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Postdoctoral / Senior Postdoctoral Researcher- Embedded Systems for Surgical Navigation

PCM-14 Postdoctoral / Senior Postdoctoral Researcher- Embedded Systems for Surgical Navigation

Contract: Full Time / Fixed Term


Established in 2004, the Tyndall National Institute is one of Europe’s leading centres in ICT research and development. It hosts over 460 researchers, engineers and support staff. It has a network of over 200 industry partners and customers worldwide. Tyndall performs breakthrough research in photonics, electronics, micro/nano-technology and smart systems to deliver innovative solutions in the communications, energy, medtech, bio-pharmaceuticals, agricultural and the environmental sectors.

Surgical Navigation using Magnetic Tracking

Tyndall is one of the leading research centres in Europe for surgical navigation using magnetic tracking technology, a critical tool for navigation in image-guided interventions. Our work combines hardware development, software control, power electronics and embedded systems for wired and wireless communications to develop the world’s most advanced magnetic sensing and tracking tools for image-guided interventions. The Electromagnetics and Electronic Systems group is part of Tyndall’s world leading MicroNano Systems Centre.

Funding for our work has been provided by global industry partners, state agencies (Science Foundation Ireland and Enterprise Ireland), and the European Research Council.

The project

This work is part of the DEEP FIELD project enabled by the European Research Council DEEP FIELD award. Image-guided surgery offers numerous advantages, including the ability of surgeons to navigate their instruments with precision and speed. However, it requires the use of harmful x rays or CT. DEEP FIELD proposes to replace this type of radiation with magnetic tracking of surgical instruments. Researchers will develop innovative sensors that overcome the distortion issues associated with the use of the magnetic field in surgery. The DEEP FIELD technology is changing navigation in image-guided interventions with applications in cardiovascular navigation, endoscopy and robotic surgery, leading to significantly improved patient outcomes.

DEEP FIELD is developing new and ambitiously complex magnetic sensors, including the first on-chip sensor suitable for system-in-package (SiP) fusion with other sensor types. DEEP FIELD will also eliminate the wired connection to magnetic sensors which fail regularly in current clinical use. The project includes an ambitious plan to integrate and test novel wireless SiP sensor solutions in intra-operative instrument tracking in cardiovascular navigation, endoscopy and robotic surgery without reliance on harmful radiation.

The key objectives of the project relevant this role are to:

  1. Integrate and test a suitable SiP solution combining our novel ASIC with off-the-shelf sensors and microcontroller within a mini-PCB solution for deployment in catheter and long surgical instruments.
  2. Design and integrate wireless signal transmission (BLE or similar) from the SiP to the existing tracking base control unit.
  3. Test the integrated solution in the real-life pre-clinical setting including benchtop, clinical model and live animal settings.

The Role

We now wish to recruit a postdoctoral or senior postdoctoral researcher whose primary role will be to execute the objectives of this project as outlined above. The design and implementation of the proposed prototypes will be achieved in close consultation with the existing DEEP FIELD team. The test plan itself will include EMI, accuracy, precision, latency and power consumption testing and analysis.

You will be required to prepare and submit progress reports and project documents to the Principal Investigator as part of this role. You will travel where necessary to project-related meetings, test facilities and international conferences.

Benefits of the position

  • You will have the opportunity to work in a dynamic and vibrant international research group with active research activities in medtech innovation, with a particular emphasis on surgical navigation.
  • Great career development and advancement opportunities and direct collaboration with industry partners and international collaborators.
  • Attend training courses and workshops.
  • Opportunity to publish in leading IEEE journals.
  • Excellent working conditions.

Key Responsibilities

  • Assist with defining a space pre-qualification test campaign for commercial RF MEMS switches.
  • Design of test boards to facilitate testing of the DUTs as per the test plan
  • Development of testing programmes (using suitable software e.g. Labview/C#) for instrument control
  • DC electrical testing of electrostatic RF MEMS switches. Tests to include basic I-V sweeps for device characterisation, as well as more complex tests for reliability testing.
  • RF characterisation of RF MEMS switches.
  • Supervision of the mechanical testing of MEMS devices: Shock, vibration and thermal shock testing.
  • Supervision of the radiation testing of the MEMS devices.
  • Assist with the preparation of publications, reports and proposals
  • Presenting updates to all stakeholders (verbal and written reports)
  • 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

  • PhD degree in a relevant electronic engineering discipline or equivalent and relevant professional qualification or research experience.
  • Hands-on experience in performing electronics systems integration including microcontroller experience, trouble-shooting and testing.
  • Experience in coding using Python, C, C++ or alternative language for embedded systems control.
  • Experience of PCB design.
  • Good oral and written communication skills in English including experience in writing and presenting project reports.

Desirable Criteria

  • Experience with SiP sensor solution design, development and testing
  • Experience in multi-sensor integration and testing
  • Knowledge of wireless BLE communication protocols and Nordic chipsets
  • Experience in project planning and management

Appointment may be made on the IUA Scale for Post-Doctoral Researchers  € 42,781 - € 49,177 per annum and Senior Post-Doctoral Researchers € 50,540 - €54,966 p.a.  Salary placement on appointment will be in accordance with puCutblic sector pay policy.

Informal enquiries can be made in confidence to Professor Pádraig Cantillon-Murphy at

Application Instructions:

Step 1 -  click here to download the application form and indicate the Job Reference PCM-14

Step 2 - return the completed application form, together with your CV and motivation letter to

Please ensure that your motivation letter, CV and application letter are submitted in pdf format.

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.

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.