PhD student: 4D X-ray imaging and modelling of wood fibre-based materials

Last application date
Apr 15, 2018 13:00
LA20 - Department of Environment
Limited duration
Master in Sciences , (Civil or Bioscience) Engineering, Physics, Wood Science
Occupancy rate
Vacancy Type
Research staff

Job description

Within the context of the recently approved SBO (Strategic Basic Research from the Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO) project “MoCCHa-CT”, we have a vacant position for a PhD researcher at the Laboratory of Wood Technology (UGent-Woodlab,, member of the Ghent University (UGent) expertise Centre for X-ray Tomography ( The Laboratory of Wood Technology, short UGent-Woodlab, is a research team of UGent, located at the Faculty of Bioscience Engineering. UGent-Woodlab aims at an integrated strategy for the forestry-wood chain on a national and international level to contribute to the bio-economy. UGent-Woodlab is internationally known for its expertise in the field X-ray CT scanning for non-destructive testing and structural analysis of wood and wood products.

The key challenge for the PhD student in this project will be (1) to characterize a range of wood fibre-based materials at multiple scales using high-resolution imaging complemented by tunable dark-field imaging. The PhD student will (2) focus on the moisture behaviour of these materials and will therefore use dynamic X-ray CT scanning (4D-µCT) to acquire temporally resolved 3D data at high resolution when exposed to moisture. The characteristics of the materials, acquired in part (1), can then be used to build a mathematical model that can help in understanding the behaviour of these materials under moisture load as visualized in part (2).

The PhD student will closely collaborate with a researcher that focuses on continuous-time dynamic µCT acquisition and reconstruction. As a team, you will have access to a state-of-the-art X-ray imaging facility where pioneering work on laboratory-based 4D-µCT is being performed. This forms a unique opportunity that will allow the applicant to explore the full potential of the developed DVC algorithms. Furthermore, the applicant will be embedded in a multidisciplinary team of scientists and engineers in the context of the "MoCCHa-CT” project. This team consists of experts in image analysis, image restoration, GPU-accelerated scientific image processing, X-ray imaging hardware, tomographic reconstruction and material sciences experts. The project is a tight collaboration between several academic partners at UGent and the Institute for Biomedical Engineering, ETH, Switzerland, and has an economic finality supported by several industrial partners.

We offer a full-time PhD position for a maximal period of 4 years (upon positive progress evaluation), starting between May 1st, 2018 and October 1st, 2018 (depending on the successful candidate’s availability). The research is fundamental and innovative, and requires both programming skills as well as hands-on lab work with clear practical applications.

Profile of the candidate

• You have a master degree in Sciences, (Civil or Bioscience) Engineering, Physics, Wood Science.

• You have a strong interest in X-ray imaging and mathematical modelling.

• You have excellent analytical skills.

• You are a native Dutch speaker or speak and write English fluently.

• You have good communication skills.

• You have an open mind and a multi-disciplinary attitude.

• You have experience with hands-on lab work.

• ICT / programming skills (Python, ABAQUS) are highly recommended.

How to apply

Applications must contain the following documents (in English):

• Personal motivation letter mainly elaborating on your interest and experience in the specific domains mentioned above, as well as your view on the proposed research topic.

• Scientific resume and diplomas.

• Detailed academic results (courses and grades).

• Relevant publications if any.

The documents should be sent to prof. dr. ir. Jan Van den Bulcke ( and prof. dr. ir. Joris Van Acker ( before April the 15th, 2018, 13 PM. The subject of your e-mail should be MOCCHA-CT_family name_first name. After the first screening, suitable candidates will be invited for an interview (also possible via Skype).