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PhD in Advanced Radiotherapy Treatment Planning at Delft University of Technology

A new opening PhD position in radiotherapy is available at Delft University of Technology, Netherlands. There is no application deadline for this position.

The Faculty of Applied Sciences is the largest faculty of TU Delft, with around 550 scientists, a support staff of 250 and 1,800 students. The faculty conducts fundamental, application-oriented research and offers scientific education at the bachelor, master and doctoral levels. The faculty is active in the fields of Life and Health Science & Technology, Nanoscience, Chemical Engineering, Radiation Science & Technology, and Applied Physics.

The position is in the Department of Radiation Science and Technology (RST, www.tudelft.nl/rst). Radiation ties the RST department together. The focus of our research is on energy and health. However various our interests, whether they be materials, sensors and instrumentation, energy and sustainable production or health, all our research is somehow related to radiation. Close collaboration with the Reactor Institute Delft and the newly built Holland Proton Therapy Center (HollandPTC) guarantees access to the reactor and the irradiation facilities, as well as to a clinical proton beam.

Radiotherapy is a crucially important modality to treat cancer, with the majority of patients receiving radiation treatment at one point during the course of their disease. Intensity Modulated Proton Therapy (IMPT) is a novel, rapidly spreading type of radiotherapy, theoretically superior to traditional X-rays due to delivering doses more precisely, better protecting organs-at-risk. Unfortunately, this higher dose conformity increases sensitivity to errors caused by imperfect patient positioning, proton range calculations and organ motion uncertainties. To reach protons' full tissue-sparing potential, the adequate, not over-conservative, and ultimately real-time handling of errors is crucially important.

The goal of this project is to develop novel radiotherapy algorithms that effectively incorporate errors in treatment planning, thus overcome the computational challenge of (ultimately real-time) error mitigation. Research will focus on Reduced Order Modelling (ROM) methods coupled to machine learning (ML) algorithms. ROM can effectively capture organ motion and thus represent the anatomy variations, whereas ML algorithms can link the anatomical changes to the corresponding changes in the dose distribution. Successful implementation of such algorithms will enable comprehensive robustness evaluation of proton and X-ray therapy plans, clinically applicable probabilistic optimization; and ultimately will pave the way towards near real-time dose calculation and online treatment adaptation. This will improve both IMPT and traditional X-ray therapy, reducing radiation side-effects and increasing the success rate of RT treatments.

The project will be carried out in close collaboration with the newly built Holland PTC (one of the 3 Dutch proton thearpy clinics) as well as Erasmus MC.

We at TU Delft are looking for an enthusiastic PhD student with a keen interest in developing numerical methods and software algorithms for advanced radiotherapy treatment planning.

TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, a discount for health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged. An International Children's Centre offers childcare and an international primary school. Dual Career Services offers support to accompanying partners. Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities.

As a PhD candidate you will be enrolled in the TU Delft Graduate School. TU Delft Graduate School provides an inspiring research environment; an excellent team of supervisors, academic staff and a mentor; and a Doctoral Education Programme aimed at developing your transferable, discipline-related and research skills. Please visit www.tudelft.nl/phd for more information.

For more information about this vacancy, you can contact Dr. Zoltan Perko, Assistant Professor, email: Z.Perko@tudelft.nl or tel.nr. +31 15 27 86821.

To apply for this PhD position, please send a detailed CV, a 1 page motivation letter and the contact information of 2 references via email to Anouk Nieuwesteeg at A.M.Nieuwesteeg@tudelft.nl. Applications will be evaluated on a first come, first served basis.

When applying for this position, please refer to vacancy number TNWRST18-070.


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