research programme


research programme

OBERON has assembled an international, interdisciplinary and intersectoral European consortium of carefully selected partners with complementary expertise and skills in optics or biomechanical research, as well as in training.

OBERON has a total duration of 48 months and trains 15 ESRs with research topics ranging from ocular refraction and biomechanics, optical modelling, and various applications in both the diagnosis and treatment of various pathologies.

The project relies on network-wide collaboration and secondments between 8 beneficiaries (B1-8), 7 university groups with excellent publication and training records and 1 fully integrated industry/SME, and 4 partners (2 academic hospitals, 2 industry/SME; P1-4), spanning 8 European countries (United Kingdom, Belgium, Portugal, Switzerland, Spain, Poland, the Netherlands, and France).

OBERON is overseen by a group of four experienced coordinators, each leading an elected topical board for the daily management of the Consortium.

Together the Consortium members have a longstanding and complementary expertise in ocular biomechanics and Finite Element Modelling, optical design, eye modelling, clinical studies, intraocular lenses, and PhD training, ensuring the maximum chance of a successful realization of the scientific and training goals of the project.

Together, the projects are also highly interdisciplinary, combining aspects of physics, optometry, mathematics, computer science, clinical science, science communication, and product development.


ABOUT USResearch goals


WP 1
Basic research
– Ocular biomechanics

As the technology to assess ocular biomechanics in vivo is fairly recent, there are still many fundamental aspects of this field that are poorly understood. This WP aims to fill in the most important knowledge gaps on the relationship between material stiffness and geometry of the eye structures that need to be addressed to assist in the development of the opto-biomechanical eye model (WP 3).

WP 2
Basic research
– Crystaline lens optics

Although the optical properties of the eye have been analysed for many years, the optics of the crystalline lens has been insufficiently studied due to a lack of suitable techniques. This WP therefore aims to study the lens’ optical properties in great detail using new measurement techniques and calculation methods.

WP 3
Eye modelling

This WP aims to develop new optical and opto-biomechanical eye models for virtual clinical testing of novel clinical and industrial
applications based on new experiments, the results of the previous WPs and the literature.

WP 4
Basic research
– Application development

Develop new clinical applications based on new experiments, the results of the previous WPs and the literature.

WP 5
Individual training
through research

The individual training of each ESR is at the core of OBERON goals, which begins by presenting them with cutting-edge research projects, supervised by scientists well-known in their respective fields (Table 3).
The research topics were selected in discussion with all Consortium partners to ensure mutual complementarity and compatibility between all research projects, while simultaneously avoiding excessive overlap, to accomplish the overall research and valorisation goals of OBERON.
Besides a Supervisor, each ESR also has a Co-supervisor from another institution to help reinforce the training of the ESRs, as well as the connections between Beneficiaries. Together the doctoral and secondment Supervisors will offer:

A solid scientific training that allows to conduct independent research in all areas of visual science, including project conception, to data collection and analysis, publication and technology transfer (regulations, patent examination and patent writing).
Skills to communicate research results to the scientific community but also to the general public.
Skills to better manage their career development in aspects such as ethics in research and innovation context, employability, entrepreneurship, decision making and time management, among others.
The large, networked context of OBERON also provides the ESRs with a broad external support base in addition to their supervisors, consisting of experts in physics, optics, biomechanics, statistics, and ophthalmology. This forms a natural base to develop their professional network, which is a major advantage over other students that receive the more common, single-centre training. ESRs are also expected to present their work at a minimum of two international scientific conferences, other than those organised within OBERON, and to disseminate their work to non-expert audiences once a year in an outreach event.
To successfully conclude the project all ESRs must have obtained their PhD degree while acquiring a set of unique skills in the process, optimally positioning them to apply for positions at leading research institutions in vision science.