PhD Position on neuromuscular and predictive modeling of cycling
PHD
Posted : 24 November 2022
Closes : 1 January 2023
Location : UCD The Rehabilitation Engineering and Robotics laboratory / The Insight Centre for Data Analytics.

The Rehabilitation Engineering and Robotics laboratory at UCD has an opening for an outstanding
individual interested in pursuing a PhD on neuromuscular and predictive modeling of cycling, under the
supervision of Dr. Giacomo Severini. The PhD project is funded by SFI as part of the ReHapt project and
will be run in collaboration with the activities of the Insight Centre for Data Analytics.

Background.

Neuromuscular modelling is useful for estimating unmeasurable physical quantities, such
as muscle and joint forces or the activation of deep muscles, during the execution of different tasks.
Recently, Optimal Control problems applied to neuromuscular models have been used to predict motor
behaviors based on specifically designed goals and constrains. This latter field is commonly referred to
as predictive modelling. Predictive models are used to synthesize movement patterns and the relative
controls when experimental data are not available, basing on high-level specifications, such as achieving
a certain target speed while minimizing metabolic cost by applying optimization principles under
physiological constrains. The aim of this PhD project is that of developing predictive neuromuscular
models of cycling able to predict the changes in muscular activations associated with changes in specific
biomechanical characteristics of the cycling task.
The proposed PhD project aims at increasing our understanding of lower limb control in humans, with
the aim of using this knowledge for developing novel training strategies for impaired individuals. The
PhD position is funded for 4 years and the start date for this position will be as soon as possible after
January 2023.

Who Should Apply.

Applicants should have, or expect to obtain before the beginning of the position, a
first or upper second class honours Masters degree in Computer Science, Electrical, Electronic or
Biomedical Engineering (or a related discipline). Suitable candidates will have a strong interest in
modelling, biomedical engineering and computational neuroscience. Excellent analytical, computer
programming (Matlab, Python, Labview, C/C++…) and communications skills are essential. Self-
motivation, an inquiring mind, ability to work independently are necessary for the position. Previous
experience in neuromuscular modeling is a plus.

Funding.

This position is funded by the Science Foundation Ireland Frontiers for the Future Project
“ReHapt”. Studentship includes a tax-free stipend of €18,500 per year, coverage of tuition fees, funds
for conference travel, and equipment allowance. The student will also have the opportunity to earn
extra income through teaching activities.

How to Apply.

Application to this position can be made by sending an email with subject: “Applying PhD
Position on neuromuscular and predictive modeling of cycling” to giacomo.severini@insight-centre.org Candidates are requested to submit (in pdf format):
– 1 page cover letter detailing relevant experience and motivation behind the application
– CV
– Transcripts (courses with grades)
– Contact of one referee