PhD position - Computational Microscopy and Complex Wavefront Shaping

We are developing radically new approaches to microscopy. Our aim is to obtain sharp images of structures deep inside the brain or far under the skin. Such materials are non-homogeneous and scatter light randomly, so ...

ongeveer een maand geleden


Drienerlolaan, Enschede, Overijssel
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
Uren per week:
38 - 38 uur
€ 2222 - € 2840 per maand


We are developing radically new approaches to microscopy. Our aim is to obtain sharp images of structures deep inside the brain or far under the skin. Such materials are non-homogeneous and scatter light randomly, so that usually all image information is fully scrambled.

Complex wavefront shaping
At the University of Twente, we pioneered a technique called 'complex wavefront shaping' that allows one to numerically invert the scattering matrix of a specific sample and construct a highly structured wave that focuses right through a given object. The biggest challenge is that in most cases the scattering matrix of the sample cannot be measured directly, making it highly non-trivial to find the matching wavefront. We will approach this challenge with a multi-disciplinary approach, combining aspects from computer sciences, mathematics and physics.

Our team
Our multidisciplinary team consists of physicists, electrical and biomedical engineers, and biologists. As pioneers of the field, we work on the forefront of complex wavefront shaping and collaborate closely with other leading groups around the globe. We offer a very open, dynamic, and collaborative work environment.

What will you do?

In this project you will:

  • Develop algorithms to focus light inside scattering materials. You will develop machine learning techniques based on state-of-the-art scattering theory, and the latest insights in wavefront shaping.
  • Explore approaches from information theory and inverse problems to extract every bit of useful information from scattered light.
  • Work together closely with experimentalists to demonstrate these novel concepts in proof-of-concept optical experiments. Depending on your interests, you may also conduct optical experiments yourself.
  • Publish your work in leading journals and present at top conferences.


Are you ready to take up this challenge? We are looking for a quick thinker with strong analytical skills. In addition:

  • You like to solve complex mathematical problems in an applied context.
  • You have a Master’s degree in Mathematics, Computer Sciences, Physics, or related discipline, with a demonstrated affinity for solving mathematical problems.
  • You are an experienced scientific programmer, proficient in MATLAB, Mathematica, Python or C++ or other language.
  • You like to work in an inspiring, multi-disciplinary team. You are able to explain complex mathematical concepts to non-mathematicians and translate your ideas into laboratory experiments.

Information and application

Do you want to help us to revolutionize microscopy? Please upload your application, including a letter of motivation, CV, a transcript of MSc grades and names/contact information of 2 or more references to before February 1 2018. An interview and presentation will be part of the selection procedure.

Please motivate your interest and fitness for the project, paying specific attention to the aspects of algorithm design or inverse problems. Applications with non-specific motivation letters are not taken into consideration. Funding for this project was obtained from the European Research Council.

For more information you can contact dr. ir. Ivo M. Vellekoop You can find more information about the group and about our research at


In accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities, the gross salary for a PhD increases from € 2.222,- per month in the first year to € 2.840,- the last year, plus a holiday allowance (8%), and end-year bonus (8,3%) of the annual salary. The assignment is four years, the length of the PhD program in the Netherlands, with a go/no-go assessment at the end of the first year. The University of Twente provides excellent campus facilities, and actively supports your professional and personal development.


The University of Twente. We stand for life sciences and technology. High tech and human touch. Education and research that matter. New technology which leads change, innovation and progress in society. The University of Twente is the only campus university of the Netherlands; divided over five faculties we provide more than fifty educational programmes. We have a strong focus on personal development and talented researchers are given scope for carrying out groundbreaking research.

We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our company. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status or disability status. Because of our diversity values we do particularly support women to apply.

Within the TNW Faculty (Faculty of Science & Technology) of the University of Twente some 700 staff members and 2000 students are involved in training and research on the interface of chemical technology, applied physics and biomedical technology. Fields of application include sustainable energy, process technology and materials science, nanotechnology and technical medicine. Research, which enjoys a high profile both at home and internationally, has been accommodated in the multidisciplinary research institutes MESA+ and MIRA. The faculty works together intensively with industrial partners and researchers in the Netherlands and abroad and conducts extensive research for external commissioning parties and funders.


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