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PhD in Novel Ophthalmic Ultrasound System Development


   FUSE CDT

  Prof James Windmill, Dr Xin Cao  Thursday, June 30, 2022  Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About the Project

Industrial Partner: Keeler

This project will explore the use of state-of-the-art signal and imaging processing for ophthalmic ultrasound systems. It will develop improved electronics and DSP processes using real-world practical device data. It will also develop computer models of the imaging process in a current ophthalmic ultrasound system. The models will be used to run trial simulations of different image processing techniques. The signal and imaging research work will be tested, and then brought together, through practical experimentation using an ophthalmic ultrasound scanner with phantom eye structures. Experimental characterisation of phantoms will take place in the Centre for Ultrasonic Engineering at Strathclyde. The student will work closely with the industrial partner, Keeler Ltd, spending time at their site. The project will lead to the creation of new signal and image paradigms for ophthalmological ultrasound systems, enhancing their use for a variety of medical ophthalmology applications.

Key Objectives

  1. Investigate state-of-the-art signal and image processing in ultrasound imaging across all sectors.
  2. Develop modelling and simulations of Keeler type ophthalmic ultrasound imaging systems.
  3. Design, model, simulate, test and evaluate new concepts for ophthalmic ultrasonic imaging.

Pre-requisite skills / skills to be learnt during the course of PhD

The student will need a background in general engineering.

The student will require training in the utilisation of signal and image processing, and computer modelling and simulation, as well as the processes required to design, fabricate and acoustically characterise prototype ultrasound devices. In addition to FUSE training, product/company specific training will be provided by the external partner.

Research Outline

The PhD will carry out research into the huge existing body of research work on signal and image processing utilized across the multiple industrial sectors covered by ultrasound imaging and measurement. From this the PhD will concentrate on two themes. First investigating the possibilities for improving transducer to imaging system signal to noise ratio in the scanning probes used in ophthalmic ultrasound imaging. And secondly, investigating routes to improve image and data quality from existing transducer imaging systems, for example utilising coded waveforms. A common point in both themes will be the need to consider the practical industrial requirements for ophthalmic ultrasound imaging, such as the relatively small, cost effective, systems in use, and the constrained expertise that end-users may have. In order to understand the practical requirements, the PhD student will have access to the industrial partner’s imaging equipment. This will allow the student to develop improved electronics and investigate DSP implementations using real-world practical device data. In order to investigate image processing utilising the ophthalmic ultrasound scanner the student will initially develop computer models of the imaging function of this equipment, allowing simulations of different image processing techniques to be run based on real-world setpoints. This will be followed by practical experimentation using an ophthalmic ultrasound scanner with phantom (artificial) eye structures, bringing together the outputs of the two themes of research. The student will not carry out any tests on biological material, but will spend time at the industrial partner to see their testing arrangements. Experimental characterisation of the new imaging solutions will take place within the Strathclyde Centre for Ultrasonic Engineering’s laboratories. The project will be iterative, with new findings feeding directly back into the engineering design process. The final goal of the project is thus to develop new signal and image processing to substantially improve ophthalmic ultrasound imaging.

How to Apply

Applications must be submitted through the University of Glasgow online application system with a cover letter, CV, two references and your transcript/degree certificate. When applying to this project, please insert the project name in to the “proposed thesis title” section and add “Prof Sandy Cochran” as a placeholder supervisor for the application.

Application deadline: 30th April 2022

Please visit our website for further details about the FUSE CDT and how to apply.

For enquiries, please email


Funding Notes

Funding is available to cover tuition fees for UK Home applicants and a stipend at the Research Council rate (£16,062 for 2022/23). To be eligible for a fully-funded Home studentship, you must be:
• a UK citizen (who has been resident in the UK/EEA/Switzerland/Gibraltar for the past three years)
• an EU citizen with ‘settled’ or ‘pre-settled’ status in the UK.
• an applicant with ‘indefinite leave to remain or enter’ the UK
We also accept international applicants that can self-fund or bring external funding to cover their tuition and living costs.

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