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Master’s Thesis Position: Finite-element analysis for transcranial stimulation

Department of Electrical Engineering and Automation, Electromagnetics in health technologies group, is looking for Master thesis worker in the topic described below. The position is especially well suited for students wishing to continue to doctoral studies.


Transcranial electric and magnetic stimulation can activate or inhibit the brain, which is useful for brain research and clinical applications. A limitation of transcranial stimulation methods is that the electric currents in the head and brain depend on individual anatomical features. Therefore, the actual stimulus, i.e., the electric field in the brain or other excitable tissue, can vary greatly between individuals.

Our research group has been developing personalized computational MRI-based models that can reveal the detailed distribution of the electric field in each subject’s/patient’s brain. The modelling toolbox is based on the finite-element method (FEM), which has been implemented in Matlab/C programming language.

In this MSc thesis, the task of the candidate is to model electrical stimulation of the retina using realistic anatomical models. The objective is to characterize the thresholds for eliciting phosphenes, which are subjective visual sensations of flashing light, and can be generated by applying weak AC currents through electrodes attached to the skin near the eyes. Retinal phosphenes are one of the few easily observable effects of electrical stimulation, and therefore could possibly be used as proxy for studying other effects of electric fields on the function of the central nervous system.


  • Only students of Aalto University can apply
  • We expect that the candidate has good programming and mathematical skills and knowledge of electromagnetic field theory
  • Knowledge in Matlab, finite-element method, statistics, and medical image processing are considered as advantages
  • Candidates willing to continue to doctoral studies are especially welcome


The earliest start date is 1.8.2020. The duration of the work is six months, with the possibility to continue to doctoral studies (4 years).

How to apply

The deadline for applications is 15.07.2020.  Please apply through our electronic recruitment system link Apply now!. Your application should include the following attachments in a single PDF document: cover/motivation letter, CV and a copy of study records.

Aalto University reserves the right for justified reasons to leave the position open, to extend the application period and to consider candidates who have not submitted applications during the application period.

Further information

For further information, please contact Assistant Professor Ilkka Laakso, [email protected] and in recruitment process related questions please contact HR Coordinator Jaana Hänninen, [email protected] 

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 main campus is located in Espoo, Finland. Diversity is part of who we are, and we actively work to ensure our community’s diversity and inclusiveness in the future as well. This is why we warmly encourage qualified candidates from all backgrounds to join our community.

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