Post-doc: Data-driven ultrasound actuation in optical nanoscopy

he single cell, the basic building block of all living things, is the key to our understanding of biological systems. Currently, the study of human diseases is strongly based on cellular models, which form a critical step between in-vitro studies and clinical studies and are crucial to understanding disease origin, its progression, and its treatment. However, cellular function and dysfunction happen on a molecular level and no existing technique allows for live-cell imaging with single-digit nanometer resolution in three-dimensions (3D) to reveal how molecular structures within the cell interact. To achieve this, you will work on a paradigm shift by for the first time combining ultrasound technology with nanoscopy. It is expected that you will develop the required ultrasound sample holder by completing the following tasks:

Simulate, design and fabricate the ultrasound actuator and sample holder for acoustical imaging and nano-manipulation.
Perform experimental research, including a proof-of-concept for the position determination of fluorescent emitters in 3D with nanometer resolution
Engage in the writing of scientific articles and proposals.
You should have the following qualifications:

Ph.D. in engineering, physics or a related area where you have been exposed to the development of optical and/or ultrasound imaging systems e.g. microscopy.
Modeling skills are appreciated.
Affinity with programming and tinkering in around the lab.
Good communication skills and high motivation for teamwork.
Fixed-term contract: 2 years.

TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, a discount for health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged. An International Children’s Centre offers childcare and an international primary school. Dual Career Services offers support to accompanying partners. Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities.

Technische Universiteit Delft
Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) is a multifaceted institution offering education and carrying out research in the technical sciences at an internationally recognised level. Education, research and design are strongly oriented towards applicability. TU Delft develops technologies for future generations, focusing on sustainability, safety and economic vitality. At TU Delft you will work in an environment where technical sciences and society converge. TU Delft comprises eight faculties, unique laboratories, research institutes and schools.

Faculty Mechanical, Maritime and Materials Engineering
The 3mE Faculty trains committed engineering students, PhD candidates and post-doctoral researchers in groundbreaking scientific research in the fields of mechanical, maritime and materials engineering. 3mE is the epitome of a dynamic, innovative faculty, with a European scope that contributes demonstrable economic and social benefits.

The department Delft Center for Systems and Control (DCSC) of the faculty Mechanical, Maritime and Materials Engineering, coordinates the education and research activities in systems and control at Delft University of Technology. The Centers' research mission is to conduct fundamental research in systems dynamics and control, involving dynamic modelling, advanced control theory, optimisation and signal analysis. The research is motivated by advanced technology development in physical imaging systems, renewable energy, robotics and transportation systems.

The Department of Precision and Microsystems Engineering (PME) of the 3mE faculty focuses on developing knowledge and methods for small, innovative, high-precision devices and systems, such as precision equipment and scientific instrumentation for the high-tech industry. Increasing miniaturization and function density along with improving precision, speed and reliability are the key topics in our work. Our approach is multidisciplinary, fundamental and inspired by industry needs. The vacant position is a shared position between the Dynamics of Micro and Nanosystems (DMN) research group and the Control for Scientific Imaging Group. The DMN group focuses on exploiting the dynamics and electromechanics to create technologies for the extreme miniaturization of sensors and actuators. Our research topics span from the implementation of new nanoscale materials to the modeling and characterization of their high-frequency dynamics, towards their implementation in small and accurate sensors and actuators for new applications. The DCSC group focuses on pushing the boundaries of optical microscopes to visualize the unseen. Applications of our technology range from neuronal tissues to nanoscale materials. You will be working in a challenging international environment in one of the best technical universities in Europe, with access to the state-of-the-art micro-nano testing facilities and advanced numerical modeling tools. You will participate in a team with strong industrial and academic collaborations.

For information about this vacancy, you can contact Dr. Gerard Verbiest, Assistant Professor, email:, tel: +31 (0)15 278 6504, or: Dr. Carlas Smith, Assistant Professor, email:

For information about the selection procedure, please contact Irina Bruckner, HR-advisor, email:

Applications should include:

a letter of motivation,
a detailed CV including a publication list,
a summary of academic record or research experience,
abstract of Ph.D. thesis (1 page),
preferred starting date,
proof of English language skills (if applicable),
and names of three references.
When applying for this position, please refer to vacancy number 3mE20-32.
Please e-mail your application by 30-04-2020 to Irina Bruckner, email:

Applications will be considered on a rolling basis until the position is filled.


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