BBSRC Research fellow - skull biomechanics

Medical and Biological Engineering Research Group

This post is to support a BBSRC-funded project between the University of Hull, University College London and the University of Aberdeen, concerned with understanding the role of soft tissue structures in skull biomechanics.

Investigations into cranial biomechanics and the form and function of skulls has thus far focussed predominantly on the bone - its response to stresses generated in feeding and its role in the protection of the soft cranial contents. However, soft tissues such as the brain and eyes develop first, becoming enclosed by fibrous capsules (e.g. periosteum, dura) within which the skeletal units ultimately develop and are maintained and shaped. This close integration of hard and soft tissues is understood by craniofacial clinicians, but has received little attention in other studies. Our aim is to clarify and quantify the role played by apparently inert cranial soft tissues in skull biomechanics and to determine their relative significance in the frame-like reptile skull versus the shell-like skull of mammals.

The successful applicant will have a first class or 2:1 degree in mechanical engineering or similar, together with a PhD in a relevant bioengineering or biomechanics field. S/he must have significant experience of finite element analysis and ideally multibody dynamics analysis. Experience of modelling skulls would be an advantage, but is not essential. S/he will work closely with a second researcher based at UCL who will have responsibility for providing the necessary quantitative anatomy for the computer models.

This is a fixed term position for 36 months, ideally starting no later than 1 July 2015.

For more information see: and vacancies

To discuss this role informally, please contact Professor Michael J Fagan (

Closing date: 31 January 2015
Interviews: Week commencing Monday 9 February 2015