PhD scholarship in Modelling, Optimization, and Characterization of Microacoustic (MEMS) Transducers

mandag 16 mar 20

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Frist 30. april 2020
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The Departments of Electrical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering, and the Centre for Acoustic-Mechanical Microsystems (CAMM) invite highly motivated and talented graduates to apply for a 3-year PhD position in a challenging research project on MEMS Transducers. This PhD project aims at enhancing the understanding of strong electromagnetic-acoustic-mechanical coupling in micromachined (MEMS) transducers. The goal is to develop new tools for numerical modelling and experimental validation to optimize the design of these complex microsystems, encompassing research in the fields of acoustics, numerical methods and optimization, and microfabrication.

MEMS microphones are increasingly replacing other technologies in consumer applications such as smartphones, earphones, and smart appliances. Their use in hearing aids is more challenging in part due to the high amplification factor. Effects such as sensitivity to ultrasound are more pronounced and need to be accounted for. With optimized transducer designs we hope to illustrate solutions for this demanding application.

The focus of CAMM is to facilitate and connect research in acoustic-mechanical interaction, numerical methods and optimization, microfabrication, and acoustic measurement techniques. In collaboration with three world-leading Danish companies in hearing aids and electroacoustic devices, we combine strong expertise from DTU Electrical Engineering and DTU Mechanical Engineering to achieve this goal.

Responsibilities and tasks
Your research will involve challenging work in different disciplines. You have an open mind and can think creatively in a mathematical, physical, experimental, and programming context. You are eager to elaborate on the newest research results, to systematically implement and test ideas, and to improve the state-of-the-art. Depending on your interests and competencies, your tasks will encompass:

  • Researching a simple, yet representative reference transducer design including experimental characterization of its performance
  • Extending existing acoustic-mechanical finite element formulation with electro-mechanical coupling, including large strain formulation for the electrostratics
  • Validating the numerical model/code with experimental reference data
  • Developing adjoint sensitivity analysis and objective functions for optimization
  • Performing systematic numerical experiments to find optimized design spaces
  • Fabricating optimized candidate design and conducting experimental validation
Prior experience with numerical tools, C++ programming, MEMS fabrication, shape and/or topology optimization is considered beneficial to your application. You will take responsibility for project planning, data management, programming and modeling, experimental lab work, and comprehensive documentation. You are also expected to be able to work in a highly collaborative environment inside CAMM, as well as with local and international partners. Close exchange between DTU Electrical Engineering and DTU Mechanical Engineering is expected. Fluent written and spoken English is essential.

Your PhD project will result in scientific publications of your results. You will present at international conferences as part of your research training and you can also sharpen your didactics skills through experience as teaching assistant.

As a PhD student in CAMM, you will benefit from our strong expertise in acoustics, numerical modelling, optimization, metamaterials, and microfabrication technologies. This will allow you to:
  • Be a part of a creative and stimulating scientific environment
  • Develop your theoretical and experimental skills
  • Collaborate with experts in topics related to your project
We offer an interesting and challenging job in an international atmosphere with the focus on research, teaching, innovation, and scientific advice for the benefit of society. We offer a great flexibility in the position, and emphasize work-life balance. In the area of technical and natural sciences, DTU is one of the leading research and education institutions in Europe.

Candidates should 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 in engineering, physics, material science, or related fields. Only candidates with documented experience in at least one and preferably multiple of the following areas will be considered: numerical modelling and optimization techniques, computational mechanics, computational acoustics, electroacoustic microsystems, and/or MEMS technology.

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

The assessment of the applicants will be made by Prof. Frieder Lucklum and Assoc. Prof. Niels Aage.

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 Prof. Frieder Lucklum (
) tel.: +45 4525 3937 or Assoc. Prof. Niels Aage (
) tel.: +45 4525 4253. You are very welcome to write or call if you have any questions about the position or the recruitment process.

You can read more about the Centre for Acoustic-Mechanical Microsystems on You can read more about DTU Elektro at and DTU Mekanik at<.

Please submit your online application no later than 30 April 2020 (23:59 local 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)
  • Optional documents - English proficiency certificate (for instance TOEFL or IELTS), list of publications, and any other documents that demonstrate your experience in the areas related to the proposed PhD project
Candidates may apply prior to obtaining their master's degree but cannot begin before having received it.

Applications and enclosures received after the deadline will not be considered.

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

DTU Electrical Engineering educates students within electrical engineering technologies. We offer studies at BEng, BSc, MSc and PhD levels, and participate in joint international programmes. We conduct state-of-the-art research within antenna and microwave technology, robot technology, power and physical electronics, acoustic environment, electro-acoustics, electric power and energy. Our department has more than 200 members of staff.

DTU Mechanical Engineering covers the fundamental engineering disciplines within Solid mechanics, Fluid mechanics, Coastal and Maritime Engineering, Energy systems and energy conversion, Materials and Surface Engineering, Manufacturing Engineering, Engineering design and Product development. The department has a scientific staff of about 135 persons, 100 PhD students and a technical/administrative support staff of about 80 persons.

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 11,500 students and 6,000 employees. We work in an international atmosphere and have an inclusive, evolving, and informal working environment. Our main campus is in Kgs. Lyngby north of Copenhagen and we have campuses in Roskilde and Ballerup and in Sisimiut in Greenland.