PhD scholarship in Deep-Learning based Sound Synthesis for Hearing Diagnostics and Compensation

Friday 10 Sep 21

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The Hearing Systems Section at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) seeks a qualified candidate for a 3-year PhD position. Hearing Systems is part of the Department of Health Technology (DTU Health Tech).

Our research is concerned with auditory signal processing and perception, speech communication, audiology, behavioural and objective measures of auditory function, computational auditory neuroscience, environmental acoustics, and hearing-instrument signal processing. The goal of this research is to understand the functioning of the human auditory system and to provide insights that are useful for technical applications, such as speech recognition systems, hearing aids, cochlear implants, and hearing diagnostics.

The current project combines deep learning with computational models of the auditory system. The project will develop generative neural networks to synthesize sound stimuli that create informative activations in computational simulations of the inner ear and auditory nerve. Specifically, the framework will be used to explore sound stimulus transformations that can discriminate different types of damage in the peripheral auditory system. The models will be used to generate stimuli that can be used for diagnosis or compensation of specific types of hearing loss. The project will evaluate the developed models with critical electrophysiological or psychophysical tasks. The results will contribute to a better classification of different types of hearing loss, better tools for diagnosis, and new signal processing strategies for hearing aids.

Responsibilities and qualifications
You will work with deep neural networks and computational auditory models to understand the how simulated damages in the auditory system can be detected and compensated. You will develop a computational framework to predict different types of hearing loss and their consequences in the auditory system. You will explore signal processing strategies to analyse, discriminate, and compensate for different types of hearing loss.

The candidate should be very well-versed in computational methods in deep learning and associated programming frameworks (e.g. PyTorch, Tensorflow) on GPUs, and should have knowledge of auditory signal processing and peripheral auditory models.

The project is part of the Centre of Excellence for Hearing and Speech Sciences and supported by the William Demant foundation. Part of the work will be conducted in collaboration with the hearing-aid company Oticon.  

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 the DTU PhD Guide.

Assessment
The assessment of the applicants will be made by Senior Researcher Jens Hjortkjær and Professor Torsten Dau.

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.

You can read more about career paths at DTU here.

Further information
Further information may be obtained from Jens Hjortkjær, jhjort@dtu.dk or Torsten Dau, tdau@dtu.dk.

You can read more about DTU Health Tech at www.healthtech.dtu.dk/english.

If you are applying from abroad, you may find useful information on working in Denmark and at DTU at DTU – Moving to Denmark.

Application procedure
Your complete online application must be submitted no later than 1 November 2021 (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
  • Excel sheet with translation of grades to the Danish grading system (see guidelines and Excel spreadsheet here)

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

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

DTU Health Tech engages in research, education, and innovation base on technical and natural science for the healthcare sector. The Healthcare sector is a globally expanding market with demands for the most advanced technological solutions. DTU Health Tech creates the foundation for companies to develop new and innovative services and products which benefit people and create value for society. DTU Health Techs expertise spans from imaging and biosensor techniques, across digital health and biological modelling, to biopharma technologies. The department has a scientific staff of about 210 persons, 130 PhD students and a technical/administrative support staff of about 160 persons, of which a large majority contributes to our research infrastructure and related commercial activities.

Technology for people
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 vision to develop and create value using science and engineering to benefit society. That vision lives on today. DTU has 12,900 students and 6,000 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.