Flat panel field-emitter source array for low-dose 3-D Medical Imaging by Digital Tomosynthesis

We are looking for a talented, motivated and self-directed graduate in the Physical Sciences or Engineering interested in pursuing a 4-year PhD at the University of Edinburgh. The PhD is in association with Adaptix, an award-winning medical technology company with sites in Oxford and Scotland.

A prestigious studentship is available, funded by the Royal Society and Adaptix. It is linked to a Royal Society Industry Fellow at Adaptix and its purpose is to develop a uniform array of high-flux field emitters for X-ray medical imaging. The research project will require the student to acquire a broad range of background knowledge to communicate and collaborate effectively across disciplines. The successful applicant will develop deep technical knowledge of silicon micromachining and device microfabrication in a semiconductor-grade cleanroom setting. They will also be involved in process transfer from an R&D environment to manufacturing. These skills are highly valued for future career prospects. The student will develop cutting edge technology which will revolutionise healthcare options for millions and help Adaptix to disrupt the medical imaging industry.

Your scientific curiosity and inventiveness will be exercised daily. You will register for a full-time PhD at the University of Edinburgh (UoE), and will be supervised jointly by academic and industry supervisors (respectively Prof. Ian Underwood, School of Engineering and Dr. Aquila Mavalankar, Adaptix Ltd). Unusually, the 4-year project will be carried out on several sites, with the first two years focussed on training and process development in the Scottish Microelectronics Centre at the UoE, then the final two years on process transfer, optimisation and deployment with the Adaptix R&D team at the Science and Technology Facilities Campus in Oxfordshire. This will give you an unrivalled opportunity to conduct research at a world-class university, and to experience the fast-paced delivery-oriented environment of an ambitious early-stage technology company.

Further Information: 


X-rays are the most common form of medical imaging but the means of producing X-rays has not changed significantly since Roentgen’s pioneering work over a century ago. Adaptix is updating X-ray imaging by improving the way X-rays are generated thus bringing radiology out of the Victorian Age.

Adaptix (https://www.adaptiximaging.com) is creating a solid-state addressable flat-panel X-ray source (FPS) that is safer, lighter, more cost-effective and more capable than existing technology. The FPS is designed to allow 3D image formation by means of tomosynthesis using existing generations of detectors and workstations allowing a system price point similar to that of current 2D systems. For the medical sector this means the availability of​ 3D information with a lower dose and at more affordable price than conventional systems. The company has spent the last five years developing and proving the technology and is now bringing it to market.  

Closing Date: 

Thursday, May 31, 2018
A Scanning Electron Micrograph (SEM) of a single field emitter; A single slice (right) of a human tooth, calculated algorithmically using the prototype Adaptix Digital Tomosynthesis system; Schematic of Adaptix flat panel source being used for a chest scan.
(a) A Scanning Electron Micrograph (SEM) of a single field emitter (electron source). (b) A single slice (right) of a human tooth (top left), calculated algorithmically using the prototype Adaptix Digital Tomosynthesis system. A single 2D image (raw data) is shown for comparison. (c) Schematic of Adaptix flat panel source being used for a chest scan.

Principal Supervisor: 

Assistant Supervisor: 


Minimum entry qualification - an Honours degree at 2:1 or above (or International equivalent) in a relevant science or engineering discipline, possibly supported by an MSc Degree. Further information on English language requirements for EU/Overseas applicants.


Tuition fees and stipend are available for Home/EU students (International students can apply, but the funding only covers the Home/EU fee rate)

Further information and other funding options.

Informal Enquiries: