access to a well-developed research infrastructure and international networks including academic-industry links to major health technology companies and hospitals;

• the opportunity to define and follow a Personal Career Development Plan and

• to access a variety of training activities and workshops in the field of biomedical engineering and medical physics;

• the opportunity for research visits within the BioMEP’s partners (up to three months);

• the opportunity to participate in joint research and be enrolled in dual or joint degrees;

Eligibility criteria, application and selection process:

We search for highly motivated candidates to work in an inspiring multidisciplinary field that combines engineering, medicine, biology and physics. We also strongly encourage applications from female candidates. The candidates should have a strong background in biomedical/biomechanical engineering, medical physics, biophysics or related educational field.

Candidates will be required to meet Marie Curie Early Stage Researcher eligibility criteria:

• at the time of recruitment, applicants may not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc) in the country of the host institution for more than 12 months in the 3 year period immediately prior to their recruitment under the project. Compulsory national service and/or short stays such as holidays are not taken into account.

• Applicants should be in the first 4 years of their research careers and not yet have been awarded a doctorate. This 4 year period is measured from the date of obtaining the degree which would formally entitle to embark on a doctorate.

How to apply:

Application shall be prepared jointly by the candidate and the prospective supervisor from one of the host institutions and should contain the following appendices saved as a pdf in the following order: 

1. Application form, including two references; 

2. Motivation letter (max. 1 page); 

3. A detailed Curriculum Vitae

4. Research proposal (max. 2 pages), including a section on research environment, ethical issues + supervision agreement; 

5. Certified (translated) copy of Master’s (or higher) degree certificate and certified (translated) transcript of records of Master’s (or higher) degree studies; 

Complete applications will be evaluated by an independent Advisory board based on three selection criteria. Applicants should therefore be outstanding in all three selection criteria: the

excellence of the applicant (academic excellence, previous mobility), quality of the research environment and the scientific quality of the research proposal. Based on the evaluation scores, the candidates will be ranked in a priority list and top candidates will then be invited for a Skype interview. Attention will be paid to the ability of candidates to present their research project, their motivation, communication skills and English fluency. All candidates will be advised of the outcome of the selection process after the selection.

The starting date for the PhD candidate is flexible. It is expected that the PhD candidates will start at their earliest convenience, within 3 months of formal acceptance. The exact starting date for each doctoral candidate will be negotiated on individual basis between the candidate and the host institution.

Important dates Launch of the call for applications 03/10/2016
Deadline for the submissions 30/11/2016 
Results of the evaluation 31/12/2016
Expected interview dates 01/2017
Final results 02/2017
Expected start date 06/2017-09/2017

More information on the application and evaluation procedure for the BioMEP doctoral positions is available on the BioMEP homepage:

The deadline for sending the application is November 30, 2016, at 16:00 CET. 

Further enquiries:

For further information on the research and supervision, please contact the supervisors listed under the research areas:

For further information on the application procedure, please contact:

Two PhD candidate vacancies in computational biomechanics at Lund University

We are looking for two PhD students to Biomechanics at Lund University that would like to apply to the new graduate school for Biomedical Engineering and Medical Physics, funded partly by the European Union and Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions.

The main topics of the projects are briefly described below. Any eligible candidates (please see call for the graduate school) are encouraged to contact Dr Isaksson below, with a brief CV and potential recommendations, for more information.

Hanna Isaksson, Ph.D.

PhD student 1: Computational modelling and image processing of bone strength and hip fracture risk assessment 


Osteoporosis is defined as low bone mass, and results in a markedly increased risk of skeletal fractures. Development of new drugs to reduce bone loss or increase bone mass is promising. However, it requires that the individuals at risk can be accurately identified. Current osteoporosis diagnostics is largely based on measurements of bone mineral density (BMD), using 2D image obtained with dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA). Novel methods that account for all characteristics of the bone and their influence on the bone’s resistance to fracture are needed.

The overall objectives are to integrate functional imaging of bone (clinical imaging together with mechanical modelling of bone strength) to improve prediction of fracture risk. This will be accomplished by combining DXA images with a pre-developed shape model, and finite element analysis (FEA).

First, clinical images with different resolution and level of details (ranging from DXA to high resolution cone beam CT) will be used to develop computational models using FEA. It will allow determination of the required features (e.g. anisotropy, cortical thickness, etc) to for accurate prediction of bone strength. Validation will be achieved by comparison with existing experimental mechanical testing data. Secondly, the findings will be implemented in a statistical shape and appearance model to determine if the modelling can lead to a more accurate prediction of fracture risk.

The project includes primarily numerical studies, but also involves some experimental work. It is a collaborative project with a 3 months secondment period at University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, Finland.

PhD student 2: Computational modelling of Achilles tendon biomechanics and mechanobiology 


Tendons connect muscles to bones and enable energy-efficient locomotion. The Achilles tendon is the largest and the most commonly injured tendon in the human body. Ruptures often occur during recreational sport activities, but can also be a result of ageing. Mechanical loading is a prerequisite for tendon healing. Controversial and often unsuccessful treatments of tendon

ruptures could be improved by elucidating how loading affects the biomechanics of intact tendons and the mechanobiological aspects of tendon healing.

The aim is to investigate how mechanical loading influences homeostatic and healing tendon function, structure and composition. The project includes refining and further validating an existing constitutive model for intact rat Achilles tendons. This will be conducted based on newly collected experimental data and focus on the fibre recruitment process and damage mechanisms in tendons. Next in the order is to develop and validate an adaptive mechanoregulatory model for tendon repair. The development of a computational mechanobiological scheme to predict the influence of mechanical loading on tendon tissue regeneration will be key to the project, in order to help elucidate the mechanobiological mechanisms at play.

The project involves primarily numerical studies and is a collaborative project with a 3 month secondment period at University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, Finland.

Requirements for both PhD students 

The successful candidates should be eligible to be admitted to the graduate school and also has the following:

Essential qualifications

– MSc degree (or close to graduating) in biomedical engineering, medical physics, mechanical engineering, or other relevant field.

– The mobility rules of the EU funded graduate school require that a PhD student cannot have resided for more than 12 months over the past 3 years in the country which he/she applies to.

Advantageous qualifications

– Knowledge and experience in biomechanics, finite element analysis, matlab and image processing.

– Documented ability to express yourselves in English in speech and writing, to work independently, and to work effectively in a multidisciplinary team, e.g. during the M.Sc. thesis.

Primary supervisor 

Hanna Isaksson, Ph.D. Associate professor Department of Biomedical Engineering Lund University Box 118, 221 00 Lund, Sweden Email: Web: Web:

10 PhD positions in the doctoral school BIOINTERFACE at TU Wien (Austria)

Within BIOINTERFACE – a newly created doctoral training program at TU Wien, Austria – ten PhD positions are available . BIOINTERFACE is a highly interdisciplinary doctoral training porogram, which aims at exploring the interface between inorganic and bio-organic systems towards applications in bio- nanotechnology. Short descriptions of the ten PhD projects are available at the BIOINTERFACE webpage under the following link:

What we offer:

Ten three- year Ph D positions, starting between October 1 st 2016 and March 31 st 2017 , in the fields of chemical synthesis, experimental (bio-)physics/engineering as well as biomechanics, and theory/simulation. The positions are equivalent to a part-time university assistant (25 hours) position (minimum salary is EUR 1.685,30- pre-tax, 14x per year). The salary can be raised according to previous experience in the field. BIOINTERFACE provides highly interdisciplinary research projects and a cutting- edge training program including monthly seminars, lab rotation, retreats, a stay abroad, and – if applicable – industrial cooperation.

Application  Requirements:

A Diploma/Masters/Magister university degree in chemistry, ( bio-)physics, civil engineering, mathematics, biology, electrical engineering,  process  engineering,  biomedical engineering, materials science, mechanical engineering, or a related discipline is a prerequisite for becoming a BIOINTERFACE PhD student. Additional knowledge related to the specific projects is desirable.

How to apply:

Applications should be submitted in German or English language via email to: Please send a single pdf-file, named “givenname_surname.pdf” The deadline for application is: September 30 2016 .

Applications must include:

  1. curriculum vitae including a list of publications, conference contributions, and other scientific activities (if applicable)
  2. transcripts of records of the Bachelor- and Master-studies
  3. title and a short summary of the diploma/master thesis
  4. two letters of reference, of which one from MSc thesis advisor
  5. cover-letter including the specification of two preferred PhD projects (please indicate 1st and 2nd choice from the list of projects at projects/) and a motivation for your choice.

For informal questions please contact:

Gerhard Kahl, Institute for Theoretical Physics (, Gerhard Schütz, Institute of Applied Physics (, or

Miriam M. Unterlass, Institute of Materials Chemistry (

TU Wien is an equal opportunity employer aiming to increase the proportion of women within scientific and artistic staff and thus strongly encourages qualified women to apply. Female applicants will be considered preferentially, if their abilities, aptitude and professional performance are equal with those of male applicants. Persons with disabilities are especially encouraged to apply.


23rd Congress of the European Society of Biomechanics




ESB 2017 will take place at the Higher Technical School of Engineering of the University of Seville, from the 2nd to the 5th of July 2017.

Plenary lectures will be delivered by Prof. Ellen Kuhl (Stanford University), Dr. Walter Herzog (University Of Calgary) and Prof. José Manuel García-Aznar (University Of Zaragoza).

Seville is the scent of orange trees under blue skies, the river, shops and streets, the barrios, the outlying areas, la Vega, el Aljarafe, las Marismas, la Campiña, the Southern and Northern Sierras, and Estepa.

Please find out more information about the congress and scientific programme at


We look forward to welcome you in Seville in 2017!



Call for Council Nominations 2016

During the next General Assembly that will be held during our upcoming 22nd Congress of the European Society of Biomechanics in Lyon, we will elect 6 new members to the Council. The Council thus invites any regular member in good standing to candidate for a seat on the Council of our Society. More info here.

ESB Mobility Award for Young Researchers

The ESB Mobility Award for Young Researchers 2016 has been launched!

Two awards to a value of €4000 are available. Encourage your students to take the chance to visit a foreign lab. Submission deadline is 31st of May, and the winners will be presented in Lyon.  More info here

Call for Bids ESB2019

The ESB invites proposals for the organization of its annual congress in 2019. If you would like to host and organize the 2019 ESB congress and wish to prepare and submit a bid, please read the conference rules following the link Conferences-Bid Rules General 2016 in the ESB website.

Interested members can contact or send a proposal/bid to Prof. Paulo Fernandes, Chair of the meetings Committee (

The deadline for bid submission to organize the ESB2019 is 31st March 2016.

ESB2016 upcoming deadlines

The 29th of January is the deadline for abstract submission to the ESB2016.

The deadline for the ESB Perren Award is Friday 26th February 2016.

The deadline for the ESB Clinical Biomechanics Award, the Best Doctoral Thesis Award, the ESB Student Award and the ESB Poster Award is the 29th of January.