Vacancy No. 40-2020

40-2020-IMT PhD Position on a digital twin for parallel NMR pulse sequences

Job description

Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) uses oscillating magnetic fields and magnetic field gradients in the presence of a powerful static magnetic field in order to interact with nuclear spin, thereby revealing molecular structure and dynamics with exquisite detail. The spectral quality strongly depends on the homogeneity of the magnetic fields which to date has resulted in a highly optimized single sample measurement protocol. There is great potential to increase sample throughput by adapting a parallel measurement protocol taking advantage of arrayed NMR sensors.
The over-arching hypothesis of this project is spectroscopy quality NMR is possible using a dense array of NMR detectors. The objective of this project is to establish, for the first time, a complete digital twin of such a system, enabling the exploration of important design parameters in the digital space. To accomplish this objective, the following tasks will be addressed:

  1. Detector array twin. A complete radiofrequency digital model of the entire detector array will be established. This will enable the prediction of the magnetic field (amplitude and phase as a function of time) at each site as a function of all the individual radiofrequency feeds to individual detectors.
  2. Shim array twin. A complete low frequency digital model of the shim array will be established. This model will reliably predict the net shimmed (i.e. magnetic field correction) spatial profile at each element of the detector array as a function of the shim current time profile (amplitude and phase as a function of time).
  3. Exploration of experimental scenarios. Given the realistic spatio-temporal profiles of these fields at each array coil site, deep-learning assisted optimal control numerical models (e.g. Louiville equation simulations) will be applied to digitally predict and perfect NMR excitation pulse sequences. Experimental scenarios include: spatially resolved RF excitation; simultaneous application of gradient and RF fields in complex NMR pulse sequences; cooperative spatial and temporal resolution accounting for hardware design; NMR signal extraction from densely arrayed detectors with spectroscopic quality; machine-assisted discovery of excitation sequences.
Personal qualification
  • M.Sc. in Mechanical or Electrical Engineering, Physics or equivalent
  • Enthusiastic to work in a multi-disciplinary environment
  • Programming experience is essential, e.g. Python, Matlab
  • Experience in at least two of the following: machine learning, RF electronics, multi-physics simulation (e.g. COMSOL), NMR spectroscopy, optimal control
Organizational unit

Institute of Microstructure Technology (IMT)

Starting date

as soon as possible

Contract duration

limited to 3 years

Application up to


Contact person in line-management

For further information, please contact Dr. Neil MacKinnon, phone +49 721 608 29314, or e-Mail:,,


Please apply online using the button below for this vacancy number 40-2020.
Personnel support is provided by 

Ms Gätcke
phone: +49 721 608-25010,

Hermann-von-Helmholtz-Platz 1, 76344 Eggenstein-Leopoldshafen, Germany

Recognized severely disabled persons will be preferred if they are equally qualified.