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PhD: Motion Monitoring for Neonatal applications

PhD: Motion Monitoring for Neonatal applications

Faculteit Technische Natuurkunde
Graduate Program(s)
Applied Physics


The School of Medical Physics and Engineering group, department of Applied Physics, has a job opening for a PhD student on Motion Monitoring for Neonatal applications.

Medical care for very premature infants in developed countries is provided in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), where infants spend the first weeks or even months of their lives in a vulnerable state in which life-threatening complications can occur. Patient monitoring equipment is used to continuously monitor vital signs, such as heart rate, respiration and oxygen saturation. Timely detection of acute deterioration in (preterm) infants is a great challenge. Acute deterioration or critical illnesses may be accompanied by changes in body movement, however this information is not continuously measured. There is a need for solutions that can reliably monitor the patient with a more-integrated and less-obtrusive (e.g., wearable / camera) form of sensors that provides self-explanatory movement information that is easily interpretable.

Project description
In the research consortium of Eindhoven University of Technology, Máxima Medical Centre and Philips already several sensors are available for movement detection, like (fiber) mattresses and video based techniques. Mattresses under the patient have proven to be able to detect motion and respiration, however they fail in detecting signals when the infant gets kangaroo care; camera methods fail to detect motion in poor light conditions or when patients are covered by blankets and wearable sensors are not giving sufficiently robust continuous information. It is important to investigate the possibilities and choose a technology that can be feasible in routine neonatal intensive care setting.

In this project, the following steps are foreseen:

  • Perform a clinical review study and market-study to investigate current possibilities for monitoring of neonatal body movement in a less obtrusive way.
  • Investigate current clinical data and use machine learning methods to determine motion from existing signals, like video-recordings. Cross-validate data collected from various current and new sets of sensors and investigate fusion possibilities.
  • Integrate the reduced sensor set in a more compact package with soft wearable forms (e.g., mattress, blanket, socks, clothing) and/or camera solution for continuous motion monitoring.
  • Test the new solutions in a clinical study.

Departments and collaborators
Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) is a world-leading research university specializing in engineering science & technology, with a strategic collaboration with Philips and several regional hospitals, like Máxima Medical Center, who are both involved in the current project.
The School of Medical Physics and Engineering Eindhoven (SMPE/e) specializes in engineering and implementation of technology in healthcare and has a long track record of educating healthcare engineers and supporting healthcare projects in hospitals and other healthcare institutions, in clinical physics, medical engineering and clinical informatics.
The current position is positioned in the eMTIC consortium and is a collaboration between the TU/e departments of Applied Physics, Electrical Engineering and Industrial Design, and (clinical) supervisors from MMC and Philips are included.


We are looking for candidates that match the following profile:

  • A master's degree in Applied Physics, Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, Biomedical Engineering or related disciplines with excellent grades.
  • Excellent knowledge of signal processing and systems.
  • Solid programming skills (e.g., in Matlab, Python, C or C++) and physical prototyping skills (e.g., 3D modeling and 3D printing). Experience in embedded system or device integration is a plus.
  • A team player that enjoys to work in multidisciplinary teams (including scientists, engineers, physicians and nurses).
  • Good communication and organization skills.
  • Excellent English language skills (writing and presenting).


We offer a fixed-term, 4 year position in a research group with an excellent reputation. Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities, including:

  • A gross monthly salary between € 2.325,00 (first year) and € 2.972,00 (last year).
  • Additionally, 8% holiday and 8.3% end-of-year annual supplements.
  • Additional benefits, including excellent technical infrastructure, child care, holiday savings schemes, and sports facilities.
  • Assistance for finding accommodation is offered for foreign students.
  • Personal development program aimed to develop your social and communication skills (see ).

Informatie en sollicitatie


If interested, please use 'apply now'-button at the top of this page, before August 1, 2020. You should upload the following:

  • a cover letter explaining your motivation and suitability for the position;
  • a detailed Curriculum Vitae (including a list of publications and key achievements in research project(s));
  • half-page summary of your MSc thesis;
  • contact information of two references;
  • copies of diplomas with course grades;

Please keep in mind; you can upload only 5 documents up to 2 MB each.