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Industrial PhD-student position in Medical Radiation Physics

Industrial PhD-student position in Medical Radiation Physics

The PhD candidate will be employed by the company Excillum AB and enrolled at Lund University, department for medical radiation physics. The project is financed by the Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research (SSF) and the company Excillum AB. A collaboration between Lund University and Excillum AB will focus on the development of improved phase contrast x-ray imaging with the specialized x-ray sources developed by Excillum. The candidate will be located in Lund at Lund University, but also spend a significant amount of time (1-2 months per year) at Excillum AB in Stockholm in order to integrate well with the research group there.

Project description

The research project has two major components: i) theoretical method development and ii) practical implementation. In the past two decades, phase-contrast x-ray imaging has been developing rapidly, going from proof-of-concept studies to a standard tool at synchrotron beamlines and as a plug-in to commercial CT systems. At this time, various vendors of x-ray micro-CT machines offer the option to do phase-contrast imaging with their products.

 Conventional x-ray micro-CT systems can deliver very high resolution but are limited in image contrast as they rely on x-ray attenuation for contrast. With phase-contrast imaging, the contrast mechanism comes from the wave-optical effect of x-ray phase shift (phase contrast) and coherent scattering (dark-field contrast) in the sample. This allows for complementary contrast modalities of particular importance in samples containing soft tissue and/or unresolvable ultra-structure.

X-ray beam coherence is of great importance for phase-contrast imaging. In experiments involving x-ray tubes, the coherence is typically improved either by placing a microstructure x-ray mask near the source, or by using micro-focus x-ray tubes. The state-of-the-art micro-focus x-ray tube designed by Excillum for the liquid metal jet anode is an excellent x-ray source for phase-contrast imaging development.

We invite a PhD-student to join us in this further development of phase-contrast x-ray imaging.


Job assignment

The tasks for the PhD student will be in several aspects of the development of phase-contrast x-ray imaging, including design, hardware implementation and data analysis. X-ray imaging experiments and development work will take place both in Lund and in Stockholm/Kista.

 The successful candidate would have the possibility to help with supervising Master students.

The activities are located at the Department of Medical Radiation Physics in Lund. However, frequent visits to Stockholm/Kista are expected. Further, a longer stationing in Stockholm/Kista could be required.


Entry requirements

A formal requirement for doctoral studies in medical radiation physics is:

  • a university degree on advanced level within a related field, such as a Master's degree in physics, engineering or equivalent, or
  • substantial advanced course work at the Master level, or comparable, including an independent research project.

Furthermore, the acceptance is based on the estimated ability to accomplish postgraduate studies.

Other requirements

Good knowledge in programming (e.g. C, python or MATLAB) and fluent speaking and writing English.

 Other qualifications that will be considered are:

- Experience of experimental work in x-ray imaging or other imaging modalities, evidenced for example by a master thesis in the topic.

- Emphasis will also be put on good communication and cooperation skills

Basis of Assessment

Selection to postgraduate studies is based on the expected ability to perform well in the studies. The evaluation of the ability to perform well is based primarily on the results of studies at the basic and advanced levels, in particular:

  • Knowledge and skills relevant to postgraduate studies within the research area, such as a broad and thorough preparation in physics or engineering. This can be documented by appended documents.
  • Estimated ability to work independently and the ability to formulate and solve scientific questions. This ability can be established, for example, based on undergraduate research experiences, a Master's thesis or in a discussion of scientific problems during a possible interview.
  • Skills in written and oral communication.
  • Other experience relevant to postgraduate studies, such as professional experience
  • The applicant should be interested in working in an international environment since a lot of the activities will be in collaboration with international partners.


Other assessment criteria

We consider good cooperation ability, drive and independent work ability as positive personal attributes.

The selection of the successful candidate will be based on the results of studies at the basic and advanced levels, the requirements indicated above, and the ability to cope with the challenges outlined in the anticipated assignments.


Terms of employment

A PhD position is an employment with the main duty to be engaged in PhD studies according to the study plan. The duration of PhD studies is 4 years full time studies. In addition, those appointed to doctoral student position may be required to work with educational tasks, research and technical/administrative duties at a level of at most 20% of full time. The position is then extended correspondingly, however not longer than corresponding to 5 years full time employment.

Application procedure

Apply online! Applications must contain a cover letter in which applicants describe themselves and their particular research interests. Applications must also include a CV, a copy of the applicant’s Master’s thesis (or a summary text if the thesis is not yet completed), contact details of at least two references (or preferentially that the reference letters are submitted directly to martin.bech@med.lu.se by the references), copies of grade certificates, and any other documents that the applicant wishes to refer to. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Lund University, Faculty of Science, Department of Medical Radiation Physics

Lund University was founded in 1666 and for a number of years has been ranked among the world’s top 100 universities. The University has 42 000 students and more than 7 500 staff based in Lund, Helsingborg and Malmö. We are united in our efforts to understand, explain and improve our world and the human condition.

The Faculty of Science conducts research and education within Biology, Astronomy, Physics, Geosciences, Chemistry, Mathematics and Environmental Sciences. The Faculty is organized into ten departments, gathered in the northern campus area. The Faculty has approximately 1900 students, 330 PhD students and 700 employees. 

 The Department of Medical Radiation Physics has research divisions covering all aspects of medical physics, such as radiation therapy, mathematics and physics of medical imaging, nuclear medicine and magnetic resonance. Environmental radiology, biological effects of radiation and radiation protection for ionizing and non-ionizing radiation are other important fields of scientific interest.

Department website: www.msf.lu.se. Link to the general syllabus for postgraduate students at Medical Radiation Physics: http://www.science.lu.se/for-employees/education-and-research/postgraduate-studies  

Excillum AB

Excillum AB, located in Kista, is an award-winning pioneer in the field of high-end X-ray sources, founded in 2008. Excillum designs, develops and manufactures a high brightness microfocus X-ray source based on Hertz and Hemberg’s invention, an invention that Hertz and Hemberg were recognized for through a nomination to the Polhem prize in 2016. A 2-minute video explains how the Excillum MetalJet Technology works: http://www.excillum.com/techno...

In 2011 Excillum launched the first generation MetalJet product, the D1, and has since developed a range of products based on this technology.

CEO Björn Hansson now leads an expert team of >30 employees. 

The latest product, the MetalJet D2+ series, can be used for X-ray imaging (industrial and academic), metrology (the science of measuring and characterizing structures and materials) and analytical X-ray applications (structural and elemental analysis).

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Torshamnsgatan 35
164 40 Stockholm Directions career@excillum.com

On Top

  • Autonomy

    We trust the employees in planning their work and finding the way to the goal. The scope of action is wide and built on trust - we know this is highly appreciated by our employees.

  • Grow your skill-set

    Being a small company with a global reach and a multi-disciplinary technology we really enables you to grow your skill-set.

  • Energized by our mission

    Our mission is to enable new science, improve medicine and enhance manufacturing by continuous development of state-of-the-art X-ray Sources.
    This is a true purpose. With this on top of mind you will get things done.

  • Extras

    To help you go beyond we offer health care insurance, team outings, flexible working hours, a relocation policy to mention a few extras. This is of course on top of a competitive compensation and insurance package.

Life at Excillum

Excillum people are guided by a casual, open-office environment that enables interaction and collaboration between people and teams. The experimental tradition is strong where you will be encouraged to test and move quickly with new ideas. Working close to the mission each employee really has an impact on our success – and every success is celebrated by the whole team.

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