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PhD on Agrifood sensing using electronically generated THz radiation

PhD on Agrifood sensing using electronically generated THz radiation

The Integrated Circuits group at the Electrical Engineering department of TU/e has a vacant PhD position in the field of diagnosis of agriculture and food produces using optically and electronically generated THz radiation.
Electrical Engineering
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Job description


Terahertz (THz) radiation fills in the gap between high-frequency microwaves and low-frequency infrared radiation. In the 1990s, optical generation and detection of this radiation was a true gamechanger by opening up this last undiscovered part of the electromagnetic spectrum. Applications in fields such as the agriculture, food, industrial, medical sectors were then possible to explore. Recent work on agriculture produces have shown that THz spectroscopy allows to determine non-destructively and without contact the moisture content of leaves to evaluate plant well-being. For food produces, first evidence is reported about the identification of key components such as edible oils, moisture and sugars. For many applications, however, a real impact of the technology is hampered by the surrounding liquid, the absence of adequate signal processing schemes and importantly the large form factor and costs. The ultimate challenge for designing a THz-based sensor in these sectors is thus to uniquely identify targeted species of industrial or societal interest in a complex biomolecular system with a small and affordable THz spectroscopic system.


The project has the goal to first study the opportunities of THz spectroscopy and imaging in the field of agriculture and food. The research of the candidate will focus on the study of a particular societally relevant problem selected in either the agriculture and/or food domain, where THz technology can make a true difference as compared to the state-of-the art. The candidate will need to design a dedicated measurement setup, perform experiments autonomously and in collaboration with e.g. agriculture universities, food institutes, and develop signal processing algorithms. The latter ones may include analysis based on chemical and physical interactions, complemented with contemporary AI principles. Eventually, the candidate will design an integrated sensing solution which should meet the requirements of the end user. Hereto, collaborations with the Wageningen University & Research are foreseen.

Job requirements

We welcome applications from candidates with a MSc degree or equivalent in physics and electrical engineering. For this project, condensed matter physics, optics and electromagnetics are relevant assets, (Python) programming is advantageous.

Conditions of employment

  • A meaningful job in a dynamic and ambitious university with the possibility to present your work at international conferences.
  • A full-time employment for four years, with an intermediate evaluation (go/no-go) after nine months.
  • To develop your teaching skills, you will spend 10% of your employment on teaching tasks.
  • To support you during your PhD and to prepare you for the rest of your career, you will make a Training and Supervision plan and you will have free access to a personal development program for PhD students (PROOF program).
  • A gross monthly salary and benefits (such as a pension scheme, pregnancy and maternity leave, partially paid parental leave) in accordance with the Collective Labor Agreement for Dutch Universities.
  • Additionally, an annual holiday allowance of 8% of the yearly salary, plus a year-end allowance of 8.3% of the annual salary.
  • Should you come from abroad and comply with certain conditions, you can make use of the so-called ‘30% facility’, which permits you not to pay tax on 30% of your salary.
  • A broad package of fringe benefits, including an excellent technical infrastructure, moving expenses, and savings schemes.
  • Family-friendly initiatives are in place, such as an international spouse program, and excellent on-campus children day care and sports facilities.

Information and application

More information

Do you recognize yourself in this profile and would you like to know more? Please contact
dr. Dook van Mechelen, j.l.m.v.mechelen[at]

For information about terms of employment, click here or contact HRServices.flux[at]

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We invite you to submit a complete application by using the 'apply now'-button on this page.
The application should include a:

  • Cover letter in which you describe your motivation and qualifications for the position.
  • Curriculum vitae, including a list of your publications and the contact information of
    three references.
  • Two reference letters
  • Brief description of your MSc thesis.

We look forward to your application and will screen it as soon as we have received it.
Screening will continue until the position has been filled.

We do not respond to applications that are sent to us in a different way.

Please keep in mind you can upload only 5 documents up to 2 MB each. If necessary please combine files.