PhD scholarship in physical model priors for tomogram segmentation.

DTU Energy
Thursday 26 Oct 17

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DTU Energy seeks a dedicated candidate for a 3-years PhD position in the interdisciplinary fields of mathematical modeling, X-ray physics, materials science and computation.

As PhD student, you will be part of the Section for Imaging and Structural Analysis where we develop and apply techniques for multiscale imaging and structural analysis by means of electrons, X-rays, and neutrons. Our goal is to describe the structure, chemistry and morphology of materials, interfaces or surfaces quantitatively, and subsequently to link this information to the properties of materials and devices. Materials and devices applicable for energy conversion or storage is our prime interest. 

We work closely with research colleagues both inside DTU and externally, with industrial partners and with international large-scale X-ray and neutron facilities.

Your PhD project will be part of the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network, “Multiscale, Multimodal, Multidimensional imaging for EngineeRING”or in short MUMMERING. The network is concerned with interdisciplinary R&D and training in 3D imaging and its application in materials- and information science. The network offers 15 PhD positions in total. You can find information about all 15 PhD positions here.

Scientifically, the network addresses the challenges 3D imaging has to overcome for being a workable tool in materials science and engineering. This means filling the gap between the capacities by which experimental data can be captured and by which the data can be processed. Today the data processing lags behind.

Your PhD project will be on developing models for robust and accurate segmentation of tomography image data based on prior information on the sample and the applied tomography technique. You will work with all aspects of the pipeline to understand the interaction between the different steps: from data acquisition, over reconstruction and segmentation to quantitative material characterization and modelling. The focus will be on modelling the propagation of noise, artefacts and uncertainty through the pipeline based on prior information on the individual steps.

Segmentation of 3D image data into its constituent phases is typically a required step for quantitative 3D materials characterization and modelling. The segmentation is often based/trained on what visually appears to be correct, which is detrimental for the accuracy and precision of the subsequent quantitative analysis steps. You will work on modelling the image formation process through known priors of the material and the X-ray technique. The goal is be able to perform an optimal segmentation based on these priors, assess the degree of uncertainty in the segmentation and propagate this uncertainty through the data processing pipeline to achieve confidence intervals on final measured material properties. We expect the project results to have wide applications within the rapidly growing field of 3D image based material characterization, by improving the speed, accuracy and robustness of the segmentation. This will in turn allow us to design better materials through a lower barrier of entry and increased insight from 3D analyses.

As a candidate, you will need skills in several of the following disciplines: mathematical modelling, mathematical optimization, multidimensional data analysis, X-ray physics and the interaction of X-rays with materials.

Responsibilities and tasks
As PhD student, we expect that you take full responsibility for your PhD project and your learning under your experienced DTU supervisor’s guidance. Moreover, we expect that you actively involve with and seek benefit from:

  • The training provided by the MUMMERING network
  • Secondment to the industry partners, Tetra Pak and Thermo Fisher Scientific, and potentially other network partners
  • DTU Energy’s excellent research infrastructure
Via the mandatory network training provided by MUMMERING, you will participate in summer schools, workshops, and scientific meetings together with top scientists and your 14 fellow PhD students in the MUMMERING network. During your secondment, you will work with data acquisition, industrial software implementation and exploitation of the developed methodology for industry relevant material characterization.

Your task will be to handle all aspects of your PhD project and training. This means to:
  • Work out and update your study plan and a personal career development plan
  • Plan, conduct and report your experiments
  • Seek the learning you need for conducting your research
  • Publish your results
We expect that you master the balance between, on one hand, working independently and take initiatives, and on the other hand, seeking advice from your supervisor, your fellow PhD students and colleagues.

Candidates should have a master's degree in engineering, physics or applied mathematics or a similar degree with an academic level equivalent to the master's degree in engineering.

Candidates shall moreover comply with the H2020 definition of an Early-Stage Researcher, i.e. be in the first four years of the research career, and not have been awarded a doctoral degree.

Approval and Enrolment
The scholarship for the PhD degree is subject to academic approval, and the candidates will be enrolled in one of the general degree programmes of DTU. For information about the general requirements for enrolment and the general planning of the scholarship studies, please see the DTU PhD Guide.

The assessment of the applicants will be made by Senior Researcher, Peter Stanley Jørgensen and Head of Section, Luise Theil Kuhn.

We offer
DTU Energy is focused on education, research, and development within functional materials and their application in sustainable energy technologies. The Department, which has more than 200 employees, was founded in 2012. Additional information about the department can be found on

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 an 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 with the relevant union. The period of employment is 3 years.

We are currently present on both Risø Campus, close to the town of Roskilde, and Lyngby Campus, north of Copenhagen. In 2019, the entire department will be moving into new facilities at Lyngby Campus.

The workplace will be at DTU Energy, including both Risø campus and Lyngby campus. Secondments of up to 6 months is to be expected.

You can read more about career paths at DTU here.

Further information
Further information may be obtained from Senior Researcher, Peter Stanley Jørgensen, on phone number: +45 4677 5672, or on e-mail:

You can read more about DTU Energy on

We will evaluate the applications on a running basis.  We therefore advise you to submit your application as soon as possible and no later than 30 November 2017 We expect that you start between 1 January and 1 May 2018.

Applications must be submitted as one PDF file containing all materials to be given consideration. To apply, please open the link "Apply online", fill in 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)
Candidates may apply prior to obtaining their master's degree, but cannot begin before having received it.

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

The candidate can be of any nationality but is required to undertake physical transnational mobility meaning that you have to move to Denmark from another country when taking up the appointment.

DTU Energy is focused on education, research, and development within functional materials and their application in sustainable energy technologies. The Department, which has more than 200 employees, was founded in 2012.

DTU is a technical university providing internationally leading research, education, innovation and scientific advice. Our staff of 5,800 advance science and technology to create innovative solutions that meet the demands of society; and our 11,000 students are being educated to address the technological challenges of the future. DTU is an independent academic university collaborating globally with business, industry, government, and public agencies.