PhD student: Development of a data-driven model to detect and characterize biofilm formation Ghent University, Department of Data analysis and mathematical modelling Belgium

PhD student: Development of a data-driven model to detect and characterize biofilm formation

Last application date
Jan 18, 2019 23:59

LA26 - Department of Data analysis and mathematical modelling

Limited duration

MSc in an Engineering or Science discipline

Occupancy rate

Vacancy Type
Research staff


Job description

Biofilms are surface-associated microbial communities that are highly tolerant against antimicrobials and therefore cause persistent contaminations and infections in industrial and medical sectors. In particular, biofilms formed on medical implants often lead to chronic infection and implant replacement, whereas biofilms in food and other industries can lead to product contamination. The recently funded Bisceps project aims at the development of a novel sensor technology, based on impedance measurement by microelectrode arrays, that allows for in vivo and in situ biofilm detection and monitoring. In this subproject, a data-driven model will be developed to detect biofilm formation based on impedance measurements. The final goal is to detect biofilm formation, the species composition of the biofilm and potential resistance to antibiotics. To this end, we will use state-of-the-art machine learning methods.


The candidate is expected to work towards obtaining a PhD at the end of this project. This position is part of a larger consortium. The research is conducted at the KERMIT research unit (, affiliated with the Faculty of Bioscience engineering of Ghent University. You will be guided by Bernard De Baets and Michiel Stock. This project is in close collaboration with KU Leuven and IMEC.


Period: February 2019 onwards for one year, with a possibility to prolong the research period up to 4 years.


Profile of the candidate

We are looking for a highly motivated candidate with a knack for solving complex problems. Given that the project is at the intersection of microbiology, electronics and data science, the candidate should have a broad range of interests.



  • Excellent written and presentation skills in English. Someone who can convey complex ideas to a wide audience.

  • Experience in scientific programming (ideally some knowledge of python, R, matlab).

  • Some prior experience with machine learning and mathematical modelling.

  • Knowledge of electronics and/or signal processing is an asset.

  • Knowledge of biofilms and microbiology is an asset.


How to apply

Send your resume, a motivation letter and the contact information of someone who can write a letter of recommendation to Michiel Stock ( Also include a link to one thing you feel reflects your skills as a researcher (master thesis, Github repo, student project,…). Feel free to mail to enquire for more information.

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