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PhD Studentship in Computational Biomechanics funded by DePuyOrthoapedics available at the University of Southampton, UK

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  • PhD Studentship in Computational Biomechanics funded by DePuyOrthoapedics available at the University of Southampton, UK

    PHD STUDENTSHIP: Development of a Mechanistic Wear Model for Analysing the Performance of Total Knee Replacement University of Southampton, UK (Funded by DePuy Orthopaedics)

    National Centre for Advanced Tribology at Southampton (nCATS) &
    Bioengineering Sciences Research Group
    School of Engineering Sciences, University of Southampton, UK

    Ref: SES-73-084

    Closing date for applications: 10 January 2010
    Starting date: from 1 February 2010

    A PhD studentship is available from February 2010 in the national Centre for Advanced Tribology at Southampton (nCATS) and Bioengineering Sciences Research Group, School of Engineering Sciences (SES), which fully covers University tuition fees (at EU/UK level only**) and provides a tax-free bursary of £12,940 per year, rising annually (each October) in line with the UK Government (EPSRC) recommended rate, for a 3-year duration.
    **EU/UK fees £3300 p.a., overseas fee £13,480 p.a. (all figures subject to increase).
    Note for overseas applicants: There is NO additional funding available for overseas fees, so you will be required to provide funding from other sources to pay the fees difference (£10,180 for 2009/10). If you are not able to fund the fees difference, then it will not be possible to consider your application.

    Wear of polyethylene is the limiting factor influencing the longevity of total knee replacement (TKR). Currently wear of TKR designs is assessed through experimental tests, but these are expensive, time consuming and as a consequence are only able to assess a limited range of activities. Recently, computational tools have been developed to simulate wear and the initial results look promising. These fast and efficient tools provide greater flexibility and allow a more rigorous analysis of the wear potential for new implant designs. However, the wear model used in the computational studies is relatively simple, based around an adaptation of a wear algorithm which does not adequately capture the physics of the wear process.
    The aim of this project is to develop a mechanistic model of the wear process and to validate this against experimental data from pin-on-disk machines through to knee wear machines.

    The project will involve a close interaction with the sponsoring company (DePuy Orthopaedics), the Schools of Mathematics, Engineering Sciences and Chemistry and therefore a multi-disciplinary approach to this research will be essential.

    Wear, biomechanics, total knee replacement, multi-scale, continuum mechanics, nanomechanics, tribology, modelling, finite element methods, pin on disc

    Candidates will have a first class or upper second class degree (or its equivalent) in relevant disciplines, e.g. mechanical engineering, biomechanics, applied mathematics, physics.

    The ideal candidate will have a background/interest in continuum mechanics, biomechanics, applied mathematics, mathematical and computational modelling techniques, particularly finite element methods (structural/multiphysics), multi-body dynamics.
    Ability to program (C, Fortran, Matlab or Python) and experience in a finite element application such as ABAQUS, COMSOL, ANSYS or MARC and/or mathematics packages such as Mathematica, Maple or Matlab would be a definite advantage but IS NOT ESSENTIAL as training will be provided.

    The successful candidate will work with a group of highly motivated, first class research students in the areas of biomechanics, bioengineering, material science, tribology and computational engineering.

    The School of Engineering Sciences at the University of Southampton has an international reputation for research excellence. In the 2008 UK Research Assessment Exercise, the School (in collaboration with the Institute of Sound & Vibration Research) ranked second in the total number of Unit 28 academics whose research was deemed world leading or internationally excellent.

    The School of Engineering Sciences is among the top 3 engineering schools in the UK.

    The national Centre for Advanced Tribology at Southampton (nCATS) has recently been created from a £10M initiative, funded by EPSRC, to prepare the next generation of engineers to underpin tribology in the UK ( nCATS will exploit strong interdisciplinary collaborations across the University (marine biology, chemistry, electrochemistry, mechanical engineering, medicine, statistics, applied mathematics and electronics) to develop smart / multifunctional surfaces and predictive tools for advanced tribological interactions.
    A strategic research alliance with over 25 leading international industry partners is also in place to explore the critical tribological design issues and enable surface interactions to occur with minimal energy loss and impact on the environment.
    The Centre has a recently refurbished state-of-the-art laboratory with currently 8 academics, 10 post-doctoral and 14 PhD researchers supported by a lab technician.

    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, nationality, gender, or belief.

    The studentship is at the standard EPSRC (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council) rate, commencing as soon as possible.

    Closing date for applications: 10 January 2010

    If you wish to discuss any details of the project informally, please contact Dr. Georges Limbert, nCATS & Bioengineering Science Research Group, Email:, Tel: +44 (0) 2380 59 2381.

    How to apply: An on-line application form (or hard copy version) with guidance notes can be accessed here:

    Please read the notes carefully before applying. Applications will only be considered on receipt of a completed application form.

    Please send supporting documents by email. If you are unable to send them by email, please send by 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.
    Email:, Fax: +44 (0) 2380 59 5167.

    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: for further information about research groups, research programmes, details of funded opportunities, and studentships.