The PhD student will be a member of the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions Doctoral Network SOFTWEAR. The network will comprise 12 PhD students from 10 European Universities. SOFTWEAR is a highly interdisciplinary Doctoral Network in the emerging and rapidly growing field of wearables, with a unique focus on soft actuators for wearables and exoskeletons. The primary objective of SOFTWEAR is to train young researchers in the multidisciplinary science of soft actuators for integration in wearables and augmenting textiles. This will be achieved by merging chemistry, physics, mechanics, electronics, textile technology, design, human-technology interaction and ethics in a truly interdisciplinary manner, while teaching essential skills in ethics, product development, IPR and industrial realisation, thus providing a unique added value to the careers of the Researchers. This will be accomplished by on-the- job training on innovative research projects developing beyond-the-state-of- the-art soft actuator technology and integrating this into active garments and soft exoskeletons. The research will be carried out at leading academic groups and by immersion in applied projects at the industrial partners. The position will require traveling to participate in Training Schools and secondments of several months to academic and industrial associated partners.
For more information see www. softwear-dn.eu
PhD WORK PLAN:
The PhD student will develop new fully wearable actuation systems based on pneumatic driving. The actuators will use compressed air to inflate wearable soft chambers, via wearable miniature custom-designed compressors. The soft chambers will be hosted in special pockets created within garments. In order to ensure closed-loop control of the actuators, wearable soft sensors will also be developed, by exploiting dielectric elastomer-based capacitive stretch sensing. The sensors will consist of silicone-made screen-printed stretchable capacitors, shaped as thin stripes and disks, coating the garments at the level of the actuators. The combined actuators and sensors will be tested on volunteers, for iterative validations and improvements, following an approval from the concerned Ethics Committee. By the end of the project, the Researcher will gain high competence and skills on pneumatic actuation and dielectric elastomer sensing, whose application could be extended in the future to other systems.
Host university: University of Florence
PhD Supervisor: Prof. Federico Carpi (www. smart.unifi.it)Benefits
Very attractive salary plus a possible family allowance package according to the Marie Sklodowska- Curie Action (MSCA) Doctoral Networks rules and personal circumstances (family status) of the applicant. Th exact salary will be defined upoon the appointement and is dependent on the country correction factor. For further information, please vist the European Union MSCA website;
Enrolment in a PhD Programme;
Shared research and innovative multidisciplinary and multisectoral training by experts and experienced trainers from two sectors (academia and industry);
Successful candidates must have a good level of proficiency in English, which will be assessed during the interview.Selection process
Engineering: Master Degree or equivalent
See the Eligibility criteria.Specific Requirements
See the Eligibility criteria.Contact Information