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1 PhD position in Personalized Ultrasound-based mechanical characterization of abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) - Marie Curie ITN project Meditate - ESR13

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General framework: 14 Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) will be offered doctoral positions as part of the MeDiTATe project, which is funded through the H2020 program: Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) Innovative Training Networks – European Industrial Doctorate. The whole MeDiTATe project aims to develop state-of-the-art image based medical Digital Twins of cardiovascular districts for a patient specific prevention and treatment of aneurysms. The individual research projects of each ESR within MeDiTATe are defined across five research tracks:

(1) High fidelity CAE multi-physics simulation with RBF mesh morphing (finite-element modeling, fluid structure interactions…)

(2) Real time interaction with the digital twin by Augmented Reality, Haptic Devices and Reduced Order Models

(3) HPC tools, including GPUs, and cloud-based paradigms for fast and automated CAE processing of clinical database

(4) Big Data management for population of patients imaging data and high fidelity CAE twins

(5) Additive Manufacturing of physical mock-up for surgical planning and training to gain a comprehensive Industry 4.0 approach in a clinical scenario (Medicine 4.0)

The work of each ESR, hired for two 18 months periods (industry + research) and enrolled in PhD programmes, will be driven by the multi disciplinary and multi-sectoral needs of a multi-disciplinary research consortium (clinical, academic and industrial) which will offer the expertise of Participants to provide scientific support, secondments and training. Recruited researchers will become active players of a strategic sector of the European medical and simulation industry and will face the industrial and research challenges daily faced by clinical experts, engineering analysts and simulation software technology developers.

During their postgraduate studies they will be trained by the whole consortium receiving a flexible and competitive skill-set designed to address a career at the cutting edge of technological innovation in healthcare. The main objective of MeDiTATe is the production of high-level scientists with a strong experience of integration across academic, industrial and clinical areas, able to apply their skills to real life scenarios and capable to introduce advanced and innovative digital twin concepts in the clinic and healthcare sectors.


Objectives: The objective of this doctoral position is to develop and validate an original methodology to characterize non-invasively the mechanical properties of abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) and intraluminal thrombus (ILT) tissues. The ultimate goal is to provide diagnostic information for clinical use on the risk of aneurysm rupture, based on clinically available imaging modalities, as an addition to the maximum aortic diameter which is currently used in clinical practice. Dynamic ultrasound imaging of deformations across the arterial walls, combined with 3D anatomical reconstructions will be acquired on patients with an AAA. Dedicated image processing will be developed in order to extract the 3D displacement fields. These 3D displacement fields will be used to calibrate a physics-based numerical model of the AAA wall subject to the pressure variations throughout the cardiac cycle. This numerical solver will permit the calibration of material properties which are intrinsic inputs of the methodology. Then, thanks to this approach, personalized tissue mechanical properties will be derived.


Description of the ESR project:

The ESR will be enrolled in the PhD programme of University of Lyon at Mines Saint-Etienne, France. The PhD thesis will take place at 3 different places:

- Mines Saint-Etienne (France) in the CIS department, which conducts major international research projects in the field of soft tissue biomechanics, in particular aortic aneurysms. He will collaborate with other researchers involved in ERC projects (

- Philips France SAS – Paris (France) which has an image processing competence centre with strong focus on clinical applications. Its mission is to design innovative image enhancement/analysis algorithms and implement them in an efficient way meeting constraints of commercial products. Philips was a pioneer in 3D Ultrasound, being first to introduce a matrix probe, and Philips Research Paris provided the first quantification tools for analysing vascular volumes.

- Università Degli Studi di Roma Tor Vergata (Italy) in the Department of Enterprise Engineering which is interested in shape optimization of structural parts, shape optimization using mesh morphing and CFD (automotive, nautical, naval, aeronautic), fluid structure interaction (reed valves, vessels, aircraft wings), vibrations of orthotropic plates, advanced use of RBF (image analysis of deformations, flow fields interpolation) and large-scale high-fidelity numerical simulations of turbulent flows in complex geometric configurations.


Benefits, salary and duration:

The selected candidate will receive a salary in accordance with the MSCA regulations for ESR. The gross salary includes a living allowance (€3,270 per month, subject to MSCA country correction coefficient, i.e. 104.4% for Italy and 115.7% for France), a mobility allowance (€600 per month), and a family allowance (€500 per month, if the researcher has family by the date of recruitment, regardless of whether the family will move with the researcher or not). The guaranteed funding is for 36 months (i.e. EC funding).


Eligibility criterion:

Applicants can be of any nationality. They need to fully respect both eligibility criteria (to be demonstrated in the Europass CV): (a) Early-Stage Researchers (ESRs) must, at the date of recruitment by the beneficiary, be in the first four years (full-time equivalent research experience) of their research careers and have not been awarded a doctoral degree. (b) Conditions of international mobility of researchers: Researchers are required to undertake trans-national mobility (i.e. move from one country to another) when taking up the appointment. At the time of selection by the host organization, researchers must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in Italy for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to their recruitment. Short stays, such as holidays, are not taken into account.


Candidate profile: Candidates with strong skills in mechanics (modeling and experimental) and biomechanics are expected. Motivation and interest in bioengineering applications is recommended.


How to apply: Send CV, cover letter, BSc and MSc degrees, and letters of recommendation to , and


Questions: please send email to Stéphane Avril (, Laurence Rouet ( and / or Marco Evangelos Biancolini (


link to Euroaxess announcement:



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