PhD position Energy-based Analysis and Control for Brain Interface Devices

PhD position Energy-based Analysis and Control for Brain Interface Devices

Published Deadline Location
1 Nov 1 Dec Delft

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Interested in developing a novel analytical and control design framework for brain interface devices? We have a PhD opening at RecalLab, the Delft Center for Systems and Control (DCSC) of Delft University of Technology (TU Delft), The Netherlands.

Job description

Understanding the mechanisms of brain memory, which is central to cognition, is crucial to our health, as is the development of efficient brain-inspired computing algorithms.

Our cognition and memory are rooted in the activities of dynamic networks of neurons and neuronal populations, interacting in rich, nonlinear hierarchical networks. Revealing the mechanisms of these cross-scale interactions, i.e., information exchange, in brain networks requires advanced computational techniques. Recent technical advancements in interfacing with in-vivo and in-vitro neuronal tissues have provided a promising future for the development of efficient brain interface devices for health applications. Successful developments of such devices require closed-loop regulatory algorithms capable of efficient and adaptive interactions with dynamic brain networks.

This PhD project aims at developing a novel mathematical framework incorporating stochastic systems, dynamics, and control theory. Our goals are: (1) contributing to mechanistic understanding of brain memory; (2) designing novel energy-based closed-loop control algorithms for brain interface devices.

The four-year PhD position is hosted at the RecalLab, Delft Center for Systems and Control, in close collaboration with the Donders Institute, and it is part of the DBI2 consortium funded by the Dutch Research Council. The DBI2 comprises a consortium driven by six top researchers from leading Dutch research institutes (Radboud University, the Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience, Delft University of Technology, the University Medical Center Utrecht, and the Erasmus Medical Center), complemented by experts in the fields of neuroscience, neuroengineering, and computational sciences. The highly interdisciplinary nature of the program will enable you to actively collaborate with all partners within the consortium and learn from the best neuroscientists, neuroengineers, and computational engineers in the Netherlands.

We offer the opportunity to do scientifically challenging research in an interdisciplinary research team, supporting diversity and inclusion, and performing research within an interactive national research consortium, DBI2. 


Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)


We are looking for a candidate with an MSc degree in Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, or Applied Mathematics with a focus in Systems and Control and/or stochastic systems. We ask for

  1. a strong background and genuine interest in working with mathematical tools and techniques of systems and control theory
  2. genuine interest in neuroscience and cognition (a background is not necessary).

The candidate is expected to interact with cognitive and neuroscientists, be interested in participating in team-based scientific discussions, and enjoy curiosity-driven research.

Doing a PhD at TU Delft requires English proficiency at a certain level to ensure that the candidate is able to communicate and interact well, participate in English-taught Doctoral Education courses, and write scientific articles and a final thesis. For more details please check the Graduate Schools Admission Requirements.

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: 4 years.

Doctoral candidates will be offered a 4-year period of employment in principle, but in the form of 2 employment contracts. An initial 1,5 year contract with an official go/no go progress assessment within 15 months. Followed by an additional contract for the remaining 2,5 years assuming everything goes well and performance requirements are met.

Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities, increasing from € 2770 per month in the first year to € 3539 in the fourth year. As a PhD candidate you will be enrolled in the TU Delft Graduate School. The TU Delft Graduate School provides an inspiring research environment with an excellent team of supervisors, academic staff and a mentor. The Doctoral Education Programme is aimed at developing your transferable, discipline-related and research skills.

The TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, discounts on health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged.

For international applicants, TU Delft has the Coming to Delft Service. This service provides information for new international employees to help you prepare the relocation and to settle in the Netherlands. The Coming to Delft Service offers a Dual Career Programme for partners and they organise events to expand your (social) network.


Delft University of Technology

Delft University of Technology is built on strong foundations. As creators of the world-famous Dutch waterworks and pioneers in biotech, TU Delft is a top international university combining science, engineering and design. It delivers world class results in education, research and innovation to address challenges in the areas of energy, climate, mobility, health and digital society. For generations, our engineers have proven to be entrepreneurial problem-solvers, both in business and in a social context.

At TU Delft we embrace diversity as one of our core values and we actively engage to be a university where you feel at home and can flourish. We value different perspectives and qualities. We believe this makes our work more innovative, the TU Delft community more vibrant and the world more just. Together, we imagine, invent and create solutions using technology to have a positive impact on a global scale. That is why we invite you to apply. Your application will receive fair consideration.

Challenge. Change. Impact!


Faculty Mechanical, Maritime and Materials Engineering

From chip to ship. From machine to human being. From idea to solution. Driven by a deep-rooted desire to understand our environment and discover its underlying mechanisms, research and education at the 3mE faculty focusses on fundamental understanding, design, production including application and product improvement, materials, processes and (mechanical) systems.

3mE is a dynamic and innovative faculty with high-tech lab facilities and international reach. It’s a large faculty but also versatile, so we can often make unique connections by combining different disciplines. This is reflected in 3mE’s outstanding, state-of-the-art education, which trains students to become responsible and socially engaged engineers and scientists. We translate our knowledge and insights into solutions to societal issues, contributing to a sustainable society and to the development of prosperity and well-being. That is what unites us in pioneering research, inspiring education and (inter)national cooperation.

Click here to go to the website of the Faculty of Mechanical, Maritime and Materials Engineering. Do you want to experience working at our faculty? These videos will introduce you to some of our researchers and their work.


  • PhD
  • Engineering
  • 38—40 hours per week
  • €2770—€3539 per month
  • University graduate
  • TUD04089


Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)

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Mekelweg 2, 2628 CD, Delft

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