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  • Senior Research Associate

Apply by: 2023-03-31

Research associate (f/m/d)

Published 2023-02-23

Scientific position in SMART-Morph Project – Robotics

Tomography is an invaluable 3D imaging technique across many research and industrial fields when it comes to visualization of internal structures. Thanks to the high photon flux of the synchrotron X-ray radiation, it is possible to do tomographic scans with both high resolution and high speed, which in principle enables scanning of thousands of samples per week, amounting up to 100 TB of raw data. In order to scan such large series of samples on a regular basis, automation of the sample preparation, measurement and quality assurance are needed.

This will be realized in the SMART-Morph project which will focus on the development of robotics- and artificial intelligence (AI)-assisted full-field X-ray imaging to enable the so called Serial Computed Micro-Tomography (SμCT). The result will be efficient use of synchrotron radiation for smart and systematic digitization of very large sample series needed in broad fields of life sciences, e.g. for large-scale comparative morphological studies for developmental biology, functional morphology, ecology and others. Automation of sample preparation including placement into containers, labeling, transport to and from the CT-scanning station, placement and removal from the CT stage are crucial for scanning large sample series in an automated way and for the success of the project.

For the realization, we are looking for a

Research associate
(f/m/d, TV-L E13, 100 %)

Your tasks to achieve the above goals are:

  • development and deployment of an optical inspection station for sample series preparation including algorithms and mechanics for automatic selecting, sorting and grouping samples based on specified characteristics;
  • development of a physical labelling procedure of samples (e.g. QR codes);
  • specification and deployment of the sample transfer system for reception, transfer and removal in such a way that samples will be reachable by the sample changer robot of the CT stage;
  • specification and deployment of sample exchange robots for sample grabbing, placement and its removal from the optical and CT stages;
  • programming and integration of all robotic software components into the experiment control system.

You will further assist our team in:

  • development of an automated tissue processing device, e.g. for arrest of heart beating, subsequent fixation and staining of specimens;
  • development of an automatic sample dispenser to place and embed specimens in containers.

Your profileQualifications:

  • Master in robotics, mechatronics, mechanical engineering or similar.

Required skills:

  • Experience with robotized solutions for batch processing of sample series
  • Python programming and image processing experience are a plus.

What we offer

  • You work in a highly interdisciplinary team with a clear mission
  • The possibility of making a PhD
  • An inspirational, enthusiastic and supportive research team of people from various institutes
  • A nationally and internationally well-connected research group with a good team spirit
  • Training programs to support your first steps as an early career scientist
  • Respectful supervision and guidance with many ways for direct interactions and prompt feedback
  • A family-friendly and all-welcoming atmosphere with flexible working hours

Employment and compensation information

  • Job location – KIT Campus Nord, Eggenstein-Leopoldshafen
  • Contract duration – Until 30th of September 2025
  • Compensation and working hours – EG TV-L 13 (100 %) for 39.5 h
  • Employment at the cooperation partner – Laboratory for Applications of Synchrotron Radiation (LAS) at KIT

Contact Details

Please submit your application to Dr. Ann-Catrin Fender (anncatrin.fender@uni-hohenheim.de).
(motivation letter, curriculum vitae, and certificates) until March 31, 2023.

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us. You can address questions on the topic to Dr. Tomáš Faragó (tomas.farago@kit.edu), Prof. Dr. Lars Krogmann (lars.krogmann@smns-bw.de) or Prof. Dr. Tilo Baumbach (tilo.baumbach@kit.edu). For all questions on the process of recruitment, please contact Dr. Ann-Catrin Fender (anncatrin.fender@uni-hohenheim.de).

At the University of Hohenheim, we promote diversity among our employees. We have set ourselves the goal of recruiting more female scientists and employing more people with an international background, as well as people with disabilities. We are therefore particularly pleased to receive applications from such people. Regardless, we welcome any good application.

Women who apply will be given preferential consideration in areas in which they are underrepresented, provided they have the same aptitude, qualifications and professional performance. Severely disabled applicants with equal qualifications will be given priority.

As a certified family-friendly university, we support the compatibility of work and family, and of professional and private life in general, through various flexible modules.