A challenging Ph.D. to explore new frontiers of microwave-microfluidic research at the device, system and waveform level for applications in life sciences at KU Leuven.
The research group TELEMIC of the Department of Electrical Engineering (ESAT) of KU Leuven focuses on Telecommunications and Microwaves. It covers research on wireless networking, active circuits and sensors, antennas and metamaterials. Currently, the microwaves for life sciences team of Prof. Bart Nauwelaers and Dr. Tomislav Markovic is focusing strongly on microwave-microfluidic sensors and heaters and supporting active microwave circuitry. In this PhD project, the aim is to combine expertise from TELEMIC on development of microwave-microfluidic sensors and heaters improved by engineered waveforms and active circuits for optimal operation.
Microwave concepts are increasingly being used in microfluidic devices to advance detection, monitoring and actuation of liquid mixtures in lab-on-a-chip applications thanks to the pioneering work that demonstrated capabilities of microwave sensing and heating. This exploratory work has demystified microwave techniques to the life science community, convinced the optical-based community into advantages of microwaves, and identified limitations of microwave sensing and heating.
Therefore, we believe now is the right time to bring further this research field on both the device and lagging system level, and comprehensively investigate simultaneous microwave sensing and heating on nL and μL volumes. This can be done by 1) using microwave-microfluidic devices (MMD) optimized from the multiphysics aspect for multi-frequency and multi-temperature sensing and heating, 2) applying signal waveforms on MMDs that are optimized (power and frequency modulation) for a given application, 3) co-designing the microwave measurement system (MMS) with MMDs.
By truly exploring the entire design space available for co-design of consumable MMDs and the supporting MMS, we aim to find new microwave-microfluidic scientific discoveries and enable a new generation of technological solutions that will bring better understanding and possibilities to drive further interdisciplinary experiments.
For this vacancy, the selected candidate will focus on the design of MMDs and waveforms. This includes a thorough review of the state of the arts, the invention of new structures and algorithms, the design of new microwave hardware, the implementation of a proof-of-concept system, thorough experimental evaluations of the system in several chosen experiments, and feasibility demonstration of the system in top venues.
The applicant should have a Master Degree in Electronic/Electrical Engineering. He/she should meet the minimum eligibility criteria for a PhD at KU Leuven: having excellent grades as well as mature mastering of English, both oral and in writing. The applicant should preferably have a background in PCB design, microwave characterization techniques and be interested in interdisciplinary research.
The applicant should ideally have experience with ADS Schematic and Momentum, CST, HFSS or COMSOL software environment.
We offer a PhD scholarship up to four years (subject to positive intermediate evaluations) at the most innovative university of Europe (THE-ranking), in a vibrant student oriented city.
Please use the online application tool to submit your application. You need to provide the following documents in PDF:
- Curriculum vitae, including a full list of your publications,
- Motivation letter,
- Bachelor’s (and Master’s, if available) transcripts,
- Two recommendation letters,
- Language proficiency certificates.
NOTE: the position might be filled in earlier if we find an excellent candidate.
For more information please contact:
Dr. Tomislav Markovic, tel.: +32 16 32 96 89, email: Tomislav.Markovic@kuleuven.be, and Prof. Bart Nauwelaers, tel.: +32 16 32 11 14, email: Bart.Nauwelaers@esat.kuleuven.be.