Researcher - SmartPatch: Control & Communications

Cork (City), Munster (IE)
As per Irish University Association scales.
May 02, 2018
Jul 02, 2018
Contract Type
Full Time
Job Type

The Tyndall National Institute at University College Cork is a world leader in the development of Micro Transdermal Interface Platforms (MicroTIPs) – wearable ‘smart patches’ for closed-loop delivery and diagnostics. Working closely with a global range of academic, business and clinical partners under our ‘ABC’ model, our technology is under evaluation by several SMEs and multinational corporations and is approaching market readiness in a number of areas. In parallel, Tyndall is currently engaged in an ambitious ‘ICT for Health’ strategy that will leverage our core strengths in Information and Communications Technologies to develop the next generation of intelligent medical devices and systems.

As a result of significantly increased commercial investment in this area, the Tyndall National Institute is now seeking a highly motivated postdoctoral researcher to join our team in this exciting and rapidly expanding R&D field, primarily to add control electronics and wireless communications capabilities to the next generation of MicroTIPs. These wearable, intelligent, patch-like systems will eventually be capable of autonomously delivering relevant therapeutic doses, while simultaneously relaying patient-centric information to clinical personnel using secure wireless protocols. MicroTIPs will be high-value and complex systems, and will have significant applications in areas such as the delivery of low-dose and very costly biologic drugs.

The successful candidate will therefore be required to integrate and control the relevant components of the MicroTIPs system. This will involve identifying appropriate communications technology; designing customised PCBs; sourcing appropriate battery technology; programming microcontrollers; developing algorithms to enable system control; aiding the wider team with construction of prototypes; validating system performance under laboratory conditions; and developing an associated smartphone app

The final platform must meet wearability, performance and cost targets, and significant consideration must clearly must be given to component size and sensitivity.

Tyndall has several commercial partners in these areas and the candidate will work with these partners to develop microsystems that closely are aligned to industrial targets and specifications.

This is an exciting project in a fast-moving, industrially relevant area.  Reporting to the team leader of the MicroTIPS research activity, the candidate will take a hands-on role, and will be responsible for the day-to-day execution of the technical research tasks outlined above. Scientific dissemination (preparation of regular internal reports, journal and conference publications, and industrial liaison) is an essential part of the position. Some international travel may also be required.

It is critical that the candidate has an ability to work in a team environment, as he/she will liaise closely with other team members engaged in developing complementary aspects of the MicroTIPS platform. In addition, close cooperation with our industrial partners is required, who will provide support, supervision and direction throughout the research activity. The successful candidate should be highly motivated with excellent organizational and communications skills, demonstrate an understanding of the research environment, the ability to communicate his/her research and the potential to manage a research project.

In return, the position provides the opportunity to develop innovative solutions for medical technology challenges, as well as to gain valuable experience in design, fabrication and testing of next-generation devices and systems. The successful candidate will experience the excitement of working with high-profile industry on emerging technologies, and will have the opportunity to build the career profile associated with presentation at international conferences, workshops and industry meetings, and publication of the research in high impact journals.

The duration of the project is 12 months in the first instance, although this may be extended pending funding and the impact of the candidate.

Key Duties and Responsibilities

The candidate will be required to:

  • Review the state-of-the-art in wearable smart medical technologies on an ongoing basis;
  • Aid in the construction of prototype drug delivery platforms;
  • Add suitable wireless communications protocols to these platforms;
  • Design customised circuits that integrate these components on wearable substrates;
  • Embed microcontrollers, algorithms and associated circuitry to provide the system with a high degree of autonomous control;
  • Identify appropriate power sources and develop power management strategies to maximise lifetime;
  • Develop smartphone applications for system programming and alarm notification;
  • Work closely with team members who will be developing complementary aspects of the platform;
  • Test and validate system performance under laboratory conditions
  • Pinpoint where improvements and/or advancements may be made;
  • Continuously seek new methods of adding value by incorporating additional functionality on the platform;
  • Construct demonstrator devices for internal and external showcase;
  • Report results to team leaders, commercial partners and funding agencies;
  • Participate in conferences, workshops and outreach events;
  • Comply with all relevant regulatory legislation, ethical considerations and safety regulations;
  • Enhance Tyndall’s position internationally as a world leader in the development of transdermal interface platforms.

Essential Criteria 

  • Applicants should have a PhD postgraduate qualification in a relevant discipline (e.g. electrical/electronic engineering, biomedical engineering, physics).
  • Experience in areas such as microcontroller and rapid prototyping platforms, wireless communications, low power system design, app development, microsensor technology, PCB design and layout, device test and characterisation, and packaging and integration.
  • Laboratory experience and a willingness to adapt to a multidisciplinary field is essential.
  • Previous work with medical device design and development, additive manufacturing, microfabrication, PADS, Labview or CAD software, and/or bioMEMS will be an advantage.
  • Prior experience of working with/in industry, scientific paper writing, conference presentation and report writing is also desirable.

Informal enquiries can be made in confidence to Dr. Conor O’ Mahony, email

For full particulars of this post, please see

Appointment may be made on the IUA Researcher Scale €36,853 - €43,828.