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Postdoctoral researcher – Subject-specific spine modelling

Postdoctoral researcher Subject-specific spine modelling

Are you eager to work on advancing biomedical image-based computer modelling?
(Post-doctoral) Researcher
Biomedical Engineering
Date off
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Job description

Postdoctoral researcher – Subject-specific spine modelling

This vacancy is posted as part of an ERC Advanced Award, Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis (AIS): a Perfect Storm of Functional Anatomy, Biomechanics and Mechanobiology during Growth? (ScoliStorm). AIS is a 3D deformity of the spine affecting previously healthy children, substantially reducing their quality of life and creating a life-long burden of disease. Up to now, we have been unable to provide a cure for these children suffering from AIS partly because its cause and mechanism of disease are still unknown. ScoliStorm will create a paradigm shift in AIS research by uncovering its complex perfect storm of anatomical, biomechanical and mechanobiological causes in the intervertebral disc and exploring this disease mechanism whereby predictive triggers are identified that can be used for prevention and early treatment. The research is multidisciplinary covering clinical, imaging, image analysis, biomechanical, mechanobiological and biological research.

In the image analysis and in silico biomechanical aspects of this project, we will develop high-throughput creation of subject specific in silico thoracic-lumbar spine models, such that morphological imaging data can provide functional analysis of the patient for diagnosis and treatment. First, feature selector algorithms, statistical shape & B-spline space modelling and Active Shape Models (ASM) will be combined to automatically segment and merge synthetic-CT and MRI datasets. Then, subject-specific FE models will be generated by combining automatic landmark identification methods, statistical shape modeling (SSM), statistical appearance modeling (SAM) and mesh morphing techniques. Finally, with input of skeletal maturity-specific tissue material properties and subject-specific loading/boundary conditions, these models will be validated against cadaveric ex vivo biomechanical testing.

If you are fascinated by medical image analysis and in silico biomedical engineering, and eager to develop innovative models that will advance understanding of spine biomechanics, we invite you to join us in this challenge. You will collaborate intensively with our partners at the Imaging Institute and Orthopedic Department at the University Medical Center in Utrecht, as well as commercial partner MRIguidance.

Job requirements

  • A PhD degree in biomedical engineering, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, computational science, or a comparable domain
  • Ability to conduct high quality academic research, demonstrated for instance by relevant publications in the area of research
  • Background in biomedical imaging and image analysis
  • Experience with computational biomechanics and statistical modelling
  • Be a team player and able to contribute to and initiate cross-disciplinary collaborations
  • Excellent mastering of the English language, good written and oral communication skills. Note that there is no Dutch language requirement.
  • Result-driven and proactive attitude

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 2 years, starting with a one-year contract.
  • You will have free access to high-quality training programs on general skills, didactics and topics related to research and valorization.
  • A gross monthly salary and benefits in accordance with the Collective Labor Agreement for Dutch Universities.
  • 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

Information about the Biomedical Engineering department can be found at:

Information about the Orthopaedic Biomechanics group can be found at:

Do you recognize yourself in this profile and would you like to know more? Please contact:
dr. Bert van Rietbergen (b.v.rietbergen[at] or prof.dr. Keita Ito (k.ito[at]

For information about terms of employment, please click here or contact Sascha Sanchez, HR advisor, s.j.m.g.sanchez.van.oort[at] or HRServices.Gemini[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.
  • List of five self-selected ‘best publications’.

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.

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.

About Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e)

TU/e is a University of Technology with a focus on Health, Energy and Mobility. Within the Health area, several departments cooperate on topics such as Chemical Biology, Regenerative Medicine, Computational Biology, and Biosensing, with close links to healthcare and industry. TU/e is an open and inclusive university with short communication lines. The people are curious, collaborative, and strive for excellence. TU/e enables its academic staff to develop research and education at an internationally renowned level. Our lively campus community facilitates connections between staff and students, in an open, friendly, vibrant atmosphere that welcomes and inspires.

Biomedical Engineering

The Department of Biomedical Engineering (BME) offers a research driven BME Bachelor program and Masters in Biomedical Engineering and Medical Engineering in its Graduate Program. Its research areas range from Molecular Bioengineering and Imaging, Biomechanics and Tissue Engineering to Biomedical Imaging and Modelling. The department has more than 800 students and up to 200 tenured and non-tenured employees.

The research will be mainly conducted within the Orthopaedic Biomechanics (OPB) group in the Department of Biomedical Engineering.

The OPB group, headed by prof.dr. K. Ito, combines engineering and biology to expand our understanding of musculoskeletal tissues and to develop (regenerative) treatment strategies. They cover diverse topics in bone, intervertebral disc and tendons/ligaments, as well as articular cartilage. The group is well known for their multidisciplinary approach combining tissue mechanics, mechanobiology, tissue and biomaterial mechanics, ex vivo bioreactor platforms and computational models to optimize tissue conditions for regenerative engineering. The group houses the Cell and Tissue Engineering laboratory, a shared research infrastructure operating at the international forefront of the engineering of living, load-bearing tissues.