TU Eindhoven

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Originele vacaturetekst

PhD in Subjective Qualities in Mathematical Modeling for Value Based Healthcare


The Eindhoven MedTech Innovation Center (e/MTIC) is a public-private partnership that aims to create a fast track to high-tech-health innovations in the cardiovascular, perinatal and sleep fields. It combines an academic partner (TU Eindhoven) with 3 semi-academic hospitals (Catharina Hospital, Maxima Medical Center, Kempenhaeghe) and an industrial partner (Philips).

This specific PhD project aims at advancing patient and staff experience across these domains, starting with a focus on perinatal care. Patient and staff experience are two important drivers towards the implementation of Value Based Healthcare. Value Based Healthcare is a healthcare delivery model in which providers, including hospitals and physicians, are paid based on patient health outcomes. The focus is on delivering higher value of care, rather than volume. Within the Value Based Healthcare model patient and staff experience are heavily emphasized and listed as two main contributors to improving health outcomes overall.

This PhD position is at the department of Industrial Design. The department of Industrial Design is one of the nine departments of the Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e). Research at the department is focused on two areas or thematic clusters: Systemic Change and Future Everyday. The Future Everyday (this position) cluster investigates the everyday interactions between individual people and the highly interconnected technology that surrounds them. Researchers measure, model and design for the user experience when individuals interact with social-technological networks in their homes, work places, in transit, while doing sports or going out.

This position is part of the collaboration between the TU/e departments of Industrial Design, Mathematics & Computer Science and Philips Experience Design, especially the Data Enabled Design team. This team is a group of data designers with expertise on data visualization, user experience research and prototyping with/around data and AI. The candidate will have the opportunity to work with experts and will be embedded in projects around perinatal care and later also in cardiology and potentially oncology. The Data Enabled Design team is part of global 500+-design community and working on both business and research driven projects.

The successful PhD Candidate will be embedded in the Future Everyday Group and work under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Stephan Wensveen. Due to the technical and mathematical nature of the position, a second supervisor, prof. dr. Edwin van den Heuvel, will be at the department of Mathematics and Computer Science. The candidate will work in close cooperation and coordination with Philips Experience Design.

Subjective qualities in mathematical modeling for Value Based Healthcare

Data and AI enabled solutions will have an important role in making healthcare more accessible and affordable. Especially in areas of care where there is a functional and objective task to be performed, such as in diagnosing cancer, we have made great steps forward. However, humans are emotional and social creatures; machines are not. And in the health technology environment we need to still address the challenge of building AI that performs an experiential or subjective task. For example, is it possible to build an algorithm that encourages someone who is overweight to make lifestyle changes? Or, how can AI help a clinician to work out which type of treatment fits the personal life of the patient in front of her?

To answer these challenges, we believe designers have to be able to (1) use real life data to frame the design concept, (2) develop models and algorithms for individual health improvements (3) model the intelligence and build the solutions, (4) strengthen the intelligence through the interaction. Therefore, we must advance our capability and investigate how we mathematically model for these experiential and subjective attributes.

In this position you will have the opportunity to investigate and deliver such mathematical models and implement them in real life cases with the aim to deliver more personalized and precise health care. The challenge is twofold. One, how to build these models and algorithms as part of the solutions, so the solution can learn and evolve along with the user? And two, how can we model for patient and staff experience so we can measure and predict its impact on health outcomes? Your research will be at the cutting edge of what design can do and potentially build the fundament for new capability development in design practice.


We are looking for candidates that meet the following requirements:

  • a solid background in Mathematics, Computer Science or Data Science.
  • a strong interest in (the development of ) data driven methods and algorithms.
  • able to show affinity or experience in the creative or design environment and in health care.
  • good communication skills in English, both in speaking and in writing.
  • interest and ability to work in a multi-disciplinary environment, and explorative context.
  • being enthusiastic about working on the changing use cases.
  • experience in research and a publication record will be considered additional advantages.

We offer:

  • a challenging job in a dynamic and ambitious university as part of a strong public/private partnership;
  • opportunity to work directly with clinical sites.
  • a full-time employment for four years, with an intermediate evaluation after one year.
  • to support you during your PhD and to prepare you for the rest of your career, you will have free access to a personal development program for PhD students (PROOF program).
  • a gross monthly salary and benefits in accordance with the Collective Labor Agreement for Dutch Universities.
  • additionally, an annual holiday allowance of 8% of the yearly salary, plus a year-end allowance of 8.3% of the annual salary.
  • a broad package of fringe benefits, including an excellent technical infrastructure, moving expenses, and savings schemes.
  • family-friendly initiatives are in place, such as an international spouse program, and excellent on-campus children day care and sports facilities.
  • the PhD candidates will be working partly at the TU/e Industrial Design and at Philips Experience Design both in Eindhoven. The start of the project will be mostly within the Data-Enabled Design group.
Informatie en sollicitatie

More information

Do you recognize yourself in this profile and would you like to know more? Please contact prof.dr. Stephan Wensveen, s.a.g.wensveen[at]tue.nl

For information about the recruitment and selection procedure and terms of employment, please contact HR Services Industrial Design (e-mail: HR-IndustrialDesign[at]tue.nl ).

More information about the Department of Industrial Design can be found at https://www.tue.nl/en/university/departments/industrial-design/. Please visit www.tue.nl/jobs to find out more about working at TU/e!


We invite you to submit a complete application by using the 'apply now'-button on this page. The application should include a:

  • Cover letter in which you describe your motivation and qualifications for the position.
  • Curriculum vitae, including a list of your publications and the contact information of three references.
  • Brief description of your MSc thesis.

Your application will be shared with the complete selection committee which includes external members (Philips). By applying you agree that your application will be shared.

We look forward to your application and will screen it as soon as we have received it. Screening will continue until the position has been filled.

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