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/Job opportunities/Student project: Acoustic probing for fruit firmness

Student project: Acoustic probing for fruit firmness

Research & development - Wageningen | More than two weeks ago

Student project: Acoustic probing for fruit firmness

The goal of this project is to combine non-contact ultrasound probing with data analysis/machine learning to determine fruit firmness.

OnePlanet Research Center
Innovation center for chip and digital technology in Food, Agro and Health
OnePlanet Research Center is a multidisciplinary collaboration between Wageningen University & Research (WUR), Radboud University, Radboudumc and imec. We use the latest chip and digital technology to create a society in which everyone can live a healthy life and has access to healthy and sustainable food. We initiate fundamental and applied research, groundbreaking innovations and smart product applications.

What you will do

In this project we would like to set up non-contact ultrasound probing for the non-destructive assessment of fruit firmness. Fruit firmness is currently measured by a simple analysis of the acoustic response to contact excitation, i.e. ‘hitting’ or ‘tapping’ the fruit. For the case of e.g. apples, literature shows that the non-contact acoustic reflection can also be used to predict fruit firmness by careful selection of measurement parameters to correct for the distance-dependent dampening effect of air on the acoustic wave.  

The student will perform ultrasound measurements in both air and water as a medium and is responsible for implementing suitable prediction models (multiple linear regression, principle component analysis, artificial neural network) to determine fruit firmness.  Depending on the duration of the assignment, the student will additionally investigate the feasibility of sensor data fusion to determine fruit freshness, combining data from both acoustic and microwave probing.

Your tasks:

  • Realize a setup for (non-contact) probing of fruit.
  • Performing acoustic measurements and reference measurements.
  • Implement a prediction model for fruit firmness for both air and water as a medium.
  • Extended task: Setup sensor data fusion approach to combine acoustic and microwave probe data. 

Who you are

  • Bsc or Msc in Applied Physics/Electrical Engineering.
  • Available for 9-12 months.
  • Affinity for hands-on approach.
  • Experience with Matlab or python is required.
  • Experience with advanced data analysis or machine learning approaches is required.
  • Experience with Comsol or other finite element software is an advantage.
  • Good written and verbal English skills, ability to perform literature study. 


Click on ‘apply’ to submit your application. You will then be redirected to e-recruiting.

Please be advised that non-EU/EEA country students that are studying outside of the Netherlands, need to have a work-permit to be able to do an internship in the Netherlands.