PhD scholarship in Efficient Numerical Modeling of Hearing Aids as Worn by Patients

DTU Electro

We are offering a 3-year PhD position at the Centre for Acoustic-Mechanical Microsystems (CAMM) for the “Efficient numerical modeling of hearing aids as worn by patients”. As this project is inherently multidisciplinary, you will have the unique opportunity of acquiring and applying knowledge on fields like advanced numerical modelling techniques, challenging acoustic measurements on human subjects, improvement of model efficiency and numerical optimization, among others. You will work in contact with Danish hearing aid companies that are global technological leaders in their field, and you will develop your ideas within a lively university environment with other PhD projects that are related to yours.

CAMM, which is attached to both the DTU Electro and DTU Construct departments, has a solid background on sensors, transducers, modelling, fabrication and materials, to which you can contribute. You will have access to world-class facilities and experienced, internationally recognized staff. You will also be connected to the Acoustic Technology group at DTU Electro, which has a decades-long history of top-level research and education in different fields of Acoustics.

Project background and goals
Hearing Aids (HAs) are extremely compact and specialized devices with many engineering challenges. They need to accommodate several transducers, power supply, signal processing and connectivity, all within drastically limited space and reduced power. Additionally, the HA needs to be adapted to every individual hearing-impaired patient and function in direct contact with the ear.


Hearing aid companies therefore have a strong research component and continuously improve their products by means of measurements and advanced simulation. Standardized measurement tests of the HA acoustic and mechanical performance do not usually include a human subject wearing the HA. Instead, for repeatability reasons, fixed setups are used. On the other hand, numerical simulation of full setups (HA worn by a patient) can become cumbersome because of computer burden and lack of reliable information on acoustic and mechanical properties of human tissues.

In this project you will be tackling the aforementioned difficulties. This will include:

  • Characterization of acoustical and mechanical properties of human tissues around the HA, including:
    • Acoustic impedances of the skin covering ear canal, pinna, head, hair, head and torso and their influence on the HA performance,
    • Mechanical properties and geometry of the interior of the ear canal and the transmission path inside the head, i.e. biomechanics of human hearing.
    • Variability among individuals of the mentioned items, including inverse methods e.g. Bayesian inversion.
  • Regarding the numerical models, it is expected that coupling a HA, already a very complex device, and the patient it is fitted on will result in very large models. This will mean:
    • Studying and applying Model Order Reduction (MOR) techniques or equivalent.
    • Combine modeling techniques such as the Boundary Element Method (BEM) and the Finite Element Method (FEM) in an optimal way, as well as simplification to analogous equivalents of less relevant subsystems.
    • Utilization of High Performance Computing (HPC) platforms (including Graphical Processing Units (GPUs)) in combination with domain decomposition approaches.  

The outcome of the project will be the creation of new and improved models of HAs that take into account their actual use on patients, allowing deeper understanding of the underlying coupled physics and better adapted HA designs.

Your activities during the PhD project will include:

  • Following courses on topics related with your project, either at DTU or other institutions,
  • Contributing to teaching and supervision tasks at DTU,
  • Attending international conferences where you will present your work,
  • Publication of your research results in scientific, peer reviewed journals.

Your required qualifications and skills are:

  • A master level education in the fields of either acoustics, mechanics, physics or equivalent,
  • Excellent command of English both spoken and written,
  • Knowledge on acoustical/mechanical measurements and design of experiments,
  • Knowledge of numerical simulation tools.

You must have a two-year master's degree (120 ECTS points) or a similar degree with an academic level equivalent to a two-year master's degree.

Approval and Enrolment
The scholarship for the PhD degree is subject to academic approval, and the candidate will be enrolled in one of the general degree programmes at DTU. For information about our enrolment requirements and the general planning of the PhD study programme, please see DTU's rules for the PhD education

Assessment
The assessment of the applications will be made by Associate Professor Vicente Cutanda Henriquez and Associate Professor Niels Aage.

We offer
DTU is a leading technical university globally recognized for the excellence of its research, education, innovation and scientific advice. We offer a rewarding and challenging job in an international environment. We strive for academic excellence in an environment characterized by collegial respect and academic freedom tempered by responsibility.


Salary and appointment terms
The appointment will be based on the collective agreement with the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. The allowance will be agreed upon with the relevant union. The period of employment is 3 years.

Starting date according to mutual agreement. The position is a full-time position.

You can read more about career paths at DTU here.

Further information
Further information may be obtained from Associate Professor Vicente Cutanda Henriquez (vcuhe@dtu.dk) and Associate Professor Niels Aage (naage@dtu.dk)

You can read more about the Department of Electrical and Photonics Engineering (DTU Electro) at electro.dtu.dk/ and about the Center for Acoustic-Mechanical Microsystems at www.camm.elektro.dtu.dk.

If you are applying from abroad, you may find useful information on working in Denmark and at DTU at DTU – Moving to Denmark. Furthermore, you have the option of joining our monthly free seminar “PhD relocation to Denmark and startup “Zoom” seminar” for all questions regarding the practical matters of moving to Denmark and working as a PhD at DTU.

Application procedure
Your complete online application must be submitted no later than 4 December 2022 (Danish time). Applications must be submitted as one PDF file containing all materials to be given consideration. To apply, please open the link "Apply online", fill out the online application form, and attach all your materials in English in one PDF file. The file must include:

  • A letter motivating the application (cover letter)
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Grade transcripts and BSc/MSc diploma (in English) including official description of grading scale

You may apply prior to ob­tai­ning your master's degree but cannot begin before having received it.

Applications received after the deadline will not be considered.

All interested candidates irrespective of age, gender, race, disability, religion or ethnic background are encouraged to apply.

DTU Electro is the result of a recent merger of the former departments DTU Elektro and DTU Photonics. Its research is, among other things, used in the healthcare sector for diagnostics, treatment and improving the quality of life. Research topics are the development of more sustainable energy systems, safer autonomous systems and a faster, greener and more secure internet.

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DTU develops technology for people. With our international elite research and study programmes, we are helping to create a better world and to solve the global challenges formulated in the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Hans Christian Ørsted founded DTU in 1829 with a clear mission to develop and create value using science and engineering to benefit society. That mission lives on today. DTU has 13,400 students and 5,800 employees. We work in an international atmosphere and have an inclusive, evolving, and informal working environment. DTU has campuses in all parts of Denmark and in Greenland, and we collaborate with the best universities around the world.