Friday, July 23, 2021

PhD scholarship in Large-Scale Structural Optimization for Hearing Systems

DTU, the Department of Mechanical Engineering and the Center for Acoustic-Mechanical Microsystems (CAMM) invite highly motivated and talented graduates to apply for a 3-year PhD where you will explore novel ways to apply large-scale structural optimization methods to explore the performance improvements in hearing aids considering the full multiphysics setting. CAMM facilitates and connects research in acoustic-mechanical interaction, numerical methods and optimization, materials microfabrication, and acoustic measurement techniques. In collaboration with three world-leading Danish companies in hearing aids and electroacoustic devices, we combine strong expertise from DTU Electrical Engineering and DTU Mechanical Engineering.

Shape and topology optimization can be powerful tools to improve the performance of acoustic-mechanical systems by reshaping the geometry to achieve specific physical objectives. This project focuses on the vibroacoustic understanding of a whole hearing aid system to define suitable objective functions instead of only looking at individual parts. A main approach is investigating feedback loops between design of objective functions and constraints to match physical goals. The project will answer the question how to define objective/constraints functions for broadband responses in the audible spectrum. We will investigate reduced order models for broadband frequencies, and also look at transient formulations. Specific attention will be paid to the suspension systems and the beading on the interior of hearing aid shells. Additionally, the simultaneous design/study/modelling of non-homogeneous, anisotropic materials and their use in stability (feedback) will be investigated.

Responsibilities and qualifications
In this project you will build on knowledge obtained through previous projects and codes and you will be responsible for the development of:

  • Large-scale modelling and advanced finite element methods for vibroacoustics problems in 3D, including lumped models, reduced order models and efficient solvers.
  • Numerical model validation through experiments (or by use of experimental data)
  • New shape and topology optimization formulations targeting the performance of full hearing systems
  • Investigate the design space for the full hearing system and determine performance bounds based on extensive numerical investigations.

Prior experience within one or more of these disciplines is considered beneficial to your application. For these tasks you will take responsibility for project planning, data management, computational experiments and comprehensive documentation. You are also expected to be able to work in a highly collaborative environment inside CAMM and in close contact with our company partners. Close exchange between DTU Electrical Engineering and DTU Mechanical Engineering is expected. Fluent written and spoken English is essential.

Your PhD project will result in scientific publications of your results. You will present at international conferences as part of your research training and you can also sharpen your didactics skills through experience as teaching assistant.

As a PhD student in CAMM and the Department of Mechanical Engineering, you will benefit from our strong expertise in mechanics, vibrations, finite element methods, large scale numerical modelling, optimization, acoustics and microfabrication technologies. This will allow you to:

  • Be a part of a creative and stimulating scientific environment
  • Develop your theoretical and experimental skills
  • Collaborate with experts in topics related to your project

You must have a two-year master's degree (120 ECTS points) or a similar degree with an academic level equivalent to a two-year master's degree in engineering, physics, material science, or related fields. Only candidates with documented experience in at least one and preferably multiple of the following areas will be considered: structural optimization, high performance computing, programming, vibroacoustics, vibrations and numerical methods. Familiarity with programming languages such as C/C++, MPI, OpenCL and/or CUDA will be considered an advantage.

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

The assessment of the applicants will be made by Professor Frieder Lucklum and Associate Professor Niels Aage.

We offer
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 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 upon with the relevant union. The period of employment is 3 years.

You can read more about career paths at DTU here.

Further information
Further information may be obtained from Professor Frieder Lucklum (, tel.: +4593511939 and Associate Professor Niels Aage (, tel.: +4545254253.

You can read more about DTU Mechanical Engineering at  

You can read more about the Centre for Acoustic-Mechanical Microsystems at  

If you are applying from abroad, you may find useful information on working in Denmark and at DTU at DTU – Moving to Denmark.

Application procedure
Your complete online application must be submitted no later than 31 August 2021 (Danish time).  

Applications must be submitted as one PDF file containing all materials to be given consideration. To apply, please open the link "Apply online", fill out 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)
  • Optional documents - English proficiency certificate (for instance TOEFL or IELTS), list of publications and any other documents that demonstrates your experience in the related areas of the proposed PhD project

You may apply prior to obtaining your 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.

DTU Mechanical Engineering covers the fundamental engineering disciplines within Solid Mechanics, Fluid Mechanics, Coastal and Maritime Engineering, Energy Systems and Energy Conversion, Materials and Surface Engineering, Manufacturing Engineering, Engineering Design and Product Development. The Department has a scientific staff of about 135 persons, 100 PhD students and a technical/administrative support staff of about 80 persons.

Technology for people
DTU develops technology for people. With our international elite research and study programmes, we are helping to create a better world and to solve the global challenges formulated in the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Hans Christian ├śrsted founded DTU in 1829 with a clear vision to develop and create value using science and engineering to benefit society. That vision lives on today. DTU has 12,900 students and 6,000 employees. We work in an international atmosphere and have an inclusive, evolving, and informal working environment. DTU has campuses in all parts of Denmark and in Greenland, and we collaborate with the best universities around the world.

Apply for this job

Apply no later than 31 August 2021
Apply for the job at DTU Mechanical Eng by completing the following form.

Apply online


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