View Full Version : PhD Positions at the University of Southampton, United Kingdom

05-18-2007, 12:53 AM
Hi All,

The following is one of four PhD positions currently available in the Bioengineering Science Research Group at the University of Southampton, United Kingdom. Please direct informal enquires to Professor Mark Taylor, or submit your application online using the link provided (full details in the body of the advert). We look forward to receiving your applications!



Andrew New
Bioengineering Science Research Group
School of Engineering Sciences
University of Southampton
SO17 1BJ
United Kingdom
T +44 (0)2380 592899
F +44 (0)2380 593016
E a.m.new@soton.ac.uk


PhD Studentship: Developing new damage models for bone based on local strain assessment

School of Engineering Sciences

Ref: SES-73-30

A PhD studentship is now available within the Bioengineering Research Group, School of Engineering Sciences (SES), which will fully cover University tuition fees (at EU/UK level**) and provide a tax-free bursary of 12,600 per year, rising annually in line with the UK Government (EPSRC) recommended rate, for a three-year duration.

** EU/UK fees 3240 p.a. (subject to increase), overseas fee 13250 p.a. (subject to increase). Overseas applicants will need to find the fees difference of 10,010.

Research in bone diseases like osteoporosis is motivated by immense social and economic impact. The diagnosis of bone fracture risk in individuals is still based solely on bone mineral density (BMD) in most cases. Since diagnostic predictions from BMD alone can carry an error of up to 90%, additional parameters are necessary to reliably diagnose patients at risk. One pathway to provide more information is the simulated mechanical evaluation of trabecular (spongy) bone using finite element analyses on 3D data sets acquired with micro-computed tomography. However, the knowledge of bone matrix material properties of healthy and diseased bone needs to be assessed in order to produce valid damage models and thus an accurate prediction of bone strength. The required key experiments would also fill the gap of knowledge of bone matrix material properties of healthy and diseased bone.

To assess bone matrix material properties we recently devised a method to measure local strains in two dimensions on the surface of single bovine trabeculae, allowing for the correlation of plastic deformation with the local strains in bone. Local strains can even be correlated to microdamage through our recent discovery linking microdamage to the bone whitening effect. The results so far provide a first insight in the local strains involved in plasticity and damage formation. The overall objective of the project is the development of damage models from the performed experiments and comparison of the results to finite element simulations. In particular the project is divided into the three following tasks. 1) Establishing the local strain assessment in the laboratory. For this purpose we have a mechanical testing device (Electroforce 3200, Bose), and a high-speed camera (Ultima 512, Photron). A three point testing rig and a saline bath have to be realized. 2) Performing local strain assessment on single bovine trabeculae and similarly sized rectangular cortical bone samples (bovine, as well as healthy and diseased human bone) cut in different anatomical directions of long bones. 3) Expanding the technique to 3D by adding a second camera in order to assess the behavior of whole mouse bones from two different transgenic mouse strains.

SES is a top 5* rated research school with an international reputation. The successful candidate will work with a group of highly motivated, first class research students in the areas of computational modelling, mechanical testing, non-destructive testing, probabilistic analysis, tissue engineering and biosensors.

The School is a diverse community which is committed to creating an inclusive working and learning environment in which all individuals are equally treated and valued, and can achieve their potential. The School considers all studentship applications in relation to academic criteria and regardless of the individual's race, gender, or belief.

Entry requirements: The studentship is available to candidates with the equivalent of a first class or upper second class degree in relevant disciplines, e.g. mechanical engineering, bioengineering. Programming skills and a knowledge of image processing with LabView and/or Matlab is a plus. The studentship is at the standard EPSRC (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council) rate, commencing on 1st October 2007.

If you wish to discuss any details of the project informally, please contact Professor Mark Taylor, Bioengineering Research Group, School of Engineering Sciences, University of Southampton, SO17 1BJ, Tel: +44-(0)23-8059-7660, Fax: +44-(0)23-8059-3016, Email: m.taylor@soton.ac.uk

How to apply: An on-line application form (or hard copy version) can be accessed from the following site: http://www.soton.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/pgappforms.html .
Please note that applications will only be considered on receipt of a completed application form. If applying on-line, please send supporting documents by email, fax or post to the following address:
Julia Zimbler, Postgraduate Admissions, Graduate School Office, School of Engineering Sciences, Room 5013, Lanchester Building, University of Southampton, Highfield, Southampton, SO17 1BJ, UK.
Tel: +44-(0)23-8059-3389, Fax: +44-(0)23-8059-5167, Email: jfz@soton.ac.uk.
Please include a personal statement (~300 words) stating why you particularly want to do a PhD, why you think you are suited to a research degree and what particularly attracts you to this project.
Please also visit the SES homepage: http://www.soton.ac.uk/ses/ where you can follow links to further information about research groups, research programmes, details of funded opportunities, and studentships.