ORGANISATION/COMPANYUniversité Catholique de Louvain (UCL)
RESEARCH FIELDEngineering › Biomedical engineering
RESEARCHER PROFILEFirst Stage Researcher (R1)
APPLICATION DEADLINE30/06/2019 23:00 - Europe/Brussels
LOCATIONBelgium › Louvain-la-Neuve
TYPE OF CONTRACTTemporary
HOURS PER WEEK38
A PhD/doctoral position in wearable robotics for walking assistance is open within the Institute of Mechanics, Materials and Civil Engineering and “Louvain Bionics” research center at UCLouvain (Belgium), under the supervision of Prof. Renaud Ronsse. This 4-year position is offered in the context of a multidisciplinary project addressing walking assistance for patients with Parkinson’s disease.
Speaking French is required for this position, since the PhD student will have to manage several interactions with French-speaking patients.
This position is to be filled as soon as possible, and not later than October 1st, 2019. The position is fully funded and will involve a strongly interdisciplinary work between the involved departments at UCLouvain, i.e. engineering and movement sciences, and the department of physical medicine at the “Cliniques Universitaires St-Luc”.
The PhD student will work in a project called “PaDAWAn”, standing for “Parkinson's disease – Adaptive Walking Assistance”. In this project, we will target the development and validation of a walking assistance method for patients affected by Parkinson's disease (PD). Parkinson's disease is indeed one of the most frequent neurodegenerative disorders, affecting a strong proportion of graying populations. Motor disorders like tremor and postural impairments are the most visible symptoms of the disease, and these impairments reduce the ability to walk, increase the incidence of fall, and thus significantly affect the quality of life. The targeted assistive methods will be haptic and delivered through a wearable robotic pelvis module; the rehab sessions will thus take place in an ecological environment (i.e. out of the lab and clinic). Experimental trials will be conducted to assess both the assistive (i.e. the therapy effect during the therapy itself) and rehabilitative (i.e. effect after the therapy) nature of our approach. Results are expected to contribute to the emergence of walking assistive strategies for PD patients, encouraging physical activity and enhancing motor learning. This project should also contribute to the emergence of enabling technologies for PD patients, leveraging their autonomy and thus global health status.
The successful candidate will be in charge of the following tasks:
- Programming the wearable device for the various trials and experimentations of the project. Note that the device will not be designed in the framework of this project – we will rather use an existing device.
- Recruiting the patients and conducting the experimentations. This will be achieved in strong collaboration with colleagues from the NeuroMusculoSkeletal Lab of UCLouvain (Institut de recherche expérimentale et clinique) and the department of Physical Medicine from the Cliniques Universitaires St-Luc.
- Collecting data, processing them, and conducting (statistical) analyses to address the hypotheses of the project.
- Communicating the project results both to scientific peers, and to the community.
Note that the PhD student will have to share his·her time between Louvain-la-Neuve (main affiliation within the Institute of Mechanics, Materials, and Civil Engineering of UCLouvain) and Brussels (data collection within the NeuroMusculoSkeletal Lab of UCLouvain and the department of Physical Medicine from the Cliniques Universitaires St-Luc). Both sites are 30kms apart and well connected by public transports.
WHAT WE OFFER
- a highly dynamic and multidisciplinary working environment in an international university town
- a challenging and high-visibility research topic that involves intensive national and international collaborations
- an implication in world-leading research groups in wearable rehab robotics, and an access to state-of-the-art technologies
- competitive salary and social benefits
HOW TO APPLY
Your application should be sent by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, with “PhD position for PaDAWAn project” as subject. Application should include a motivation letter, full CV with photograph, list of publications, academic transcripts, and contact information of two references. Short-listed candidates will be contacted for a teleconference, or physical interview.
Louvain Bionics: https://uclouvain.be/en/research/louvain-bionics
Institute of mechanics, materials and civil engineering: www.uclouvain.be/immc
Prof. Renaud Ronsse: https://perso.uclouvain.be/renaud.ronsse/
NeuroMusculoSkeletal Lab: https://uclouvain.be/fr/instituts-recherche/irec/nmsk
Web site for additional job details
REQUIRED EDUCATION LEVELEngineering: Master Degree or equivalentMedical sciences: Master Degree or equivalent
REQUIRED LANGUAGESFRENCH: GoodENGLISH: Good
We are thus seeking candidates with a Master degree – or finishing a Master degree – in biomedical engineering or movement sciences, with a good background in biomechanics and/or robotics. Good programming skills and/or experience in movement data analysis are a plus.
Speaking French is required for this project, in order to manage the interactions with French-speaking patients.
EURAXESS offer ID: 401126
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