Postdoctoral position for research in antenna design for e-textiles

Location: Switzerland
Application Deadline: Open until filled
Published: 2 months ago

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Prof. Dr. Carlo Menon, Professor at ETH Zurich and Director of the Biomedical and Mobile Health Technology Lab, is looking for a postdoctoral candidate with both theoretical and hands-on expertise in antenna design and electronics. The research would focus on innovative solutions to wirelessly communicate data from clothing embedded with sensors to a smartphone where the clothing has no power source. The antenna should be flexible and suitable for integration into garments.

Project background

We recently explored the design of garments embedded with sensing filaments to monitor movement and health. We developed strain-, capacitive- and inductive-based filaments and validated they can be used to reconstruct biomechanics as well as capture bio-signals such as respiration rate. Your role will be to take these preliminary results, add your inventive contribution and develop innovative textile-based technology to revolutionize personalized training and medicine.

In a recent publication of ours (Galli, V, Sailapu, SK, Ahmadizadeh, C, Hannigan, B, Cuthbert, T, Menon, C (2023) Passive and Wireless All-Textile Wearable Sensor System, Advanced Science, No. 2206665) we explored the possibility of collecting data from a smartphone from a textile embedded with a textile-based capacitive sensor and no rigid integrated circuits. A key aspect of that work was to configure the wireless communication, including embedding the garment with an inductive coil, designing a frequency reader, and handling data transmission. The next step of the research is to wirelessly read multiple sensors simultaneously and ideally communicate with a smartphone when it is not in contact with the garment (no battery on the garment). We are striving for a solution that is highly innovative and, at the same time, very practical for the user.

The above-mentioned challenging problem would be the starting point for broader research the candidate is anticipated to focus on. Members of the lab have expertise in designing novel sensors (bottom-up approach) and harvesting energy from textiles.

You will be academically supervised by Prof. Dr. Carlo Menon at ETH Zurich. Professor Menon has a strong publication record and has founded two start-up companies. His group is a team of imaginative builders who use their knowledge in materials science, engineering, computer science, and medicine to find bold, creative solutions to real-world problems. Prof. Menon’s lab is located in the Balgrist Campus, designed to foster collaboration. Built in 2016, the building’s open architecture is geared towards interdisciplinary research to promote innovation, research translation, and increase impact. The facility houses rapid prototyping machines, exoskeletons, instrumented treadmills, two MRI systems, two CT scan machines, wet labs, and characterization systems, among other equipment.

Job description

Do you have a background or experience in electrical engineering with both theoretical and hands-on experience in antenna design? Are you interested in flexible electronics, manufacturing processes and wearable technologies? Would you like to work with an interdisciplinary team where you contribute your specific knowledge, expertise and skills?

We are looking for someone who can think outside the box and identify technologies and applications that are complementary. If you have an interest in applying your fundamental knowledge to producing relevant and impactful health monitoring wearable devices, then please apply. The research will be highly collaborative—you should be eager to learn new science and technologies (e.g. innovative sensing technologies based on advanced materials) and contribute to the group through knowledge transfer of your expertise. We encourage growth as a scientist and academic; we aim to publish high-impact peer-reviewed publications and develop patents for potential commercialization.

We expect you to:

  • keep up to date with relevant literature to recognize potential new avenues of research
  • explore and present research ideas to Prof. Menon and the research group on a regular basis (projects with the highest potential will be decided upon with the help of Prof. Menon)
  • be independent in planning, executing, writing/communicating, and presenting your research (support will be available from Prof. Menon and the research group as required)
  • produce multiple high-level publications as well as to continue and expand the project(s) with support from Master’s/PhD students
  • be prepared that research with innovation potential will have the full backing of Prof. Menon and ETH Zurich for exploring potential avenues of commercialization
  • assist in grant writing
  • assist in attracting BSc/MSc students to the lab and mentoring their projects

Overall, about 30% of your time will be devoted to supporting the lab via teaching and managing resources. As a postdoc at ETH Zurich, you would be a paid employee of the university. Please see the ETH Zurich postdoctoral candidate website for information. You will receive benefits including social security contributions, subsidized fitness club/gym membership, and plenty of support for future career planning.

Your profile

We are looking for outstanding candidates with the ambition to make revolutionary scientific and technological contributions. Ideal candidates should be excellent researchers and excellent communicators able to work well in team. We are looking for creative individuals able to propose novel ideas, concepts and translate an idea to impactful, tangible results.

You must bring the following:

  • you have a PhD degree or plan to complete one soon
  • you are enthusiastic about pursuing an academic or entrepreneurial career
  • you have skills and knowledge relevant to the research outlined in this job description
  • you are a good English speaker and writer (the lab’s working language)
  • you can describe the knowledge/skills gap you need to fill in order to succeed in your research
  • you have strong expertise in both antenna design and electronics
  • you have significantly contributed to at least one hands-on project
  • you have strong communication skills
  • you have a strong publication track record

We would like you to bring the following social and leadership competencies in line with ETH Zurich’s values:

  • you act responsibly
  • you nurture well-being, i.e. by managing your own resources sustainably
  • you drive innovation, i.e. by
    • being courageous, open and curious
    • being flexible and adaptable to change
    • exploring new ideas, solutions and technologies
  • you live inclusivity, i.e. by treating all people equitably
  • you build bridges, i.e. by
    • communicating effectively
    • seeking opportunities to collaborate
  • you enable people, i.e. by contributing to a culture in which failures are dealt with constructively

Your workplace

We offer

You will be conducting your postdoctoral research where the fields of biomedical engineering, wireless communication, material science, computer science and technology for health meet, at one of the world’s leading universities focusing on research and technology. ETH Zurich offers outstanding employment conditions.

Working, teaching and research at ETH Zurich

We value diversity

In line with our values, ETH Zurich encourages an inclusive culture. We promote equality of opportunity, value diversity and nurture a working and learning environment in which the rights and dignity of all our staff and students are respected. Visit our Equal Opportunities and Diversity website to find out how we ensure a fair and open environment that allows everyone to grow and flourish.

Curious? So are we.

We look forward to receiving your online application with the following documents:

  • a two-page cover letter describing (1) why you want to pursue a future academic or entrepreneurial career; (2) why you are interested in this type of research; and (3) why you think you are the best fit for this position
  • a one-page research proposal. The keywords are:
    • antenna design
    • electronics
    • flexible substrate
    • textile
  • a detailed CV including any scientific publications, awards, prizes, achievements
  • both undergraduate and graduate official transcripts, accompanied by an English translation where applicable
  • a copy of your Master’s and PhD degrees or proof of enrolment and expected date of completion
  • any English language certificates to prove proficiency
  • a list with contact details of at least three  professors/supervisors as references

Please note that we exclusively accept applications submitted through our online application portal. Applications via email or postal services will not be considered.

Further information about the Biomedical and Mobile Health Technology Lab at ETH Zurich can be found on our website.

For further information, please contact Ms. Veronika Hall Abraham, email (no applications).

For recruitment services the GTC of ETH Zurich apply.

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