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Due to the COVID-virus and the efforts this requires from Erasmus MC, it may take longer to inform you regarding your candidacy. We apologize for the inconvenience.

PhD student on the project: AR navigation for surgery

Researcher in training
  • Research & Education
  • 36 hours
  • Biomedical Imaging Group Rotterdam (BIGR)

  • Closing date 07-04-2020
  • 50.05.19.TDA

Job description

Navigation has become standard of care for several surgical areas, such as neurosurgical, orthopedic and spinal procedures. Whereas such navigation enables the use of pre-operative imaging and planning during the procedure, the hand-key coordination and the need to switch focus (from the operative field to the navigation screen back-and-forth) are still considered drawbacks. The recent introduction of augmented reality devices permits for more immersive navigation approaches, where the pre-operative information and planning is directly visualized in the field-of-view of the surgeon. Such approaches have great potential to improve surgical procedures, and may both enable better training and deliver safer surgery.

Purpose of this project is to develop and assess approaches towards such augmented reality based navigation. To that end, the project will focus on developing augmented reality based key components required for navigation, such as: patient-to-model alignment and patient tracking, visualization of the virtual models in the surgical scene, and tracking using images and sensor information from the augmented reality device.

Work environment

The PhD project will be done within the Smart Surgery Lab. This lab is an initiative of the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial surgery and the Biomedical Imaging Group Rotterdam. Most surgical disciplines in the Erasmus MC are also involved in this Smart Surgery Lab. This lab offers a dynamic, challenging, and cooperative research environment. The PhD appointment will be at the BIGR group, which is internationally at the forefront of biomedical imaging and has a strong track record in biomedical imaging in general, as well as in image guidance in interventions.

Qualifications and skills

For this PhD position, we are looking for candidates with an MSc degree in a relevant engineering discipline, such as Electrical Engineering, Computer Science or Biomedical Engineering. Experience with augmented reality, segmentation/registration techniques as well as advanced machine learning approaches such as deep learning is an advantage. You should have programming experience and be able to work in a multi-disciplinary team. Strong theoretical skills and affinity with experimental work are required.

Before you apply please check our conditions for employment.

Terms of employment

You will receive a temporary position for 4 years. The gross monthly salary is € 2.422 ,- in the 1st year and increases to € 3.103,- in the 4th year (scale OIO). The terms of employment are according to the Collective Bargaining Agreement for Dutch University Medical Centers (CAO UMC).

Information and application

For more information about this position, please contact Prof.dr. E. Wolvius, e-mail: or Dr. T. van Walsum, phone number: +31(0)10 704 30 51 or e-mail:

Applications should include a curriculum vitae, a motivation letter, a list of followed courses and grades and a copy of your MSc thesis. Please respond by using the apply button.

No agencies please.

Erasmus MC

Pioneering, pushing boundaries and leading: in healthcare, education and research

Our roots lie in Rotterdam, a city and port of international standing. We are the most innovative university medical center in the Netherlands and one of the world’s leading centers of scientific research. With passion and dedication we are committed to achieve a healthy population and pursuing excellence in healthcare through research and teaching. We have access to the latest equipment and techniques. A working environment that gets the best out of people.

Learn more about our ambitions