PhD on multiscale optical imaging of plants

Department/faculty: Faculty Applied Sciences
Level: University Graduate
Working hours: 38.0 hours weekly
Contract: 4 years
Salary: 2222 - 2840 euros monthly (full-time basis)

Faculty Applied Sciences

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 Imaging Physics (ImPhys, of the Faculty of Applied Sciences at the TU Delft. Our department performs cutting-edge research spanning the range from understanding the basic principles underlying imaging technology to automated image analysis to developing new imaging systems.

Job description

The PhD student develops advanced optical multiscale imaging tools for the rapid and automated assessment of plant physiology. The PhDs’ research focuses on the use of optical coherence tomography (OCT) and related technologies to study the structure of plants on the microscopic (cellular level) and macroscopic (entire plant) scale. Information of the plants’ state is determined from the generated images using image analysis techniques that are used to automatically determine parameters like surface area, volume, and (local) optical properties. He/she develops the imaging instrument and characterizes the fundamental imaging performance on test samples, tissue phantoms, and living plant material. This PhD project is a collaboration of TU Delft with Utrecht University (Dept. of Biology) and a plant breeding company. In close collaboration with the breeding company the instrument and analysis techniques are tested in the early plant growth stages to automatically assess the condition of the plant and determine its use for further cross breeding.


We are looking for enthusiastic candidates with a ‘drive’ for applied research. He or she has a demonstrable interest in optical imaging, optical instrument design/construction, and signal/image processing. The candidate should have an MSc degree in Applied Physics, Electrical Engineering, or the equivalent. Affinity with agriculture and/or biology would be a plus. The PhD position is firmly imbedded in a physics environment, but it is expected from the candidate to interact with plant biologists and plant breeders. Good communication skills in English are required; knowledge of Dutch is an advantage. The project should result in a PhD thesis. 

Conditions of employment

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 for more information.

Information and application

For more information about this position, please contact Dr. J. Kalkman, phone: +31 (0)15-2783727, e-mail: For more information about the selection procedure,please contact Mrs. Annelies van Beek, secretary, e-mail:

To apply, please e-mail a detailed CV along with a letter of application by 1 September 2018 to Mrs. Annelies van Beek,
When applying for this position, please refer to vacancy number TNWIP18-047.

Enquiries from agencies are not appreciated.


Faculty Applied Sciences
University Graduate
Working hours
38.0 hours weekly
4 years
2222 - 2840 euros monthly (full-time basis)

Closing date
Sept. 1, 2018
Vacancy nr.


For more information about the application procedure, please contact: