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Doctoral Candidate in THz and Sub Millimeter Wave Imaging for Corneal Disease Detection

Aalto University is a community of bold thinkers where science and art meet technology and business. We are committed to identifying and solving grand societal challenges and building an innovative future. Aalto has six schools with nearly 11 000 students and a staff of more than 4000, of which 400 are professors. Our campus is located in the Helsinki metropolitan area in Espoo, Finland.

Doctoral Candidate in THz and Sub Millimeter Wave Imaging for Corneal Disease Detection

The THz and Millimeter wave Techniques group is in search of a doctoral student for an interdisciplinary research program developing a hyperspectral, submillimeter wave imaging system for corneal disease detection. The program integrates engineers in Europe and Australia, with clinical collaborators at UCLA (Los Angeles, California, USA) and aims to tackle previously unsolved problem in Ophthalmology using THz and millimeter wave techniques.

Research background
The cornea is the outer most layer of the human eye and principally composed of protein and water. The bottom layer of the cornea (endothelium) sits adjacent to a water volume (aqueous humour). The endothelium maintains and regulates optimal corneal water content by actively pumping water from the cornea that arrived via natural diffusion. Many diseases perturb the endothelium’s efficiency which leads to corneal hyperhydration, tissue death, and eventual transplant surgery in an attempt to save vision. Currently, NO tools/methods exist for early and accurate detection of corneal hyperhydration. THz and millimeter wave techniques offer advantages in corneal water content diagnostics not possible with any other technology, including optics.

Research position details
This Doctoral Candidate position entails three key development areas: (1) develop new RF methods to characterize ratios of bound water and free water in corneal tissue which is critical accurate analysis of submillimeter wave corneal spectra. (2) Develop methods to quantify tear film presence and thickness. The tear film is a thin, time varying layer of water on the cornea that is maintained by blinking. The tear film is difficult to quantify and confounds measurements of corneal water content. (3) Quasioptical integration of multiple submillimeter wave and THz bands into a shared aperture. We anticipate multiple separate frequency bands are necessary for sufficient corneal water content assessment. These key research tasks leverage the areas of systems engineering, dielectric spectroscopy, and physical optics and are critical to the program success.

Research group
In Aalto: This research position will be supported by the Millimeter Wave and THz Techniques research group at Aalto, which is led by Professor Zachary Taylor. Professor Taylor’s group pioneered the use of THz and submillimeter wave techniques at the University of California, Los Angeles as a joint program with the School of Medicine. More recently, Prof. Taylor’s group co-developed new techniques with researchers at Aalto University where he is a new faculty member.
Collaborators: This work is in collaboration with Prof. Vincent Wallace at the University of Western Australia, Prof. Elliott Brown at Wright State University (USA), and Professor Sophie Deng at the UCLA School of Medicine (USA). The assembled interdisciplinary team combines capability in a host of interconnected specialties and fields and will provide the doctoral candidate with high impact experience in medical engineering work.

Requirements
• Master degree in electrical engineering, physics, or related topics is favorable
• Comfortable with both theory and experiments. Experimental experience a plus.
• High level competency in MATLAB
• Good command of English
• Experience with electromagnetic simulation software is a plus

Outcomes and opportunities afforded by this research program
• High level competence with the electromagnetic theory and simulation
• High level competence in interdisciplinary lab work
• Travel abroad to train in THz techniques
• Eminently employable in microwave research or industrial settings
• Eminently employable in medical imaging research or industrial settings
• Exposure and networking with international collaborators

Salary and contract terms
Starting salary for a Doctoral Candidate is approximately 2500 €/month, depending on experience and qualifications. Salary will increase according to responsibilities and performance over time. The contract includes occupational health benefits, holiday bonus, and Finland has a comprehensive social security system. Preferable starting time is in March, 2020, but is negotiable.

Ready to apply?
Please send your application through the "Apply now!" link below and include the following attachments
• Application cover letter
• Course transcripts of Bachelor and Master degrees with grades
• Curriculum Vitae (with the list of publications if you have)
• Description of Master’s thesis project
• References

Deadline for applications is February 17 but we will start reviewing candidates immediately. Applications will be considered until the position is filled.

More information
For additional information, please contact Professor Zachary Taylor, [email protected] For additional information on recruitment process, please contact HR Coordinator Annika Salmelin, [email protected]

About Finland
Aalto University is an international community: more than 30% of our academic personnel are non-Finns. Finland is a great place for living with or without family – it is a safe, politically stable and well organized Nordic society. Finland is consistently ranked high in quality of life and was just listed as the happiest country in the world: http://worldhappiness.report/news/finland-again-is-the-happiest-country-in-the-world/. For more information about living in Finland: https://www.aalto.fi/services/about-finland

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