Openings at ME

PhD Opening: ASIC design for a 3D intra-cardiac ultrasound probe

Opening for: PhD student

Status details

Announced:10 Aug 2017
Closing date:01 Feb 2018
A variety of cardiovascular conditions can be treated using minimally-invasive interventions. These interventions are much less stressful to the patient than conventional surgery, shortening recovery time and allowing treatment to take place even at advanced age. Examples are rhythm-disorder treatments or catheter-based valve replacement. Accurate visualization is crucial for the success of such interventions, but currently only two-dimensional visualization is possible. These complex procedures would greatly benefit from real-time three-dimensional (3D) visualization. In this project, novel 3D visualization methods will be developed that will enable the realization of a real-time 3D catheter-based ultrasound probe. This probe will contain 1000+ very small ultrasonic transducers and integrated electronics for digitizing and transfer of data. The probe will be mounted on a 3.3 mm catheter that can be inserted into the chambers of the heart. From the data produced by the probe, real-time 3D images of the volume where the cardiologist performs his procedure or treatment, will be rendered. This project is a collaboration between the Lab. of Acoustical Wavefield Imaging and the Electronic Instrumentation Lab. of TU Delft, and the Thoraxcenter of Erasmus MC. We are looking for a PhD candidate who will work in a 4-year period on the development of the electronics that will be embedded in this probe. He or she will focus on the realization of an ASIC that will be integrated in the probe-tip. The ASIC will be responsible for driving the transducer elements with properly-timed high-voltage pulses, and amplifying and digitizing the resulting echo signals. A crucial challenge will be to minimize the number of cables with which the ASIC connects to an imaging system, and realizing the required functionality within the tight space and power constraints of a catheter.


Candidates should have a strong background in analog and mixed-signal CMOS design. Successful tape-out experience and publications are a strong plus. Experience with ultrasound, high-voltage circuit design, MEMs, medical applications, and/or multi-disciplinary research is a plus. Candidates should be self-motivated team players with good analytical, problem-solving and communication skills.

Contact Michiel Pertijs

Electronic Instrumentation Group

Department of Microelectronics

Additional information

In The Netherlands, almost all PhD positions are linked to funded research projects. This has several implications:
  • PhD students are employed: they receive a salary rather than a grant. Most projects have a duration of 4 years.
  • Positions become available once a project is funded. This can happen at any time during the year.
  • It typically takes 6 to 9 months for a project proposal to receive funding. In this period, a position may be anticipated but the outcome remains insecure. Once a project is funded, the open position needs to be filled as soon as possible.

If you are interested in our research, it merits to inquire whether openings will be available. We collect resumes of prospective PhD students throughout the year, for each of our research tracks.

General requirements

We make our selection based on the following general requirements:
  • Formal requirements regarding prior education: you should have earned an MSc degree at a recognized institute for higher education.
  • Background: you should have a background that fits the requirements of the project
  • Excellence: your Grade-Point-Average should be above 8 (10). Also your MSc thesis should have received a grade above 8 (10).
  • English: you should be able to communicate well in english (written and oral). Provide TOEFL/IELTS scores if available.
  • Originality: your MSc thesis or later work (publications) should reflect some original ideas. Critical and independent thinking is very important.
  • Team player: you should be able to work well in a team of other project members.
Your resume should contain contact information of prior advisors/supervisors who can provide feedback.