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ITN Marie Curie PhD scholarship in Digital Production of Hearing Aids’ Earmoulds/Domes


Department of Mechanical Engineering

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About the Project

The DTU section of Manufacturing Engineering would like to invite highly motivated and talented applicants for a 3-year PhD position dealing with the “Digital production of a Hearing Aids’ Earmoulds/Domes”. The Section for Manufacturing Engineering performs theoretical, numerical, and experimental research in the field of manufacturing engineering. It covers a wide range of manufacturing processes and modelling approaches, metrology at all scales, micro/nano manufacturing, and additive manufacturing. The PhD project is a part of H2020-MSCA-ITN-2020 (Marie Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training Networks) named SIMPPER funded by European Commission. The SIMPPER network spans 5 EU countries and is a consortium of 5 research-intensive universities, 10 leading manufacturers of important classes of medical products, and Europe’s premier orthopaedics hospital. The ITN SIMPPER focuses on Surface Integrity for Micro/Nano Processing of Polymers with the applications in advanced Medical Devices.

The goal of this PhD project is to develop a novel holistic approach for the design, production and characterization of high performance Earmoulds/Domes for Hearing Aid applications. Earmould/domes are used in Hearing Aids to efficiently funnel the sounds in the ear canal of the individual ear. Earmolds are custom made for the shape of the individual ears where Domes are mass produced components that come in standard sizes and shapes. Earmoulds are used for the severe hearing losses and Domes are good for people with low degree of hearing loss. With the increased market demand of RIC/RITE Hearing Aid models, the use and production of Domes have been drastically increased. However, the Domes provides the compromise between the costs (low) the performance (low). Whereas Earmoulds provides high acoustic performance but they are expensive and suffer aesthetic problem due to the large size. One big problem associated with the state-of-the-art Earmoulds/Domes is the contamination due to the presence of earwax, oil, dirt, etc. and also due to the wear and tear. Therefore, they need time-to-time replacement. Another problems associated with them is retention force and comfort when they are sitting in the ear canals. The Hearing Aid manufacturers need a holistic manufacturing approach that can solve the mentioned problems associated with Earmould/Domes and comply with ongoing digitization of the manufacturing approaches.

The ambition of this project is to develop a digitally driven process for the design and production of Earmoulds/Domes. A digital production and process control method will be established in this project for better acoustic performance, comfort and tactile perception, with sufficient retention force, better aesthetic appearance integrated with anti-contamination and anti-bacterial properties. The surface topography of Earmoulds/Domes can play a vital role to prevent contaminations and to provide sufficient retain force and comfort. With the digitally driven manufacturing approach and with the integration of smart surfaces a single design approach (E-domes) will be established that will provide the benefits of both the Earmoulds and Domes eliminating their shortcomings. However, before this can be realized some fundamental problems with production of functional surface by AM process and materials should be solved and this will form the scientific basis of this PhD project. This project will run in close collaboration among Technical university of Denmark, GN Hearing A/S, Denmark and University of Twente, The Netherlands.

Responsibilities and tasks

In this multidisciplinary research project, you will learn and apply new theoretical and experimental methods for the successful design and production of E-domes and increase the fundamental understanding of the vibroacoustic performance of domes in connections with the choice of materials, manufacturing parameters, surface topographies, etc.

Application

To apply, please read the full job advertisement at www.career.dtu.dk

Application deadline: 14 December 2020


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