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FW: PhD Scholarship: Multi-scale Biomechanical Investigations ofthe Intervertebral Disc

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  • FW: PhD Scholarship: Multi-scale Biomechanical Investigations ofthe Intervertebral Disc

    Flinders University, Adelaide, South Australia

    External Closing Date: June 1, 2007

    One Ph.D. scholarship is available to undertake a challenging program of research that combines both analytical (finite element analysis) and experimental techniques to investigate the interactions between the multi-scale, macro- and micro-scopic behaviours of the disc during six degree of freedom motion (under varying conditions of hydration, frequency of loading, tissue/endplate damage etc).

    The annulus fibrosus of the intervertebral disc plays a critical role in providing strength and resilience during six degree of freedom motion, while providing stability to the spinal column. It is not known whether an understanding of the annulus at the microstructural level is required to adequately describe the macroscopic disc behaviour. Recent work has shown that the interlamellar interactions contribute to overall annulus mechanical behaviour, suggesting that some level of microstructural behaviour needs to be quantified.

    Potential collaborations and postdoctoral opportunities may arise with Professor Ian Stokes and Associate Professor James Iatridis at the Departments of Orthopaedics & Rehabilitation, and Mechanical Engineering at the University of Vermont, Burlington, Vermont, USA where extensive work is being undertaken on the development and experimental validation of a three-dimensional finite element poroelastic, chemical and electric (PEACE) model.

    Further information is available from: Dr John Costi, Department of Orthopaedics, School of Medicine, Flinders University, phone +61 8 8275 1751, email

    This scholarship will be available to Australian and International students who have completed at least four years of tertiary education studies at a high level of achievement and have an appropriate Honours 1 or high 2A (or equivalent) undergraduate degree in mechanical/biomedical/civil engineering or related fields; and are enrolling as full-time students; and will commence a Doctorate by research. Experience with finite element analysis would be an advantage.

    Details for International students can be found at The scholarship will not be available to applicants who: are receiving another scholarship or salary to undertake the proposed program; or have already completed a higher degree at the same level as the proposed candidature, or at a higher level; or have previously held a Commonwealth Government funded postgraduate research scholarship unless it was terminated within six months of it being awarded.

    The scholarship will provide an indexed, tax-free stipend ($25,313 pa for full-time study) for up to three years for a Doctorate by research, subject to satisfactory progress. The scholarship offers generous leave provisions and allowances.

    Further information and applications kits are available from the Higher Degree Administration and Scholarships Office.

    * Email address for more information:
    * Download an application form for this scholarship scheme.

    John Costi, BE (hons) Ph.D.

    Biomechanical Engineer/Senior Lecturer

    Department of Orthopaedics

    Division of Surgery

    Repatriation General Hospital & Flinders University

    Daws Road, Daw Park

    Adelaide, South Australia 5041


    Phone: +61 8 8275 1751

    Fax: +61 8 8374 1998