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PhD for the Perinatal Life Support research project

PhD- student for a position in the Perinatal Life Support project (H2020-FETOPEN PLS)

meer dan een jaar geleden


de Rondom, Eindhoven, Noord-Brabant
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
Uren per week:
38 uur



The Eindhoven MedTech Innovation Center (e/MTIC) is a public-private partnership that aims to create a fast track to high-tech-health innovations in the cardiovascular, perinatal and sleep fields. It combines an academic partner (TU Eindhoven) with 3 semi-academic hospitals (Catharina Hospital, Maxima Medical Center, Kempenhaeghe) and an industrial partner (Philips).

In the perinatal research field premature birth, i.e. birth before 37 weeks of gestational age (GA), is a major problem, affecting more than 1 in 10 babies globally. Currently, infants born between 28 and 37 weeks of gestational age are housed within neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) which support their cardiorespiratory function and development to full term. This solution, however, yields severe health complications for infants born extremely premature, i.e. <28 weeks gestational age, as their organs lack maturity to undergo the complex physiologic transition to life outside the uterus. The exposure to air is a harsh physiologic adaptation for extremely premature infants, and leads to numerous complications including breathing, cardiac, neurological and metabolic problems. Despite advances in medicine, NICUs are not an adequate substitute for the protective environment of the maternal womb. The project envisions a solution where the intra-uterine, the maternal womb, environment can be preserved outside the body of a woman by transferring the extremely premature infant to a perinatal life support (PLS) system, with the goal to delay and ease the transition to newborn life.

This project aims to develop and validate Perinatal Life Support systems using breakthrough simulation technology.; herein, extremely premature born infants are mimicked using a manikin, while advanced monitoring and computational modeling provide clinical guidance and fetal status and treatment.

Industrial Design PhD position

The PhD position is mainly about the development, use and validation of a Perinatal Life Support system and in particular the development of the simulation(s) for medical training of this Perinatal Life Support system. It means working, with the partners, on
  • Developing a liquid-based environment, replacing the maternal womb
  • Developing components of the Perinatal Life Support system, like fetal manikins and equipment, for effectively training the exit procedure and the use of the liquid-based environment
  • The technical validation of the Perinatal Life Support system and proof-of-principle.
  • Designing and realizing prototypes for improving Comfort and bonding of parents and the extremely premature born infant

    Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e, www.tue.nl) is one of Europe's leading research universities. The Eindhoven area, in the southern part of the Netherlands, is one of Europe's top 'innovation ecosystems', with many high-tech companies and institutes. TU/e is intertwined with many of these companies and institutes, and research at TU/e is characterized by a combination of academic excellence, industrial relevance and societal interweaving. The Department of Industrial Design (ID) of the Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e), founded in 2001, is a maturing department with over 650 students, both Bachelor and Master, and around 40 research staff members and about 10 lecturers. The mission of the department of Industrial Design at TU/e is Research on and Education in the Design of Systems with Emerging Technologies in a Societal Context.
    At the end of the 4-year contract the candidate is expected to defend her/his PhD Thesis or PhD Technological design. During the project the candidate is expected to publish in the relevant scientific conferences and journals.

    The PhD will be under the supervision of Prof.dr.ir. P. Markopoulos, Prof.dr.ir. L. Feijs and Dr.ir. F. Delbressine in the Department of Industrial Design at Eindhoven University of Technology. The project will be executed in collaboration with the Department of Biomedical Engineering, the Maxima Medical Center, the Politecnico di Milano, Aachen University and industrial partners like LifeTec and Nemo Healthcare. At the TU/e department of Industrial Design, the position is situated within the research cluster of 'Future Everyday'. The Future Everyday cluster investigates the everyday interactions between individual people and the highly interconnected technology that surrounds them. Researchers measure, model and design for the user experience when individuals interact with social-technological networks in their homes, at work, in transit, in the hospital, while doing sports or going out.

    Prospective starting date: November/December 2019.


  • MSc Industrial Design degree or a MSc in a closely related discipline
  • A portfolio demonstrating skills and knowledge in the medical field (preferably also medical simulation), digital fabrication (3D printing in particular), interactive prototyping and prototype validating
  • A commitment to research through making, reflection and co-design
  • Initial experience with academic research
  • An interest in research in the areas of designing connected products, the medical field, medical simulation, ethics, the social aspects of childbirth like comfort and bonding of parents and child.
  • A hands-on approach combined with analytical skills and common sense
  • An ambition to build, organize and realize things and events
  • Openness and interest to work together with people from other disciplines (like medical doctors) and across different organizations
  • Fluency in English is a must (written and spoken).


  • We offer a full time, challenging position for 4 years (48 months) in a new and rapidly growing Department of Industrial Design.
  • We offer a starting salary of € 2,325 gross per month in the first year and € 2,972 gross per month in the last year (PhD-salary scale Collective Labor Agreement Dutch Universities) on a full-time basis, plus 8% holiday allowance and 8,3% end of the year allowance.
  • Attractive secondary labor conditions (good sport facilities, child-care, etc.).

Additional information

General information about the Department Industrial Design, candidates will find on http://www.id.tue.nl/.
Candidates can get more information about the project from Dr.ir F.L.M. Delbressine, e-mail f.l.m.delbressine[at]tue.nl, or Prof. dr.ir L. Feijs, email l.m.g.feijs[at]tue.nl. If you have any questions about the application procedure, please contact HR Services Industrial Design, tel. +31(0) 40 2475336, e-mail: HR-IndustrialDesign[at]tue.nl.

How to apply
Your application must contain the following documents (all in English):
- a written application letter with a clear motivation section
- a portfolio
- a curriculum vitae.

Please note that a maximum of 1 documents of 10 MB can be uploaded.

Applications per e-mail are not accepted.

If you are interested, we invite you to apply before November 15, 2019. To apply please use the 'apply for this job' button.