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PhD student position in Biomedical Engineering @ Lund University, Sweden

Doctoral student in Biomedical Engineering

Lund University, Faculty of Engineering, LTH, Biomedical Engineering

Lund University was founded in 1666 and is regularly ranked as one of the world’s top 100 higher education institutions. The University has 41 000 students and 7 500 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.

Project description

Can neutron scattering elucidate mechanisms behind bone damage?

Bone, with an inorganic strong and stiff mineral (hydroxyapatie) and a more flexible organic matrix (collagen type I), is a hierarchical tissue with unique material properties. During aging, many conditions occur which are treated with metal implants. E.g. joint replacements has generally evolved to be a success. However, patients still experience implant loosening due to insufficient bone in-growth, or local bone damage and failure close to the implant. Thus, improved bone ingrowth onto metal implants is still needed.

Without doubt, X-ray based imaging modalities are state-of-the-art for investigating bone both in daily clinical practice and in high end research. However, when metal implants are involved, the high density contrast between metal and bone often results in significant artifacts in the close proximity of the implant, i.e. in the most important region for evaluation bone-implant in-growth. Moreover, we have shown that bone fragility may be highly linked to changes in the collagen matrix, something that is not well captured with X-rays. The absorption profile of neutrons is however very different. Neutrons are more strongly attenuated by hydrogen and organic material than e.g. metals, but their potential in bone research has not yet been explored.

The objectives are to understand bone damage and fracture mechanisms on various hierarchical levels and with focus on bone ingrowth on implants, the goal of this project is to explore the potential of neutron tomographic imaging and small angle scattering in studies of bone.

The project includes designing and carry out experiments at large scale facilities, followed by data analysis. The imaging part involves using Digital Image Correlation to follow the deformation of the tissue during loading, and to link the different length scales of the tissue to each other. The project will develops the use of neutron based methods on bone. As such it will open up the field of neutrons to a large potential user group interested in musculoskeletal and medical materials.

SwedNESS: The project is a part of SweNESS, the newly initiated national graduate school for Neutron research. Please see link for more information

Work duties

The main duties of doctoral students are to devote themselves to their research studies which includes participating in research projects and third cycle courses. The work duties can also include teaching and other departmental duties (no more than 20%).

Detailed description of the work duties, such as:

  • The research involves both experimental design and testing, tomographic and scattering imaging and analysis of data, including the use of digital image correlation.
  • The doctoral student is expected to assist in supervision of MSc degree projects
  • The project is a collaboration with Solid mechanics and Physical Chemistry at LU, and the doctoral student is expected to actively manage this collaboration.
  • The doctoral student is expected to take part in the activities arranged by SweNESS graduate school.

Admission requirements

A person meets the general admission requirements for third-cycle courses and study programmes if he or she:

  • has been awarded a second-cycle qualification, or
  • has satisfied the requirements for courses comprising at least 240 credits of which at least 60 credits

were awarded in the second cycle, or

  • has acquired substantially equivalent knowledge in some other way in Sweden or abroad.
  • A person meets the specific admission requirements for third cycle studies in Biomedical Engineeringif he or she has at least 45 second-cycle credits of relevance to the subject.

Additional requirements:

  • Very good oral and written proficiency in English.
  • The candidate should have a background in (bio)engineering/ physics/chemistry or imaging.
  • Experience with Neutron or Synchrotron based data collection or analysis is considered important
  • Experience with tomographic imaging or small angle scattering is considered important.
  • Experience with full-field strain measurement techniques is considered positive.

Assessment criteria

Selection for third-cycle studies is based on the student’s potential to profit from such studies. The assessment of potential is made primarily on the basis of academic results from the first and second cycle. Special attention is paid to the following:

  • Knowledge and skills relevant to the thesis project and the subject of study.
  • An assessment of ability to work independently and to formulate and tackle research problems.
  • Written and oral communication skills.
  • Other experience relevant to the third-cycle studies, e.g. professional experience. Other assessment criteria:
  • The candidate should be able to independently drive his/her own research project, as well as writing scientific publications.
  • The candidate should be able to supervise younger researchers.
  • Experience with multidisciplinary projects is important.
  • International experience is considered positive.

Consideration will also be given to good collaborative skills, drive and independence, and how the applicant, through his or her experience and skills, is deemed to have the abilities necessary for successfully completing the third cycle programme.


Only those admitted to third cycle studies may be appointed to a doctoral studentship. Third cycle studies at LTH consist of full-time studies for 4 years. A doctoral studentship is a fixed-term employment of        a maximum of 5 years (including 20% departmental duties). Doctoral studentships are regulated in the Higher Education Ordinance (1998:80).

Instructions on how to apply

Applications shall be written in English and include a cover letter stating the reasons why you are interested in the position and in what way the research project corresponds to your interests and educational background. The application must also contain a CV, degree certificate or equivalent, and other documents you wish to be considered (grade transcripts, contact information for your references, letters of recommendation, etc.).

Lund University welcomes applicants with diverse backgrounds and experiences. We regard gender equality and diversity as a strength and an asset.

Type of employment                              Temporary position longer than 6 months

First day of employment                       As per argreement. Initially 1 year and thereafter extended

Salary                                                     Monthly salary

Number of positions                             1

Working hours                                      100 %

City                                                         Lund

County                                                   Skåne län

Country                                                  Sweden

Reference number                                 PA2016/4605

Contact                                                   Hanna Isaksson +46462221749 Johan Nilsson +46462227532

Published                                               2016-12-19

Last application date                            2017-01-31

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