PhD position on Devising an in-vitro AI Computer

PhD position on Devising an in-vitro AI Computer

Published Deadline Location
11 Nov 10 Jan Eindhoven

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Job description

The Eindhoven Artificial Intelligence Systems Institute (EAISI) is funding 2 PhD positions for the highly innovative BayesBrain project, in collaboration with the departments of
  • Mechanical Engineering,            
  • Biomedical Engineering,
  • Electrical Engineering, and
  • Mathematics and Computer Science.

The challenging goal of the project is to design an in-vitro AI computer which leverages the computation of neural cultures to solve real-world AI problems. This hybrid approach will consist of an in-silico Bayesian control agent and a Brain-on-Chip device, which shall communicate via the common principle of Free Energy Minimization (FEM).

The announced PhD position focuses on devising the hard-ware of a compartmentalized microfluidic chip on microelectrode arrays (MEAs) that form the interface to the in-silico control agents for the purpose of building a hybrid AI computer. For this position, relevant background knowledge and hands-on skills on neural cell culture, integrated microfluidics, sensors & actuators (MEA technology), and fast and high-quality data acquisition systems is required. The successful candidate will critically review the state of the art (high-density versus low-density MEA tech) and creatively design a simple-to-use microfluidic platform that will have a central role in building the hard-ware of the hybrid AI system of connected neural circuits, which we individually can address in the system by voltage or current injection. Furthermore, the techniques developed will have a wider applicability in material and toxicity screening, drug development and personalized medicine and the discovery of novel neuro-therapeutic interventions. The successful candidate will be hosted at the Department of Mechanical Engineering and co-supervised by the Department of Biomedical Engineering.

Paired with the announced position is a second PhD position hosted at the Electrical Engineering department and co-supervised by the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science. The second PhD candidate will focus on the development of in-silico Bayesian control agents via probabilistic programming. The two PhD students will collaborate closely to achieve the final goal of developing a hybrid neural/in-silico AI computer. In particular, the two PhD students will work together on the development of interfaces between the in-silico Bayesian control agent and the Brain-on-Chip device.

The preferred starting date of this position is February 2022.


Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e)


  • A double master degree (or an equivalent university degrees) in Mechanical Engineering and Biomedical Engineering with affinity in Microfabrication methods and in vitro culture, with excellent grades
  • Proven hands-on prior experience with microscopy techniques and cell cultures
  • A science-oriented demeanor
  • Ability and aspiration to work in a multi-disciplinary team, combining mechanics, material science, biology, neuroscience, and probabilistic machine learning
  • Excellent command of written and spoken English

Candidates with prior experience with microfluidics and photolithography (and equivalent fabrication techniques to devise integrated chips) and metrology techniques are highly encouraged to apply.

Conditions of employment

  • A meaningful job in a dynamic and ambitious university with the possibility to present your work at international conferences.
  • A full-time employment for four years, with an intermediate evaluation (go/no-go) after nine months.
  • To develop your teaching skills, you will spend 10% of your employment on teaching tasks.
  • To support you during your PhD and to prepare you for the rest of your career, you will make a Training and Supervision plan and you will have free access to a personal development program for PhD students (PROOF program).
  • A gross monthly salary and benefits (such as a pension scheme, pregnancy and maternity leave, partially paid parental leave) in accordance with the Collective Labor Agreement for Dutch Universities.
  • Additionally, an annual holiday allowance of 8% of the yearly salary, plus a year-end allowance of 8.3% of the annual salary.
  • Should you come from abroad and comply with certain conditions, you can make use of the so-called '30% facility', which permits you not to pay tax on 30% of your salary.
  • A broad package of fringe benefits, including an excellent technical infrastructure, moving expenses, and savings schemes.
  • Family-friendly initiatives are in place, such as an international spouse program, and excellent on-campus children day care and sports facilities.


  • PhD
  • Engineering
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • University graduate
  • V35.5306


Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e)

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De Rondom 70, 5612 AP, Eindhoven

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