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Leader in Integrated ICT Hardware & Systems

Masters in Navigation Systems for Image-guided Interventions

PCM-10  Masters in Navigation Systems for Image-guided Interventions

Contract: Full Time/Fixed Term

Tyndall National Institute is seeking outstanding engineering graduates for a fully-funded research masters project in electrical engineering.

Tyndall is one of Europe’s leading research centres in integrated ICT hardware and systems, and the largest facility of its type in Ireland. The Institute is a world leader in the development of navigation systems for image-guided surgery and this PhD opportunity is in this area of research.

The future of surgery is image-guided. But how will the surgeon navigate instruments beyond the camera's field of view without using harmful x-rays? The potential of magnetic tracking to navigate surgical instruments without x-rays has long been appreciated but current technology. Magnetic tracking uses a magnetic field transmitter located close to the patient, which tracks wired sensors connected to instruments and tools during surgery. However, current approaches lacks sufficient accuracy, speed, robustness and immunity to magnetic field distortion to change the clinical paradigm. The major shortcoming of current technology is the distortion of the magnetic field used for localization, due to large metal instruments and equipment such as the imaging equipment in the operating room. This project specifically seeks to address the need for visual navigation platforms using the 3D Slicer programme integrated with real-time magnetic tracking hardware to enable more accurate and more reliable tool tracking in image-guided interventions. The project will result in bespoke pre-clinical Slicer interfaces for navigation in lung and colon surgery.

This project is part of the DEEP FIELD ERC project at Tyndall National Institute to significantly reduce or eliminate the use of real-time radiation sources such as x-ray and CT in many procedures while also enabling more accurate surgery, advanced image fusion and significantly improved patient outcomes. This requires novel visual navigation platforms which interface tracking hardware with software vision systems for surgical instrument tracking using sensor fusion and machine learning approaches. An ambitious plan to demonstrate these platforms in lung and colon surgery. The outcomes of the project will provide the scientific foundation for the future of intra-operative instrument tracking in cardiovascular navigation, endoscopy and robotic surgery without harmful radiation.

Key Responsibilities

  • Develop research in surgical navigation vision systems for lung and colon surgery based on 3D Slicer platform in C++ and Python
  • Development and integration of new Slicer modules (CLI and Python) using the ITK and VTK libraries using the CMake compiler platform
  • -Integrate tracking hardware for magnetic tracking with 3D Slicer using the OpenIGTLink protocol
  • Work as part of team to develop pre-clinical prototypes suitable for demonstration in pre-clinical setting
  • Engage in the dissemination of the results of the research
  • Engage in appropriate training and professional development opportunities as required the project supervisor
  • Carrying out any additional duties as may reasonably be required within the general scope and level of the post.
  • The student will work under the direction of the Principal Investigator in the Electronic and Electromagnetic Systems Group at Tyndall National Institute.

Essential Criteria

  • An honour’s degree in mathematics, physics or electrical engineering is essential.
  • The ability to work independently, have a lead role in research projects and to contribute as a team member in larger research projects is essential.
  • Good organization, communication and interpersonal skills are essential.
  • The ideal candidate will be an excellent communicator and fluent in both written and spoken English.

This is a full-time opportunity in Tyndall National Institute for up to two years (Masters) or up to four years (for PhD appointment).

Willingness to travel to international partners for an extended internship is required. Outstanding candidates will be considered for direct entry to the PhD programme. The successful candidate will be based at the Tyndall National Institute and will report to Dr. Pádraig Cantillon-Murphy.

Any queries relating to this position can be forwarded

An annual student stipend of €18,500 applies for the successful candidate for this position. Yearly University Academic Fees will be paid by the Tyndall National Institute.

Application Instructions:

Step 1 -  click here to download the application form and indicate Job Reference PCM-10

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.