ERC PhD: wireless telemetry network for implantable brain-computer interfaces
What you will do
The number of sensing channels in implantable brain-computer
interface is continuously increasing to improve the quality of the neural
recording/stimulation, e.g., imec’s Neuropixels with up to 5000 sensing
electrodes. A high-bandwidth, energy-efficient yet miniature transceiver for wireless
data and power transfer is critical for long-term neuroscience exploration,
while minimizing the invasiveness to patients. However, there are challenging trade-offs
among implant volume, energy efficiency and available bandwidth, due to physical
constrains. Furthermore, to understand how different parts of the brain cortex
interacts, neural recording should be performed distributary, i.e., a brain-wide
wireless sensing network. Limitations when scaling up the network, due to e.g.,
protocol overhead, coupling, etc., should be overcome.
In this PhD project, a miniature, wideband, and energy-efficient
wireless telemetry microsystem and network for neural-recording/stimulation
applications will be developed, using unconventional propagation, processing
and protocol methods. The network telemetry will be validated in-vitro or
ex-vivo with clinically relevant setups. You will be working on:
- Implantable wireless microsystem design.
- Novel network access protocol design and capacity analysis.
- System validation in biological equivalent setups (in-vitro or ex-vivo).
This PhD position will be part of a ground-breaking research project “Intranet
of Neurons” and a team of PhD researchers, under the ERC (European Research Council)
Consolidator grant. You will be closely working with other researchers. The
position will be based in our Eindhoven office on the High Tech Campus.
What we do for you
We offer a PhD position in a challenging and international environment
at the forefront of technology, in an international network of renowned
industrial customers. This is your opportunity to work in an environment where
new technologies are created and brought to the market to have an impact on
tomorrow’s society. More specifically you:
- Pursue your PhD with full financial funding in a close-to-industrial environment, through employment at imec Netherlands.
- Work in a group known as the “centre of excellence” in low-power wireless communication and implantable health research.
- Access to the world-class research facility from imec internationally.
- Opportunity to collaborate with top international research groups via imec’s semiconductor and neurotechnology ecosystem.
- High visibility under renown ERC grant in scientific community.
Imec-Netherlands itself is not giving PhD degrees but acts as a host
research institute for PhD and postdoc research in collaboration with Dutch
universities, e.g., TU Delft, TU Eindhoven, etc. PhDs will get supported by university
professors and imec researchers, all of them are experts in their domains. Both
engineers and scientists can apply because of the multidisciplinary character
of our research.
Who you are
- MSc degree in electrical, electronic or communication engineering or equivalent.
- Solid knowledge in digital communication systems and wireless networks (e.g., Nyquist sampling, Shannon limit, medium access, etc.).
- Familiar with electronic system design and integration and has experience in application demonstration.
- Familiar with FPGA programming, data processing and software GUI design (e.g., Verilog, VHDL, Python, Matlab, etc.).
- Experience in multi-physics or EM modeling (e.g., Comsol, HFSS, ADS) is a plus.
- Experience in in-vitro validation is a plus.
- Passionate about linking microelectronics to biomedical applications to create societal impact.
- You are a team player and have strong communications skills.
- You work independently, have a strong feeling of responsibility and can commit to milestones of a research plan.
- You have excellent English writing and presentation skills.
You can send your
resume and motivation letter until 22 October 2021
Your MSc transcript
(course, score, GPA) and English certification (TOEFL, IELSE, or GRE) should be
provided during the application.
Interviews will be
scheduled in October & November 2021
The target starting
date of this PhD assignment is 1 April 2022
Click on ‘apply’ to submit your application. You will then be redirected to e-recruiting.