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Wanted: 8 PhD students and 4 Post-doctoral research fellows

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  • Wanted: 8 PhD students and 4 Post-doctoral research fellows

    For a large, multi-disciplinary research program on the Development of
    Improved EndoProstheses for the upper EXtremities (shoulder and elbow),
    called DIPEX, Delft University of Technology is looking for:

    8 PhD students and 4 Post-doctoral research fellows.

    Delft University of Technology (DUT) is the oldest and largest technical
    university in the Netherlands. DUT has 15 departments in the engineering
    field. Amongst the 13 000 MSc students 10% are of foreign countries. DUT
    employs 5 000 people, of which 2 700 belong to the scientific staff. Within
    Europe there are official scientific collaborations with more than 20
    universities, and many more outside of Europe.

    Delft Interfaculty Research Centers (DIRC): In a changing social, economical
    and cultural environment DUT seeks for new challenges to improve scientific
    research and education. Therefore 10 multi-disciplinary research themes have
    been selected within Delft Interfaculty Research Centers, in order to break
    through the boundaries of the traditional engineering disciplines. One DIRC
    is in the field of Medical Technology, and has currently two research
    * MISIT: Minimal Invasive Surgery and Interventional Techniques
    * DIPEX: Development of Improved endoProstheses for the upper

    Development of Improved endoProstheses for the upper Extremities (DIPEX):
    The aim of the DIPEX program is to improve the currently existing
    endoprostheses (artificial joint implants) of the shoulder and elbow. The
    research program is highly multi-disciplinary, and the research projects in
    the program are very coherent. Realization of the research goals requires an
    intensive collaboration between the engineering disciplines on the one hand,
    and the medical disciplines on the other hand. This is the only way towards
    results relevant for patients, medical specialists and industry.

    Research program
    The current endoprostheses for the replacement of affected elbow and
    shoulder joints have very bad functional results. In addition, in the
    operation protocol the surgeons do not use the newest technical
    developments. Endoprostheses are mainly applied in case of severe fractures
    or in case of severe pain complaints of rheumatoid arthritis patients. In an
    intensive collaboration between the engineers and physicists of the DUT
    (Mechanical Engineering, Aerospace, Geodesic and Applied Physics
    Departments), and medical specialists of the Leiden University Medical
    Center (LUMC), Rotterdam University Medical Center (RUMC) and peripheral
    hospitals, the DIPEX research program will result in a substantial technical
    contribution, but foremost a clinically applicable contribution, to the
    development of new endoprostheses and future surgical techniques.
    The research program contains the following six mutually dependent research
    projects, in which PhD and post-doctoral research fellow positions are

    1. Evaluation of the surgical protocol
    A task analysis of the surgical team in and outside the operation theatre
    will be carried out to evaluate the complete surgical procedure. In
    particular it will be assessed if the surgeon has the appropriate
    information in the appropriate form. In addition, the logistics of the
    surgical procedure will be analyzed. In the task analysis the pre- and
    peroperative protocol will be studied.
    Wanted: 1 PhD student, 0.5 Post-doctoral research fellow (in combination
    with project 6).

    2. 3D visualization and Computer Aided Surgery
    The placement of the endoprosthesis for the elbow or shoulder is highly
    affected by the limited per-operative information based on 2D X-ray images.
    During surgery the view of the surgical area is limited. It is desirable to
    generate a 3D visualization of CT- and MRI-images, in order to help the
    surgeon with the planning and a proper choice of the endoprosthesis. During
    surgery it will support the correct placement of the endoprosthesis. Using a
    3D computer model of the shoulder and elbow, the surgical protocol and
    decisions can be practiced pre-operatively: Computer Aided Surgery (CAS).
    Wanted: 2 PhD students.

    3. Functional assessment studies
    There is a large variability in arm function among patients after surgery.
    Many factors are likely to affect the functional result, e.g. geometric,
    kinematic and dynamic properties of the musculoskeletal system of the
    patient, the type of endoprosthesis and the fixation methods. Using a 3D
    biomechanical model of the shoulder and elbow, and recordings of healthy
    subjects and patients, the dominant factors for the functional result will
    be investigated. In addition the mechanical loads on the endoprosthesis in
    the daily life will be determined. In a sensitivity analysis important
    design parameters of the endoprosthesis can be analyzed with respect to the
    functional result.
    Wanted: 1 PhD student, 1 Post-doctoral research fellow.

    4. Fixation of the endoprosthesis
    The fixation of the endoprosthesis to the bone is a complicated procedure
    due to the small area of attachment. The bone has large local variations in
    microstructure and density. The stress distribution of the bone will be
    predicted using advanced 3D Finite Element Models. Experimental validation
    using (animal) experiments will be necessary. Numerical and experimental
    evaluation of existing fixation methods will be done. New fixation concepts
    will be developed and optimized.
    Wanted: 2 PhD students, 1 Post-doctoral research fellow.

    5. Development of a new endoprosthesis
    Two aspects are very important in the development of new endoprostheses,
    i.e. the fixation and the functionality. The existing endoprostheses are all
    based on a replica of the biological system. It might be that a completely
    new concept is needed starting from alternative joint concepts. Especially
    the functional aspects, the lifetime and biocompatibility of the
    endoprostheses are important. Another important choice will be how to fixate
    the endoprosthesis.
    Wanted: 1 PhD student, 1 Post-doctoral research fellow.

    6. Development of the surgical protocol and instruments for placement
    of the endoprosthesis.
    Currently the functional success of the placement of the endoprosthesis is
    to a large extent depending on the skills of the surgeon. A proper placement
    is crucial for the functional result, and the success of a newly designed
    endoprosthesis requires a proper placement procedure. Modern production
    methods can be an example of the possibilities, and also modern milling
    techniques can be applied. The measurement and operation protocol must be
    developed, in order to realize application of newly designed endoprostheses.
    Wanted: 1 PhD student, 0.5 Post-doctoral research fellow (in combination
    with project 1).

    We are looking for PhD students and post-doctoral research fellows with
    excellent grades, and a great interest to do multi-disciplinary team
    research. Interest in medical applications is a requirement. You must have a
    MSc or PhD in one of the following areas: Mechanical Engineering (control
    engineering, simulations, mechanics, man-machine systems, micro-engineering,
    robotics, mechatronics or production techniques), Electrical Engineering,
    Physics (signal and image processing, mechatronics), Materials Science,
    Computer Science (technical applications, knowledge-based systems,
    visualization), Human Movement Sciences or other relevant fields.

    Delft University of Technology offers PhD and post-doc contracts for four
    years. Salary is according to age and experience. For the post-doc positions
    the salary ranges between f4806,- and f6325,- (Dutch Guilders) or between
    Euro 2185,- and Euro 2875,- per month for a full-time position. For the PhD
    positions the salary starts in the first year at f3797,- (Euro 1726,-),
    increasing to f4383,- (Euro 1992,-) per month in the fourth year for a
    full-time position.

    Application letters (written or electronic), accompanied with an extended
    curriculum vitae and list of publications, must be send in before May 24,
    1999. Please mention the research project of interest. Written applications
    can be send to: H.G. Stassen
    Dept. of Mechanical Engineering
    Delft University of Technology
    Mekelweg 2
    2628 CD Delft
    The Netherlands

    Electronic applications can be send to A. van Keulen
    ( or prof.dr. F.C.T. van der Helm

    More information about the research projects you can find at the website:

    or contact: H.G. Stassen (program leader),
    tel. +31-15-2783607 (office)/+31-15-3694026 (home)
    e-mail: A. van Keulen
    Tel +31-15-2786515 (office)/+31-23-5294162 (home)

    Prof.dr. F.C.T. van der Helm
    Tel. +31-15-2785616 (office)/+31-70-3935928 (home)

    Information about procedures and contract conditions can be obtained at the
    DUT Personnel & Organization office, tel. +31-15-2783070.

    ************************************************** **************
    Frans C.T. van der Helm, PhD
    Man-Machine Systems & Control group
    Dept. of Mechanical Engineering
    Delft University of Technology
    Mekelweg 2
    2628 CD Delft
    The Netherlands

    tel. (+31)-15-2785616
    fax. (+31)-15-2784717
    ************************************************** **************

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