PhD scholarship in Efficient Numerical Modelling of Smart Hearables Fitted to Users – DTU Electro


Are you interested in learning and extending on state-of-the-art numerical modelling techniques and, at the same time, contribute to improving the listening experience of smart hearable users and hearing impaired? As a PhD candidate with us you will create models of audio devices that are worn in or over the ear and include the wearer’s acoustical and mechanical influence. You will deal with a large modelling task with uncertain input data, and to do this you will acquire knowledge on fields like advanced numerical modelling techniques, improvement of model efficiency and numerical optimization, among others. We offer a 3-year PhD position at the Centre for Acoustic-Mechanical Microsystems (CAMM), Technical University of Denmark (DTU). At CAMM, and at the associated Acoustic Technology group at DTU Electro, you will experience a lively university environment with other PhD projects that are related to yours. CAMM has a solid background on sensors, transducers, modelling, acoustical and mechanical measurement, fabrication and materials, while DTU Electro runs top-level research and education in different fields of Acoustics. You will have access to world-class facilities and experienced, internationally recognized staff. Additionally, you will collaborate with Danish hearing aid companies that are global technological leaders in their field.

Project background and goals 

Smart hearable devices broadly comprise any audio system that is capable of capturing and reproducing sound and is placed in or over the user’s ears. The project is initially motivated by a special class of hearable, the Hearing Aid (HA). HAs are aimed at hearing-impaired persons and have very demanding requirements in terms of comfort, durability, and adaptation. However, the outcomes of the project are expected to be useful for most types of hearables.Standardized measurement tests and numerical models of the acoustic and mechanical performance of hearable devices do not usually include a human subject wearing them. Instead, for repeatability reasons, fixed setups are used. If the hearables are to be modelled as fitted on a person, two issues need to be considered: i) the model becomes much larger, burdening the computer, and ii) the acoustic and mechanical properties of human tissues are subject to variability and uncertainty. In this project you will use existing or newly measured data of the properties of human tissues around the hearable, such as acoustic impedances of the skin, mechanical properties of the ear canal and transmission paths inside the head. The properties are assumed to vary significantly among individuals.You will develop numerical models combining the hearable and the human subject. You will:

  • Combine modelling techniques such as the Boundary Element Method (BEM) and the Finite Element Method (FEM) in an optimal way, as well as simplification to analogous equivalents of less relevant subsystems,
  • Study and apply Model Order Reduction (MOR) techniques or equivalent,
  • Utilize High Performance Computing (HPC) platforms and Graphical Processing Units (GPUs) in combination with domain decomposition approaches,
  • Study the effect of the uncertainties of the input tissue properties and the inter-person variability.

The outcome of the project will be the creation of new and improved models of hearables that take into account their actual use on people, allowing deeper understanding of the underlying coupled physics and better adapted designs. Your activities during the PhD project will include:

  • Following courses on topics related with your project, either at DTU or other institutions,
  • Contributing to teaching and supervision tasks at DTU,
  • Attending international conferences where you will present your work,
  • Publication of your research results in scientific, peer reviewed journals.

Your required qualifications and skills are:

  • A master level education in the fields of either acoustics, mechanics, numerical computing, physics or equivalent,
  • Excellent command of English both spoken and written,
  • Knowledge of numerical simulation tools.

You must have a two-year master’s degree (120 ECTS points) or a similar degree with an academic level equivalent to a two-year master’s degree at the moment of enrolment.

Approval and Enrolment 

The scholarship for the PhD degree is subject to academic approval, and the candidate will be enrolled in one of the general degree programmes at DTU. For information about our enrolment requirements and the general planning of the PhD study programme, please see DTU’s rules for the PhD education


The assessment of the applications will be made by Associate Professor Vicente Cutanda Henriquez and Associate Professor Niels Aage.

We offer

DTU is a leading technical university globally recognized for the excellence of its research, education, innovation and scientific advice. We offer a rewarding and challenging job in an international environment. We strive for academic excellence in an environment characterized by collegial respect and academic freedom tempered by responsibility.

Salary and appointment terms 

The appointment will be based on the collective agreement with the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. The allowance will be agreed upon with the relevant union. The period of employment is 3 years. Starting date according to mutual agreement. The position is a full-time position. You can read more about career paths at DTU here.

Further information 

Further information may be obtained from Associate Professor Vicente Cutanda Henriquez ( and Associate Professor Niels Aage ( can read more about the Department of Electrical and Photonics Engineering (DTU Electro) at and about the Center for Acoustic-Mechanical Microsystems at  If you are applying from abroad, you may find useful information on working in Denmark and at DTU at DTU – Moving to Denmark. Furthermore, you have the option of joining our monthly free seminar “PhD relocation to Denmark and startup “Zoom” seminar” for all questions regarding the practical matters of moving to Denmark and working as a PhD at DTU.

Application procedure 

Your complete online application must be submitted no later than 18 June 2023(Danish time). Applications must be submitted as one PDF file containing all materials to be given consideration. To apply, please open the link “Apply online”, fill out the online application form, and attach all your materials in English in one PDF file. The file must include: 

  • A letter motivating the application (cover letter)
  • Curriculum vitae 
  • Grade transcripts and BSc/MSc diploma (in English) including official description of grading scale

 You may apply prior to ob­tai­ning your master’s degree but cannot begin before having received it.

Applications received after the deadline will not be considered.

All interested candidates irrespective of age, gender, race, disability, religion or ethnic background are encouraged to apply. DTU Electro employs more than 300 skilled researchers with competencies in electrical and photonics engineering. As a department, we strive towards creating sustainable energy and a greener internet, as well as strengthening cyber security and health technology. Working with the industry and public organizations is one of our top priorities to find and implement new solutions to our society. We aim to offer education, research and innovation of the highest standard and our focus on application-oriented research enables us to work across many engineering disciplines and research areas, such as IT and the medical and health sciences. We have a close collaboration with researchers from all over the world, just as we collaborate with industry and public authorities about the dissemination of solutions based on electrical and photonics engineering as their key enabling technologies.

Technology for people

DTU develops technology for people. With our international elite research and study programmes, we are helping to create a better world and to solve the global challenges formulated in the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Hans Christian Ørsted founded DTU in 1829 with a clear mission to develop and create value using science and engineering to benefit society. That mission lives on today. DTU has 13,400 students and 5,800 employees. We work in an international atmosphere and have an inclusive, evolving, and informal working environment. DTU has campuses in all parts of Denmark and in Greenland, and we collaborate with the best universities around the world.