Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions

Post-doctoral position at University of Granada: Apply for an Athenea3i-2018 Research Fellowship at the Department of Structural Mechanics

    01/09/2018 12:30 - Europe/Brussels
    H2020 / Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions COFUND
    Spain, Granada
    International Research Projects Office
    Promotion and Advisory Unit

Professor Guillermo Rus, from the Department of Structural Mechanics at the University of Granada, welcomes postdoctoral candidates interested in applying for an Athenea3i Research Fellowship in 2018 at this University. The information about the Fellowship conditions, how to apply, Eligibility Criteria, Selection Process, Evaluation Process, etc. is available in https://athenea3i.ugr.es/. Please note that applicants must comply with the Eligibility Criteria (https://athenea3i.ugr.es/?page_id=23).  Brief description of the institution:

The University of Granada (UGR), founded in 1531, is one of the largest and most important universities in Spain. It serves more than 60000 students per year, including many foreign students, as UGR is the leader host institution in the Erasmus program. UGR, featuring 3650 professors and more than 2000 auxiliary personnel, offers a total of 75 degrees through its 112 departments and 28 centers.

UGR is also a leading institution in research, located in the top 5/10 of Spanish universities by a variety of ranking criteria, such as national R&D projects, fellowships awarded, publications, or international funding. UGR is one of the few Spanish Universities listed in the Shanghai Top 500 ranking (http://www.arwu.org/), and it is also well recognized for its web presence (http://www.4icu.org/top200/).

Internationally, we bet decidedly by our participation in the calls of H2020, both at partner and coordination. For the duration of the Seventh Framework Programme, the UGR has obtained a total of 66 projects, with total funding of 17.97 million euros, and for H2020, until 2015, more than 25 projects with total funding of more than 6 million euros. Our more than 3,000 researchers are grouped into 365 research groups covering all scientific fields and disciplines.

Brief description of the Centre/Research Group


The Nondestructive Evaluation Laboratory has served results in ultrasonics for advanced materials health prognosis and medical diagnosis since 2004. We share the aspiration of discovering fascinating phenomena in the intersecting fields of mechanics-physics-computation-materials engineering, understanding the laws behind these, and applying this knowledge to create unique concepts and technology that serve our community by innovating and entrepreneuring.

The structural microarchitecture of soft tissue is recently becoming a cornerstone of biomechanical engineering and is of growing interest for a broad spectrum of clinical specialists. Our new ultrasonic wave concepts are enabling a new class of biomarkers for both imaging and controlling in vivo and noninvasively tissue microarchitecture. The breakthrough of modelling its elastic hierarchical complexity impacts critical aspects including organ-level functionality, inflammatory and healing processes, tumour growth, all the way down to cell-to-cell signalling. We have: a) Conceived and developed torsional ultrasonic waves and sensor technologies capable of generating and sensing them, prototyping robust functional instrumentation. b) Modelled relationships between the biochemical cascade and the mechanical functionality and their interaction with ultrasound, integrating models of tissue remodelling and tumour growth, experimentally validated by ultrasonication of cancer stem cells.

Project description

The World Health Organization estimates that in 2017 circa 15 million babies (1 in 10) will be born preterm, which is the leading cause of infant mortality. The biology of cervical ripening that leads to birth is poorly understood. Furthermore, there is no clinical tool for the quantitative and objective evaluation of the cervical biomechanical state, which in the words of H. Feltovich et al. “…likely contributes to the reason [that] the singleton spontaneous preterm birth rate has not changed appreciably in more than 100 years.” The WHO calls for “Strategic investments in innovation and research are required to accelerate progress.”

Towards this problem, this project will advance the new biomedical engineering technology of torsional ultrasound waves (TW) to sense soft tissue architecture. This technology will enable a new class of biomarkers that quantify the mechanical functionality of the cervix, and indeed any soft tissue. TW are shear elastic waves that propagate through soft tissue radially and in depth in a curled geometry. A mathematical result by Reissner and Sagoci in 1944 renders the torsional wave formulation seed that will be elaborated. This project will develop the generation and detection of torsional waves through the proposed sensor technology. The sensor technology will be based on a novel arrangement of concentric sandwiches of piezo- and electromechanical elements.

The specific objectives span from designing a laboratory-scale proof of concept device able to generate and sense TW in tissue to validating the technology by a pilot test on pregnant patients.

Research Area

  • Life Sciences (LIFE)
  • Physics and Mathematics (PHY-MAT)

For a correct evaluation of your candidature, please send the documents below to Professor Guillermo Rus (grus@ugr.es):

  • CV
  • Letter of recommendation (optional)