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PhD vacancy - “Run-Work-Sleep-Repeat: 24/7 monitoring for healthy running”

The project backgroundThe PhD research will be carried out as part of a research project called Citius  Altius  Sanius, funded by NWO Applied and Engineering Sciences. Citius Altius  Sanius aims to promote participation in sport ...

10 maanden geleden


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


The project background

The PhD research will be carried out as part of a research project called Citius Altius Sanius, funded by NWO Applied and Engineering Sciences. Citius Altius Sanius aims to promote participation in sport, prevent injuries and improve performance in both amateur and top-level sport. This can be achieved by providing the athlete with information via sensors, data science technology and psychology-inspired smart feedback devices in order to influence their behaviour.
The project is led by TU Delft and VU University Amsterdam, and is being conducted by an alliance of eight universities and university medical centers and six universities of applied sciences who will collaborate on the project with more than 20 businesses, NOC*NSF and several sports associations, sports physicians, etcetera.
The project consists of three generic projects and six specific projects that focus on sports in which injuries are particularly common.
TU/e takes the lead in one of these specific projects, focussing on 24/7 monitoring of recreational runners. For this, TU/e collaborates with VU University Medical Centre, 2M Engineering, Golazo Sports SX, InnoSportlab Sport & Beweeg and Gemeente Eindhoven.

The PhD project

Running is one of the most popular forms of sports participation in Western Europe, with approximately 50 million participants (Breedveld et al., 2015). Running fits with our more dynamic and often less organized schedules and life patterns (Vos, 2016). Indeed, our current 24/7 economy puts constant pressure on a healthy and active lifestyle. Each individual has to combine the demands of family, with the demands of work, social life, leisure time, sleep, etcetera. Running offers opportunities for this growing group of 'busy' people to achieve an active and healthy lifestyle (Hespanhol et al., 2015; King et al., 2009). Yet, for less experienced runners, this often results in high drop-out rates due to injuries (e.g. Bredeweg et al., 2012; Hespanhol et al., 2016; Videbæk et al., 2015; Tonoli et al.,2010), lack of motivation and other constraints (Vos et al., 2016). Currently, runner's make use of standardized training programs and / or advice, which don't take into account the daily lifestyle and dynamics of runners on a 24/7 basis, for example, a stressful day at work, lack of sleep because of children, an unexpected game of squash with friends. Unfortunately this kind of unobtrusive 24/7 monitoring device is not available on the consumer market and the flood of data currently provided by many of the commercially available systems to users has not lead to substantial improvements with respect to sports-life balance, performance or reducing injury risk.

In the TU/e led project 'Run-Work-Sleep-Repeat: 24/7 monitoring for healthy running' we aim to support people in achieving an active and healthy lifestyle through injury-free running. The project goal is to design an unobtrusive 24/7 monitoring system which is able to measure a personal workload profile related to running and healthy lifestyle parameters.
A data-driven and data-enabled design and research approach will be applied to tackle the following challenges:

  • To merge conventional sensor electronics (measuring parameters related to an active and healthy lifestyle) with industry-ready, mass-producible, intelligent, but still washable fabrics. The key challenge here is to find an optimal solution balancing seamless and unobtrusive sensor integration, reliability of information and low-cost sensors, which allow to address the large group of people targeted in this project.
  • To assess the total (training) load of recreational runners through 24/7 monitoring in real-life situations using low-cost sensors for running-related parameters (intensity based on heart rate and speed), posture, perceived intensity of the running sessions (through an app) and healthy lifestyle-related parameters (physical activity, sleep and stress). These parameters give insight into the health condition of a person.
  • To determine through data modelling, (i) the interaction between running related parameters, daily-life patterns and health status, and (ii) on an individual basis, the optimal sports-life / load-balance in relation to the prevention of overuse injuries.

  • The new system will provide feedback about the right amount of activity at the right time using the right message. The combination of running-related parameters (mechanical and physiological intensity based on heart rate and speed, posture and perceived intensity of the running sessions through an app) and healthy lifestyle-related parameters (other physical activities, sleep and stress) will result in personal (work)load profiles which are used to provide feedback and advice on the training sessions (Vos et al., 2016). Signal processing is used to interpret the 24/7 monitored data and create valuable and insightful feedback.

    A unique feature of the project is the intensive collaboration with partners from universities, industry and the sports sector. The PhD candidate will be expected to contribute primarily to the project 'Run-Work-Sleep-Repeat: 24/7 monitoring for healthy running'. Next, the PhD candidate will be expected to contribute to the whole project as part of a cross disciplinary and multi-site Citius Altius Sanius team.

    Industrial design at TU/e

    TU/e 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, such as Philips, ASML, NXP, DAF, OCE, and TNO. TU/e is closely intertwined with many of these companies and institutes, and research at TU/e is characterized by a combination of academic excellence and industrial relevance.

    The department of Industrial Design of the Technische Universiteit Eindhoven (TU/e), founded in 2001, is a rapidly growing department with over 550 students, both Bachelor and Master, and around 200 staff members. With a strong emphasis on research the ID department focuses on the design of intelligent products, systems, and related services.

    The department of Industrial Design is one of the nine departments of the Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e). Research at the department is focused on two areas or thematic clusters: Future Everyday and Systemic Change. This PhD-vacancy is part of the Systemic Change cluster. This cluster focuses on designing innovations that have impact on systemic structures and networks of people, ultimately aiming to address societal issues such as urban health, future mobility, sustainability and in this specific case design for people with dementia. Field data and organisational structures are used in novel iterative and circular research-through-design processes involving strategic alliances of stakeholders.
    Research and education at the department are highly interconnected. In particular, Bachelor, Master and PhD students intensively collaborate with research staff in so-called 'squads' dedicated to specific research topics.


    Candidates for this position should have a Master's degree in an area related to Interaction Design, User Experience Design, data-enabled design and electronic engineering with excellent grades and/or design skills. They should be pro-active and have a 'hands-on' attitude and a strong affinity with recreational sports (such as running) and/or personalized feedback systems as well as with creating experiential prototypes and dealing with data. Skills in prototyping with software and electronics and physical modelling skills are essential. Furthermore, candidates should have the interest and motivation to conduct empirical evaluations of design concepts. Good writing skills, the ability to work in a team of researchers from different universities, and, a strong sense for multidisciplinary approaches are highly valued.

    Good writing and speaking skills in Dutch are an advantage for applicants.


    The appointment is for 4 years, starting by March 1, 2018. The hired researcher will receive a competitive salary as well as excellent employment conditions (including excellent sport facilities and child care). The research in this project must be concluded with writing a PhD thesis. A salary is offered starting at EUR 2,222 per month (gross) in the first year and increasing up to EUR 2,840 per month (gross) in the last (4th) year. Moreover 8% bonus share (holiday supplement) and 8.3% bonus share (end-of-the-year allowance) are provided annually.

    Additionele informatie

    Further information about the project, if necessary, can be obtained from Prof.dr. Steven Vos, Dept of Industrial Design, s.vos@tue.nl

    General information about the organization and the hiring process can be requested from HR Services Industrial Design, +31(0)40 2475336, e-mail: HR-IndustrialDesign@tue.nl.

    Your application must contain the following documents (all in English):
    - a letter explaining your specific interest in the project
    - an extensive curriculum vitae.

    Please note that a maximum of 5 documents of 2 MB each can be uploaded. If you have more than 5 documents you will have to combine them.

    Applications per email are not accepted.

    If you are interested, we invite you to apply before 20 January 2018. You can send us the application through the online job portal of the TU/e: jobs.tue.nl/en/vacancies.html and use the apply now button or click here.

    Interviews are scheduled for 29 January 2018.