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PhD position in Three-dimensional inversion of X-ray phase contrast tomography data

DTU Energy. Roskilde, Lyngby (Dänemark), 14.02.2018

DTU Energy is focused on education, research, and development within functional materials and their application in sustainable energy technologies. The Department, which has more than 200 employees, was founded in 2012.

Additional information about the department can be found at

DTU is a technical university providing internationally leading research, education, innovation and scientific advice. Our staff of 5,800 advance science and technology to create innovative solutions that meet the demands of society; and our 11,000 students are being educated to address the technological challenges of the future. DTU is an independent academic university collaborating globally with business, industry, government, and public agencies.

PhD position in Three-dimensional inversion of X-ray phase contrast tomography data

DTU Energy seeks a dedicated candidate for a 3-year PhD position with full employee benefits in the interdisciplinary field of X-ray physics, materials science and computation.

As PhD student, you will be part of the Section for Imaging and Structural Analysis where we develop and apply techniques for multiscale imaging and structural analysis by means of electrons, X-rays, and neutrons. Our goal is to describe the structure, chemistry and morphology of materials, interfaces or surfaces quantitatively, and subsequently to link this information to the properties of materials and devices. Materials and devices applicable for energy conversion or storage are our prime interests.

We work closely with research colleagues both inside DTU and externally, with industrial partners and with international large-scale X-ray and neutron facilities

Your PhD project will be part of the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network, "Multiscale, Multimodal, Multidimensional imaging for EngineeRING" or in short MUMMERING. The network is concerned with interdisciplinary R&D and training in 3D imaging and its application in materials- and information science. The network offers totally 15 PhD positions. You can find information about all 15 PhD positions here:

Scientifically, the network addresses the challenges that 3D imaging has to overcome to be a workable tool in materials science and engineering. This means filling the gap between the capacities by which experimental data can be captured and by which the data can be processed. Today the data processing lags behind.

Your PhD project will be on developing a new methodology for 3D reconstruction of coherent X-ray diffraction data to reveal volumetric phase contrast in samples for materials science applications. You will work on algorithms and computational methods for processing the high volume of data acquired at large-scale synchrotron facilities, into 3D images of the electron density distribution in the studied materials. You will also participate in the experimentation and data collection at large scale X-ray facilities.

You will work on extending two-dimensional diffraction data inversion algorithms into three dimensions. Rather than performing phase retrieval on 2D-projection images with subsequent tomographic reconstruction, the goal is to achieve a final three-dimensional reconstruction made by a phase retrieval technique working in 3D reciprocal space.

Besides other computational advantages, such as data processing time, the proposed method is believed to be able to achieve higher spatial resolution, not only by eliminating projection alignment uncertainties, but also by providing a better support volume for the phase reconstruction and by reducing applied dose and thus radiation damage to the sample.

As a candidate, you will need skills in computational mathematics and a good understanding of fundamental X-ray physics and the interaction of X-rays with materials.

Responsibilities and tasks
As PhD student, we expect that you take full responsibility for your PhD project and your learning under your experienced DTU supervisor’s guidance. Moreover, we expect that you actively involve with and seek benefit from:

  • The training provided by the MUMMERING network
  • Secondment to the industry partner, XNOVO Technologies and to the MAX IV synchrotron
  • DTU Energy’s excellent research infrastructure
Via the mandatory network training provided by MUMMERING, you will participate in summer schools, workshops, and scientific meetings together with top scientists and your 14 fellow PhD students in the MUMMERING network. During your secondment, you will work with data acquisition at a large-scale synchrotron facility and with industrial software implementation and patenting.

Your task will be to handle all aspects of your PhD project and training. This means to:
  • Work out and update your study plan and a personal career development plan
  • Plan, conduct and report your experiments
  • Seek the learning you need for conducting your research
  • Publish your results
We expect that you master the balance between, on one hand, working independently and take initiatives, and on the other hand, seeking advice from your supervisor, your fellow PhD students and colleagues.

Candidates should have a master's degree in physics or engineering or a similar degree with an academic level equivalent to the master's degree in engineering. Experience with parallelization and GPU optimization is an advantage.

Candidates shall moreover comply with the MSCA definition of an Early-Stage Researcher, i.e. be in the first four years of the research career, and have not yet been awarded a doctoral degree.

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

The assessment of the applicants will be made by Professors Jens Wenzel Andreasen and Rajmund Mokso, Head of Section, Luise Theil Kuhn and Scientific Director of Xnovo Technology, Christian Holzner.

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 an 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 with the relevant union. The period of employment is 3 years.

The workplace will be at DTU Energy, including both Risø campus and Lyngby campus.

Secondments of up to 6 months are to be expected.

We expect that you can start May 1st, 2018 or as soon as possible.

You can read more about career paths at DTU here.

Further information
Further information may be obtained from Professor Jens Wenzel Andreasen, +45 2132 6301, or e-mail:

You can read more about DTU Energy at

We will evaluate the applications on a running basis. We therefore advise you to submit your online application as soon as possible and no later than 15 March 2018. Apply online at

Applications must be submitted as one PDF file containing all materials to be given consideration. To apply, please open the link "Apply online", fill in 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)
Candidates may apply prior to obtaining their master's degree, but cannot begin before having received it.

The candidate can be of any nationality but is required to undertake physical transnational mobility meaning that you must not have resided more than 12 months in Denmark in the 3 years immediately before taking up appointment.

All interested candidates irrespective of age, gender, race, disability, religion or ethnic background are encouraged to apply.

Bewerbungsschluss: 15.03.2018