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Job ID: 235897

Post-Doctoral Research Fellow position in Engineering for research for Surgical Robotics Grant
Vanderbilt University

Date Posted May 9, 2024
Title Post-Doctoral Research Fellow position in Engineering for research for Surgical Robotics Grant
University Vanderbilt University
Nashville, TN, United States
Department Mechanical Engineering
Application Deadline Open until filled
Position Start Date Jul. 1, 2024
  • Post-Doc
  • Robotics
    Mechanical Engineering
    Human Factors Engineering/Ergonomics
    Engineering Mechanics
    Engineering - Other

Dr. Robert Webster’s Medical Engineering and Discovery Laboratory (MED lab) focuses on surgical robotics and on other devices to make surgery less invasive and more accurate. The MED Lab is a place where doctors and engineers work side by side to create new lifesaving medical technologies led by Vanderbilt University. This typically begins with a focus on the clinical problem first, and then work with surgeon collaborators to determine the best devices and theoretical approaches to solve it.

The Mechanical Engineering department provides a broad-based engineering education with opportunities for students to elect courses in areas of study related to any industry and, with careful planning achieve some specialization. The mechanical engineering program prepares an individual to become a practicing engineer who can participate fully in the engineering activities of design, building, operation, production, maintenance, safety, marketing, sales, research, and administration. Numerous research projects allow faculty and students to collaborate in areas of combustion and propulsion, robotic surgery, powered prosthetics, nanotechnology, thermal fluids and medical devices.

Desired Qualifications: Specific responsibilities include automating suturing with a minimally invasive surgical robotic system. The robotic system is a cutting-edge transendoscopic surgical robot that consists of two concentric tube robot arms used to manipulate tissue and equipment to conduct the surgery. The automation methodology will take inputs from various perception sources (endoscope camera, ultrasound, and etc.) throughout the operation and is expected to adopt to the changes in the surgical scene. Subsequently, the suturing automation will be integrated with other automated surgical tasks to ultimately conduct entire surgeries autonomously. The candidate will be responsible for implementing the suturing automation and its integration with other surgical tasks. The candidate will also work with Prof. Robert Webster to mentor graduate students on this project and work with the multi-institutional team to meet regular milestones.

The prospective candidate should have a background in surgical robotics, continuum robots, and control. They should hold a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Computer Science, or related disciplines.

The following skills are required:

  • Experience with real-time control architectures for robots
  • Strong time management skills to ensure each component of the project is progressing on track to meet deadlines
  • Team management and ability to collaborate both at Vanderbilt and with partner institutions
  • Ability to mentor graduate students
  • Proficiency in Python and C++
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills
  • Strong publication record in robot control and surgical robotics

The following skills are highly desired:

  • Experience working with surgical robots
  • Proficiency in ROS

The appointment starts in July 2024 and is expected to continue for three years, with a possible promotion to research assistant professor in year three, contingent on the availability of funds and mutual agreement.

  • At Vanderbilt University, we are intentional about and assume accountability for fostering advancement and respect for equity, diversity, and inclusion for all students, faculty, and staff. Our commitment to diversity makes us who we are.  We have created a community that celebrates differences and lets individuality thrive. As part of this commitment, we actively value diversity in our workplace and learning environments as we seek to take advantage of the rich backgrounds and abilities of everyone. The diverse voices of Vanderbilt represent an invaluable resource for the University in its efforts to fulfill its mission and strive to be an example of excellence in higher education. 

    Vanderbilt University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, or status as a protected veteran, or any other characteristic protected by law. 

    Please note, all candidates selected for an offer of employment are subject to pre-employment background checks, which may include but are not limited to, based on the role for which they have been selected: criminal history, education verification, social media review, motor vehicle records, credit history, and professional license verification.

Please reference in your cover letter when
applying for or inquiring about this job announcement.

Contact Information

  • Robert Webster
    Mechanical Engineering
    Vanderbilt University
    2400 Highland Ave
    Nashville, TN 37203
  • (615) 322-0193


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