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Leader in Integrated ICT Hardware & Systems

PhD –Ablation Technologies

COMA-19 PhD –Ablation Technologies

Contract: Full Time/Fixed Term

The Tyndall National Institute at University College Cork is performing breakthrough research in photonics, electronics, micro/nanotechnology and smart systems to deliver innovative solutions for modern healthcare. Leveraging from a range of proprietary technology platforms, world class human capital, and a €250M research infrastructure, Tyndall is delivering next-generation technologies for wearable diagnostics, connected health, smart drug delivery systems, cardio and neural recording and modulation, and minimally invasive surgery.

As part of this ambitious ‘ICT for Health’ strategy, which already represents approximately 20% of the research activity of the institute, we are working with world-leading industrial partners in medtech and pharma to develop the next generation of smart medical devices.

One specific application is in the area of ablation therapy – a minimally invasive procedure used to destroy the abnormal tissue that may be present in many conditions, including, for example, in the heart during cardia arrhythmia, or in a range of cancers including those in the kidney, prostate, lung, bone and breast.  Ablation therapy uses extremely high or low temperatures to destroy the abnormal tissue or tumours, and is a minimally invasive procedure, meaning that it may be done without open surgery. This project is particularly interested in techniques including RF ablation, which uses direct heating of tissue through the delivery of RF energy to cause tissue necrosis, and/or cryoablation, which destroys tissue using the localised application of extremely cold temperatures.

In collaboration with one of the world’s leading medical technology companies, Tyndall now wishes to obtain a deeper understanding of the tools and processes used in cryo and/or RF ablation, their interaction with tissue, and how feedback or communication to/from these tools could be managed in the future. We are also interested in the development of probes and procedures for the enhanced delivery of RF and cryoablation therapies.

As a result, we are now seeking a highly motivated PhD candidate to work closely with our industrial partner to drive this activity and address these questions.

This is an exciting project in a fast-moving, industrially relevant area.  Reporting to the team leader of the research activity, the candidate will take a hands-on role, and will be responsible for the day-to-day execution of the technical research tasks outlined above. Scientific dissemination (preparation of regular internal reports, journal and conference publications, and industrial liaison) is an integral part of the position. Part of the experimental work may take place at the facilities of our industrial partner, and some local and international travel may also be expected.

In return, the position provides the opportunity to develop innovative solutions for medical technology challenges, as well as to gain valuable experience in design, fabrication and testing of next-generation devices and systems. The successful candidate will experience the excitement of working with high-profile industry on emerging technologies, and will have the opportunity to build the career profile associated with presentation at international conferences, workshops and industry meetings, and publication of the research in high impact journals.

Key Responsibilities

The candidate will be required to:

  • Work under the direction of the Principal Investigator/Project Leader and maintain close links to our industrial partner;
  • Review the state-of-the-art in ablation technologies on an ongoing basis, and to compile review documents on these topics;
  • Improve the understanding of how energy is transferred and absorbed by epithelial tissue across a range of electrode types, applied waveforms and current densities;
  • Investigate the feasibility of integrating these devices with smart sensors, communications and electronics subsystems;
  • Develop improved prototypes with the aim of enhancing energy transfer to tissue;
  • Engage in training and professional development opportunities as required;
  • Carry out administrative work to support the program of research and ensure all project deliverables and milestones are achieved in a timely manner.
  • Report results to team leaders, commercial partner and funding agencies;
  • Participate in project meetings, conferences, workshops and outreach events;
  • Ensure all activities are compliant with the Tyndall Quality Management system and required Health & Safety standards.
  • To perform other related duties incidental to the work described herein.

Essential Criteria

  • Applicants must have a Masters or 1H Bachelor’s degree in a relevant discipline (e.g. biomedical engineering, electrical/electronic engineering, physics), along with experience in one or more areas such as medical devices, tissue engineering, device test and characterisation, or finite element modelling.
  • MSc, MEngSc, or equivalent postgraduate qualification;
  • 1-2 years academic or industry experience in areas such as biomedical engineering, medical device design and development, thermal transfer, CAD, and/or surgical procedures;
  • Laboratory experience and a willingness to adapt to a multidisciplinary field is essential.

Desirable Criteria

  • Prior experience of working with/in industry, scientific paper writing, conference presentation and report writing.
  • A demonstrated capability in the delivery of research projects at undergraduate or postgraduate level.
  • High levels of initiative, self-management, achievement-orientation, and motivation are encouraged.

This is a fulltime Postgraduate student opportunity. An annual student stipend of €18,500 applies for this successful candidate for this position.  In addition, yearly University academic fees will paid by the Tyndall National Institute.

For further information, informal enquiries can be made in confidence to Dr Conor O’Mahony,

Application Instructions

Step 1 - Click here to download the Application form and indicate the Job Reference COMA-19.

Step 2 - Return the completed Application form, together with your CV and motivation letter to

Postgraduate applicants whose first language is not English must provide evidence of English language proficiency as per UCC regulations ( Certificates should be valid (usually less than 2 years old) and should be uploaded with their application. In special circumstances the panel may consider a prior degree in English (e.g. Master thesis written in English) as evidence of English language proficiency.

Please note that Garda vetting and/or an international police clearance check may form part of the selection process.

The University, at its discretion, may undertake to make an additional appointment(s) from this competition following the conclusion of the process.

Please note that an appointment to posts advertised will be dependent on University approval, together with the terms of the employment control framework for the higher education sector.

At this time, Tyndall National Institute does not require the assistance of recruitment agencies.

Tyndall National Institute at University College, Cork is an Equal Opportunities Employer.