December 2012
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December 2005
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March 2010
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December 2007

Four year Ph.D. scholarship

Prediction of the vibroacoustic behavior of a human head coupled with an earplug using the finite element method (pdf)

A 48 months Ph.D. funding (19000$ annual) is offered. There are possibilities to complement the amount
of the scholarship by additional application for ETS excellence scholarships. The candidate will be
registered at Ecole de Technologie Supérieure de Montréal and will do his(her) Ph.D. at ICAR laboratory
(http://icar.etsmtl.ca/) and LIO (Imaging and orthopaedics research laboratory
https://www.etsmtl.ca/Unites-de-recherche/lio/accueil). He(she) will be cosupervised by Dr Franck
Sgard, associate professor at ETS and by Pr J. De Guise and Pr Éric Wagnac (ETS). A beginning of the phD
at the beginning of 2017 would be optimal.


One of the reasons for which hearing protectors devices (HPD) are not completely efficient at protecting
from noisy environments is because of the auditory discomfort they induce. This discomfort may lead
the individual to not wear his HPD correctly or remove it. The auditory discomfort is influenced by the
value of the sound pressure in the ear canal. To reduce it efficiently, a numerical finite element model of
a human head including the full hearing system and the cranium allowing for simulating the propagation
of elasto-acoustic waves created by a noisy environment or a mechanical source and assessing this ear
canal sound pressure is needed. The objective of this Ph.D. is to develop, validate and exploit a numerical
vibroacoustic model (VM) of a human subject head coupled with a custom earplug with known physical
properties. The candidate will first reconstruct a realistic geometrical 3D model of the head coupled with
an earplug using medical images. With the Imaging and orthopaedics research laboratory (LIO) team
support, the candidate will be in charge of developing methods to reconstruct in 3D the relevant
anatomical structures (ex cranium, human ear). A finite element model of the elasto-acoustic waves in
the reconstructed 3D geometry will then be built using a commercial software. The head/earplug system
VM will be validated and calibrated step by step by creating experimental anatomical phantoms of
increasing complexity that will be manufactured using representative average synthetic biomaterials
with the help of a specialized company. The validation will be carried out by comparing the simulation
results and measurement data on the open and occluded ear for acoustic and mechanical excitation. The
VM will then be calibrated with respect to the human subject whose head has been scanned. Finally,
this VM will be exploited via a sensitivity analysis in order to study the sound transmission mechanisms
through the head/earplug system.

Candidate profile

This project includes both modeling and experimental aspects. The candidate must detain the equivalent
of a master’s degree in acoustics, in mechanical engineering or in physics. He must have a background in
acoustics, computed aided design (CAE and CAD), measurements, Matlab and/or C++ programming skills
and know the finite element method. Skills in image analysis and processing as well as a knowledge of
human anatomy would be a plus.

Contact : Send a CV and a letter of motivation to Franck Sgard (Franck.Sgard@etsmtl.ca)