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PhD -“The development of an integrated implantable capsule sensor

PG-38 PhD Studentship on “The development of an integrated implantable capsule sensor system for monitoring bovine digestion”

Contract: Full Time/Fixed Term

The Tyndall National Institute invites applications for a PhD Studentship on “The development of an integrated implantable capsule sensor system for monitoring bovine digestion”.

The Tyndall National Institute is a world leader in the development of sensors and systems for use in life sciences applications. Working closely with a global range of academic, business and end-user partners, our technology is under evaluation by several multinational corporations and is approaching market readiness in a number of areas. In parallel, Tyndall has an ambitious strategy that will leverage our core strengths in Information and Communications Technologies to develop deep tech next generation breakthrough sensors and systems for agritech. There is a growing demand for smart integrated monitoring systems for agritech applications. While existing wearable solutions are able to provide inertial data, relating to general well-being of the animals, this project will advance knowledge and capabilities beyond the state of the art, through the development of sensing systems which will be compatible with operation within the bovine digestive system, measuring physical, chemical and biochemical parameters within sterile low cost systems.

This PhD studentship research is focused on the development and validation of an implantable capsule system to enable measurement of selected biomarkers from within the bovine digestive system, and to enable reliable communication from the implanted capsule to a gateway device on the animal or within the local building infrastructure of the animal.

The project is supported through the VistaMilk SFI Research Centre at Tyndall National Institute, which is part of the broader VistaMilk SFI Research Centre network, a unique collaboration between agrifood and ICT research institutes and leading Irish/multinational agrifood and ICT companies. Funded by Science Foundation Ireland and the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, VistaMilk aims to be a world-leading SFI Research Centre for precision pasture-based dairying. The candidate will also contribute to ongoing research on a collaborative basis with other researchers within the VistaMilk SFI Research Centre.

Responsibilities

The candidate will be required to:

  • Work under the direction of the Principal Investigator (PI) and co-supervisors.
  • Review the state-of-the-art in autonomous biosensor systems on an ongoing basis;
  • Design, assemble and test prototype capsule systems;
  • Develop hardware and software for remote monitoring of the capsule;
  • Integrate and test relevant physical and electrochemical sensor modules as part of the prototype assemblies;
  • Validate system reliability and performance under laboratory conditions;
  • Construct demonstrator devices for internal and external showcase;
  • 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 the PI, co-supervisors, commercial partners and funding agencies (The position will involve working closely with relevant researchers in Tyndall, Teagasc and other VistaMilk partners and collaborators as applicable to the development of the integrated system);
  • Participate and present research in consortium meetings, conferences, workshops and outreach events.
  • Perform other related duties incidental to the work described herein.
  • Collaborate with multi-disciplinary researchers with expertise in microsystems technology, antenna design, electrochemical sensors, electronics and low power system design;
  • Publish research in high impact journals

Essential Criteria

Academic/Educational Requirements

Applicants must have a Masters or at least higher second class Honors 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 wireless microsensor technology, packaging and integration, microcontroller programming and rapid prototyping platforms, device test and characterisation, and/or MEMS. Laboratory experience and a willingness to adapt to a multidisciplinary field is essential. High levels of initiative, self-management, achievement-orientation, and motivation are encouraged.

Skills and Experience

This is an exciting project in a fast-moving, industrially relevant area.  Reporting to the supervisor (and co—supervisors as applicable), the candidate will work as part of a collaborative research group, but take a hands-on role, with responsibility 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. Regular international travel may also be expected.

It is critical that the candidate has an ability to work in a team environment, as he/she will liaise closely with other consortium members engaged in developing complementary aspects of the platform.

In return, the position provides the opportunity to develop innovative solutions for biomedical challenges related to agritech, as well as to gain valuable experience in design, fabrication and testing of next-generation lab-on-chip 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.

Desirable Criteria

  • MSc, MEngSc, or equivalent postgraduate qualification;
  • Typically 1-2 years academic or industry experience in areas such as wireless microsensor technology, packaging and integration, microcontroller programming and rapid prototyping platforms, device test and characterisation, medical device design and development, biomedical engineering, and/or bioMEMS;
  • 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.

This is a fulltime Postgraduate student opportunity, with the successful candidate initially registering as a Masters student and transferring to a PHD program subject to a review process at approximately 12 months.

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

Application Instructions

Step 1 - click here to download and complete the Application form and indicate the Job Reference PG-38.

Step 2 - return the completed Application form, together with your CV and motivation letter to careers@tyndall.ie.

Postgraduate applicants whose first language is not English must provide evidence of English language proficiency as per UCC regulations (https://www.ucc.ie/en/study/comparison/english/postgraduate/). 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.

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.