Vacant positions

PhD Stipend in Robotics and ultrasound-based measurements of 3D knee joint stability (915-21045)

At the Faculty of Engineering and Science, Department of Materials and Production a PhD stipend is available within the SPARK project (Smart Personalized Adjustable Replacement of the Knee) funded by the Independent Research Fund Denmark. The stipend is open for appointment from 1 January 2022 or soon hereafter. Department of Materials and Production (MP) has a wide-ranging research and educational environment at Aalborg University. The Department's mission is to meet the future's demands for new materials and production systems by directing the whole value chain from basic material understanding, materials' applications in mechanical constructions, industrial production and management. The department has several strong, international and innovative research groups which comprise everything from basic science to strategic and applicable research. The activities encompass research as well as education within materials, mechanics, physics, production technique, and industrial management and innovation. Benefitting the industry and additional collaborators several innovative and unconventional collaborations have been and are developed through interdisciplinary co-operations. Thereby, as an employee at the Department you will become a part of an international research environment, where focus is on innovation, knowledge sharing/building and interdisciplinary collaborations.

Job description

The research project
Knee osteoarthritis is a frequently occurring joint disease that causes pain, joint deformity, reduced quality-of-life and walking disability. At advanced stages, joint replacement, so-called total knee arthroplasty (TKA), may be necessary. Although TKA is generally considered successful, 16-30% of patients are dissatisfied. There are multiple causes for this, but some of the most frequent reasons for revision are instability and joint stiffness. During surgery, the surgeon attempts to balance the surrounding soft tissue in order to stabilize the knee joint. However, this approach is highly subjective and limited by intraoperative constraints. To mitigate these issues, the PhD stipend is part of a research project that has the overall aim to develop a postoperative adjustable implant that can balance the stability and stiffness of the joint following surgery by incorporating actuators and electronics into the implant. To accomplish this, it is of paramount importance to understand the stability of healthy as well as stable and instable knees following TKA so that the implant is designed to be able correct instable knees. To this end, a novel robotics- and ultrasound-based 3D knee stability measurement technology is developed in the project and applied to measure healthy and post-operative TKA knees and used to inform the implant design performed by other project partners. The project has two external partners: Materialise, Belgium and KU Leuven, Belgium.

The PhD project
The purpose of the PhD project is to develop a novel robotics- and ultrasound-based 3D knee stability measurement technology and apply it to quantify the full 3D stability profile of healthy as well as stable and instable knees following TKA. This will leverage previous and ongoing research at Aalborg University within 3D stability measurement technology and the obtained stability profiles will inform the design of the adjustable knee implant.

The research is performed in close collaboration with other research staff in the project at Aalborg University on the implant design as well external project partners Materialise and KU Leuven both situated in Belgium.

Required qualifications

  • You are a highly motivated individual who is able to work in a small team and who is prepared to stay with other network partners for extended periods of time.
  • You have a master in mechanical engineering, biomedical engineering, robotics, or equivalent.
  • You have experience in mechanical design, software programming (Matlab and Labview) and signal processing.
  • You have to be fluent in English both oral and written.

Desired qualifications

  • You have experience designing mechanical systems with a human interface.
  • You have experiences with performing experiments on humans.
  • You have experiences with control algorithms of electromechanical systems.
  • You have experiences with ultrasound data acquisition.

You may obtain further information from Associate Professor Michael Skipper Andersen, phone: +45 30354170, e-mail:  concerning the scientific aspects of the stipend.

PhD stipends are allocated to individuals who hold a Master's degree. PhD stipends are normally for a period of 3 years. It is a prerequisite for allocation of the stipend that the candidate will be enrolled as a PhD student at the Doctoral School of Engineering and Science in accordance with the regulations of Ministerial Order No. 1039 of August 27, 2013 on the PhD Programme at the Universities and Certain Higher Artistic Educational Institutions. According to the Ministerial Order, the progress of the PhD student shall be assessed at regular points in time.

Shortlisting will be applied. This means that subsequent to the deadline for applications the head of department supported by the chair of the assessment committee will select candidates for assessment. All applicants will be informed whether they will be assessed or not.

For further information about stipends and salary as well as practical issues concerning the application procedure contact Ms. Ruth Klitte, The Doctoral School at The Faculty of Engineering and Science, email:,  phone: +45 9940 7993.

For more information of The Doctoral School of Engineering and Science: 

The application is only to be submitted online by using the "Apply online" button below.

AAU wishes to reflect the diversity of society and welcomes applications from all qualified candidates regardless of personal background or belief.


Appointment and salary as a PhD fellow are according to the Ministry of Finance Circular of 28 June 2019 on the Collective Agreement for Academics in Denmark, Appendix 5, regarding PhD fellows, and with the current Circular of 11 December 2019 on the employment structure at Danish universities.

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