View Full Version : PhD position in musculoskeletal biomechanics

11-14-2008, 08:09 AM
School of Human & Life Sciences, Roehampton University

PhD Position in Musculoskeletal Biomechanics:
Does physical activity affect the risk of vertebral fractures in older
adults with osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis is a major public health problem which affects the lives of a
considerable number of older adults. It may be associated with poor balance
leading to an increase in the likelihood of falls during everyday physical
activities. The consequence of falling can be very serious, leading to
painful fractures, increased mortality and reduced quality of life.
Fractures can also occur without falling or any incidence of trauma.
High-magnitude loading may place frail bones at risk of fracture, and it is
possible that the bone may fail with repetitive loadings during physical
activities without being noticed or diagnosed. Currently we do not have
sufficient information about the dynamic stability of the osteoporotic
spine, and the loads and motions imposed on the already weakened spine
during various physical activities such as walking and turning. The purpose
of this PhD project will be to address these issues and to examine how bone
mineral density may affect spinal stability and load transmission.

The School of Human and Life Sciences is based in Whitelands College,
located in stunning parkland on the edge of Richmond Park, South-West
London. This PhD project will involve optical motion analysis (Vicon) and
the use of inertial sensors (3D accelerometers) to study spinal stability
and load transmission. The School has state-of-art research and computing
facilities and all the required resources to support the work. It has a
thriving research community, and you will be an active member of a research
team fully committed to academic excellence in musculoskeletal biomechanicsThe team has a strong record of research in ageing and spine studies and
biomechanical analysis of physical activities such as turning. This
exceptional expertise, together with a team of dedicated technical staff,
will provide the best support and learning experience for the research

Research student bursaries are for three years, subject to annual review of
student progress and successful upgrading from MPhil to PhD. The current
bursary rate is 14,940 per year (tax free). For students holding such
bursaries, fees at the equivalent of full Home/EU rates are paid by the
School, and in return students are expected to contribute up to 6 hours a
week teaching or other assistance. Applicants for whom Overseas fees would
be payable are welcome; if successful, they would be responsible for paying
the difference between Home/EU fees and the Overseas rate.

The successful applicant is expected to hold a first class (or at least 2A)
BSc degree, or MSc degree in biomedical, mechanical or electronic
engineering, biomechanics, medicine, health or sport sciences, or an
appropriate field. The applicant should be mathematically competent and have
some experience of data acquisition and signal processing. Applicants with
either physical or life science background are welcome. Due to the
interdisciplinary nature of the project, a PhD candidate with physical or
engineering science background may be required to undertake training in
anatomy and physiology, and one with life science background may require
training in engineering mechanics.

This PhD project will be jointly supervised by Professor Raymond Lee
(r.lee@roehampton.ac.uk), Professor of Biomechanics, and Dr Siobhan Strike,
Senior Lecturer (s.strike@roehampton.ac.uk). Please feel free to contact
them if you require further information about the PhD position.

If you would like to apply for the PhD position, please visit

Please download the "initial application form" for MPhil/PhD and send the
following documents to Didier Rochard, University Research Office, Lawrence
House, Roehampton University, Roehampton Lane, London SW15 5PU.
- the completed application form (please note that applicants do not need to
complete section 11)
- curriculum vitae
- covering letter explaining what expertise and experience you would bring
to your project

Deadline for application: 9th January 2009

Interviews will be held in the Whitelands campus on 28th January 2009 (pm).

Raymond Lee PhD
Professor of Biomechanics
Roehampton University, London
+44 (0)20 8392 3539

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