2 PhD and 1-2 Postdoc Research Fellowship positions in Intra-body sensor communications Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering Norway

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2 PhD and 1-2 Postdoc Research Fellowship positions in Intra-body sensor communications

The Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering, at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) has 2 fulltime PhD Research Fellows and 1-2 fulltime Postdoc Fellows vacancies at the Department of Electronic Systems (IES) (http://www.ntnu.edu/ies). This fellowship is granted by NTNU Rector in support of “research on bio-nano things for human health – aiming wirelessly connect deep implants/synthetic cells to the Internet” and the Research Council of Norway funded project Wireless In-body Sensor and Actuator Networks (WINNOW). The PhD and Postdoc projects involve a cross-disciplinary supervisory team from Department of Electronic Systems (IES) and Oslo University Hospital.  


The PhD position is for up to 4 years with 25% work assignments for NTNU. The Postdoc position is for 2 years with a possibility of extension with maximum 2 years.


Information about the department

Currently IES has approximately 165 full-time employees spread across 45 professors/ass professors, 70 PhD, 25 research/Post.Doc and 25 engineering/administration.


IES has the principal responsibility for education and research in electronics at NTNU. IES research portfolio comprises the areas of wireless communication, marine acoustics/sub-sea communications, multimedia and speech technology, micro- and nano-technology, sensors, and medical technology.


Project description

The Wireless In-body Sensor and Actuator Network (WINNOW) is a research project funded by the Research Council of Norway, NTNU and Oslo University Hospital. The primary objective of the WINNOW project, is to 1) study the transmission characteristics of different wireless sensor communication technologies, and 2) propose optimal transceiver design for ultra-low power transmission to be utilized for deep wireless in-body devices (multi-sensors and actuators). The resulting communication network will be connecting deep implants to the Internet via subcutaneous device or skin patches/tattoos. Such a network is essential for a wide range of anticipated implantable diagnostic and therapeutic medical devices. We aim study novel radio and molecular communication technologies optimized for both short range (0.05–5cm) communication between deeply implanted devices and long range (5-20 cm) connecting deeply positioned devices with subcutaneous devices enabled for off-body communications.


PhD #1: Nanoscale sensor communication networks


We envision the future intra-body sensor networks will use a combination of molecules and electrical/electromagnetic signals to exchange sensor data and communicate with the external world through Internet. Molecular communication considered for the nanoscale sensor network will use molecules to transfer information. For this we aim to develop stochastic models for release, channel, and detection and derive information rate and capacity in MIMO type network including molecular noise.


Prerequisites: MSc in electrical engineering with course credits in information- and communication theory, signal processing, communication networks, and stochastic modeling and optimization.


PhD #2: Human body sensor networks


Human body communications has emerged as an alternative communication technology for intra-body sensor networks compared to radio. Here we will study a recently patented technology by us to develop an integrated communication scheme where shortrange communication will use molecular communication while longrange bidirectional communication with feedback and control will use human body communications. Research topics will be on development of signaling methods, modulation/demodulation techniques, source- and channel coding methods and derive. There is also a requirement for practical implementation of the developed system. This includes knowledge of electronic design, software implementation and using software defined radio (SDR). Excellent expertise in Matlab and communication toolbox and/or Labview are the requirements.


Prerequisites: MSc in electrical engineering with course credits in signal processing, communication theory, communication networks, and electromagnetism and EM solver.


Postdoc: Micro/nanoscale antennas and transceiver development


The research project aims to develop micro/nanoscale electrodes for both human body communication and antennas for RF communications using different materials and techniques so that the antenna/electrodes and the transceiver can fit into an extremely small physical size device in the range of tens of micro meter.


Prerequisites: PhD in electrical engineering with specialization in antennas and transceiver design. Moreover the candidate documented research experience in using EM solvers working in broad range of frequencies from tens of MHz to sub-THz and implementing and testing the antennas and electrodes in realistic environments.


Knowledge/Qualifications for the RF and EM part

  • Theoretical and practical knowledge of antenna analysis and design, RF Circuit Design and Simulation, Understanding of wave propagation and Communication Theory.

  • Practical experience in engineering matter from design, development, and measurements. Hands-on RF electronics and prototype design.

  • Knowledge of specialist IT software: Matlab, LabView (is an advantage).

  • Experience of using EM simulation tools: CST MWS, CST EM studio, HFSS, ADS (is an advantage).

  • Experience of using Software Defined Radio (SDR) (is an advantage).

  • Programming skills.

  • Willing to learn new software and simulation tools in multi-physics (Comsol).

  • Willing to work on RF/mm-wave sensing and integration devices

  • Research creativity and strong cross-discipline collaborative ability as appropriate.

  • Excellent communication skills (oral and written), including public presentations and ability to communicate complex data/concepts clearly and concisely.

  • Excellent interpersonal skills including team working and a collegiate approach.
    Self-motivation, initiative, and independent thought/working
    Comfortable developing expertise in multiple fields 



We seek a highly-motivated individual holding a master’s degree in signal processing, wireless communication, electromagnetics/RF, information theory, biophysics, applied mathematics, or other relevant disciplines. A strong mathematical background and a research-oriented master thesis within one of these areas is expected. Further, the applicant must have experience with programming and willing to learn new topics like nanoscale molecular communications using optical and quantum theories. Publication activities in the aforementioned disciplines will be considered an advantage. Motivation for fundamental scientific research of practical relevance is essential. The candidate is expected to deliver several journal articles within the duration of the project. The applicant should have good communication skills and be willing to collaborate with other researchers in the cross-disciplinary group of people connected to this project. Applicants are asked to provide a research statement (max 3 pages) in their application, describing research interests and initial plans with regards to the above project description. The statement should also provide details on how the project relate to previous education, research and competence.


Applicants who do not master a Scandinavian language must provide evidence of good written and spoken English language skills. The following tests can be used as documentation: TOEFL, IELTS, Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (CAE), or Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE). Minimum scores are:

  • TOEFL: 600 (paper-based test), 92 (Internet-based test)

  • IELTS: 6.5, with no section lower than 5.5 (only Academic IELTS test accepted)

  • CAE/CPE: grade B or A.


The application

The application must contain information of educational background and prior training, exams, and work experience. In addition, we ask the applicant to submit a research statement (max 3 pages), detailing research interests and initial plans with regard to the individual PhD/Postdoc project descriptions above. The statement should also describe why the applicant is suited for the position, and how the project relates to previous education, research and competence. Publications and other work that the applicant wishes to be taken into account must be enclosed (including a brief description of the contribution if not obvious). Incomplete applications will not be taken into consideration.


Starting date no later than 01.09.2018.



The appointment is made in accordance with the regulations of employment for PhD candidates issued by the Ministry of Education and Research, with relevant parts of the additional guidelines for appointment as a PhD candidate at NTNU. Applicants must participate in an organized PhD programme of study during their period of employment. The candidate appointed must comply with the regulations for employees in the public sector. In addition, a contract will be signed regarding the period of employment.


Applicants must be qualified for admission to a PhD study program at NTNU. See http://www.ntnu.no/ie/forskning/phd for information about PhD studies at NTNU.


We can offer

  • an informal and friendly workplace with dedicated colleagues
  • academic challenges in a cross-disciplinary team
  • attractive schemes for home loans, insurance and pensions through the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund


For further information about the positions, contact Professor Ilangko Balasingham, email: ilangko.balasingham@ntnu.no or Dr. Ali Khaleghi, email: ali.khaleghi@ntnu.no



Depending on qualifications and academic background, postdoctoral fellows (1352) will be remunerated at a minimum of NOK 490 500 per year before tax and the position as Research fellow (1017) are normally remunerated at gross NOK 436 500 before tax. There will be a 2 % deduction to the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund from gross wage.


General information

The position acknowledges the Norwegian government’s policy of balanced ethnicity, age, and gender. Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering is eager to attract outstanding and creative candidates, who can contribute to our ongoing research. We believe that diversity is important to achieve a good working environment. Thus, we encourage qualified candidates to apply, regardless of gender, disability, and cultural background. NTNU wishes to increase the of number women in its workforce. Female candidates are therefore especially encouraged to apply.


The appointment is subject to the conditions in effect at any time for employees in the public sector. Under section 25 of the Freedom of Information Act, information about the applicant may be made public even if the applicant has requested not to have his or her name entered on the list of applicants. 


Deadline for applications: 1 April 2018.

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