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PhD Compact Multi-Spectral Imaging for surgical guidance and diagnostics

PMO-15F PhD - Compact Multi-Spectral Imaging for surgical guidance and diagnostics

Contract: Full Time/Fixed Term

Summary of project

In the past 20 years mobile phone cameras have transformed how we record our lives. The demand for higher resolution in mobile phones cameras has made CMOS Image Sensor (CIS) the fastest growing segment of the semiconductor market. It has also brought about a dramatic reduction in CMOS Image Sensor (CIS) pixel sizes. This project will utilise the huge advances in CIS to build micro-cameras that can be used in stent operations. Stents have been used to treat coronary artery disease for more than a decade. It is now common practice to insert a stent to hold a coronary artery open and to maintain blood flow after an angioplasty. More than 2 million people get a stent each year. Presently surgeons can’t see what type of plaque causes artery blockages. Applying a micro-camera to the guidewires used to insert the stent would help make stent operations safer and cheaper.

This project addresses two major components of the Bio-medical imaging challenge. It will design the CMOS image sensor to capture signals and it will provide the image processing and correction algorithms to convert the detected signals into medical images in real time. In the first part the PhD project will work on the design of a CMOS image sensor. Analogue circuits like Analogue to Digital converters (ADCs), Reference Buffers, Low drop out regulators and LVDS buffers will be designed. All of these designs will be low power and low area. The PhD student will work with other circuit designers to design a complete micro-camera system. Once the design is complete and manufactured the next task will to be characterise the imager performance. The measured results will be submitted to conferences. The image sensor’s dark response and response to light sources at different wavelengths will be measured. Quantifying its temporal and spatial noise performance, identifying white pixels and other imperfections. Once these effects have been quantified image correction algorithms with be developed to produce high quality images for surgical use. We will work with our project partners in Queens University Belfast to port the necessary image processing onto a low power FPGA platform, after suitable algorithmic validation in MATLAB. This complete system will allow real time image reconstruction for the first miniature multi-spectral in-vivo bio-photonics imaging system.

The project supervisor will be Dr. Daniel O’Hare, Senior Researcher in the microelectronics group in Tyndall National institute . The PhD student join the well-established Photonic Integration and Advanced Data Storage ( PIADS) Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) hosted by IPIC (the Irish Photonics Integration Centre) in the Republic of Ireland (ROI), partnership with Queens University Belfast and the University of Glasgow.

Why Apply?

As a student on the PIADS programme you will join a vibrant, supportive and engaging cohort of over 40 students and will have the chance to travel and attend a bespoke week long induction programme with students from all three partners, an annual Winter & Summer School and have access to advanced training courses in areas such as semiconductor fabrication, packaging, biophotonics and entrepreneurship. In addition, IPIC and PIADS have many industry partners that will open up many research and career opportunities.


The candidate is expected to be creative, self-motivated, and should help create an efficient and friendly atmosphere within the PIADS CDT, MCCI and Biophotonics teams and beyond to all teams at IPIC and Tyndall.

  • Propose innovative circuits to meet the requirements of the medical device camera project.
  • With guidance, implement the solution on an integrated circuit. This involves system level simulation, algorithm development, schematic design, layout and validation of manufactured silicon.
  • Engage with the bio-photonics multi-disciplinary team to understand the application.
  • Engage in the dissemination of the results of the research, as directed by and with the support of senior Biophotonics/MCCI research staff.
  • Be an active member of PIADS CDT and participate in the annual cohort training events, academic modules and public engagement activities.

Essential Criteria

  • The minimum academic qualification is a first or upper second class honours degree (or an equivalent international degree) in electrical engineering, electronic engineering, physics or related relevant discipline.
  • The successful candidate will be highly analytical with good interpersonal and organisational skills.
  • Experience in area of Analogue, Mixed-Signal or RF circuit design.
  • Knowledge of integrated circuit design tools such as Cadence.

Desirable Criteria

  • Master’s degree in in electrical engineering, electronic engineering, physics or related relevant discipline.
  • Good mathematical ability and knowledge of statistics.
  • Knowledge of Cameras or Photonics.
  • Experience with FPGAs or Verilog/VHDL
  • Knowledge of Low-dropout regulators or power management circuits
  • Previous use of mathematical modelling tools such as MATLAB or Python.

Any queries relating to this position can be forwarded to Dr. Daniel O' Hare on email

Application Instructions

Step 1 - Click here to download and complete the Application form and indicate the Job Reference PMO-15F

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.