VPA-CP – PhD in Computational Imaging for Third-Harmonic Generation Microscopy

As part of the SNF Sinergia research project DigiLight, the EPFL Center for Imaging (IMAGING), the AudioVisual Communications Laboratory (LCAV) and the Galatea Laboratory (GALATEA) are looking for a motivated candidate to perform her/his Ph.D. in a stimulating and dynamic atmosphere. The project takes place at the forefront of scientific research in computational imaging and Third-Harmonic Generation Microscopy (THG), with applications to advanced manufacturing (e.g., 3D printing, high-density data storage). The thesis will be hosted by IMAGING at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL), a world renowned science and education centre that offers students an ideal environment to continue their scientific carrier, together with an excellent connection with industry. Regular interactions with project partners for prototyping/validating/deploying algorithmic solutions are expected.

Project Description

Third-Harmonic Generation (THG) microscopy has emerged over the last two decades as a particularly attractive tool for label-free and non-invasive microscopic observations. Thanks to the nonlinear optical process involved, the resolution of THG microscopy is typically far greater than that of traditional microscopy modalities, e.g., multi-photon fluorescence microscopy.

While numerous inquiries are conducted worldwide to explore and/or further develop the potential of THG microscopy in the context of biological applications, much remains to be done on the use of this microscopy principle for in situ material observations in the context of advanced manufacturing.

The goal of this PhD thesis is therefore to harvest recent advances in digital signal processing, computational imaging, adaptive optics, learning/optimization theory and numerical/high performance computing to help with the development of a THG microscope able to image complex structures laser-written in the volume of transparent materials, and this, with submicron resolution and unprecedented information content. This cross-disciplinary research is expected to find numerous applications, not only for further advancing the emerging field of 3D-printing of functional materials, but also, for high-density data storage applications.

Together with designing and testing novel THG imaging algorithms, the PhD student will also be expected to implement, package, validate and deploy them within the prototypical THG microscope pipeline in close collaboration with the project team members (PhD students, postdoctoral researchers and research engineers).


  • The successful candidate is expected to hold a BSc or MSc degree in Applied Mathematics, Physics, Computational Science Engineering, Electrical Engineering, or a closely related discipline.

In addition, the following qualifications are desired:

  • Solid background in mathematics, optimization, machine learning and/or signal processing.
  • Good background in physics and an interest in the field.
  • Good programming skills (e.g., Python, Julia, R, Matlab).
  • Fluent in English (both written and spoken) and excellent communication and interpersonal skills.
  • Ability to collaborate with a wide range of stakeholders, well-organized, eager to learn, and able to take responsibility and define priorities quickly.

The following optional qualifications would also be welcomed:

  • Experience with Fourier optics and/or programmable/adaptive/computational optics.
  • Experience with inverse problems, computational imaging or image processing.
  • Practical skills (experimental validation, automating measurement setups).
  • Familiarity with open environments (e.g., Jupyter notebooks, Github).

The selected PhD student would need to enrol in an EPFL doctoral school. After one year of successful probation, the initial contract will be extended up to a total of four years. Doctoral school information and employment conditions at EPFL are described in:


We offer a stimulating, collaborative, cross-disciplinary research environment in collaboration with world-class research institutions at the forefront of imaging and optics. The PhD candidate will engage, on a daily basis, with a dynamic and creative community of scientists eager toshare their expertise and knowledge, will be exposed to a large variety of state-of-the-art computational imaging methods, and given the opportunity to deploy her/his algorithms in the imaging pipelines of prototypical THG microscopes. Finally, the EPFL is equipped with advanced imaging and strong experimental optical facilities that provide access to the latestcutting-edge technologies and a continual source of challenging data.

Start Date

As soon as possible


For inquiries and applications, please contact Dr. Matthieu Simeoni (email:matthieu.simeoni@epfl.ch), principal scientist and head of the EPFL Advanced Image Reconstruction Hub.

Applications should include CV, cover letter, grade transcripts and names of 3 persons who may be contacted for reference letters.

All applicants will be considered for employment without attention to race, colour, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin or disability status. Female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply for this position.