This new post-doctoral research position is being funded by the European Union (FP7). You will work in the Institute of Functional Surfaces within the Faculty of Engineering, School of Mechanical Engineering on this exciting project as part of a multidisciplinary team investigating a novel silicon nitride coating for hip replacement components. The knowledge gained will be used to develop new hip implants. This project will involve the prediction of wear using advanced computational models. The project started on 1st May 2013 and you will join a team of established researchers. The post is Fixed Term until 31st March 2018.

This position is funded by a five year Large Scale Integrating Collaborative Project award from the European Union, under the seventh Framework Programme in collaboration with researchers at the University of Uppsala, University of Zurich, Technical University Hamburg, and Imperial College London. The successful applicant will undertake academic research in the field of corrosion and wear modelling of hip joint components and the assessment of the effectiveness of a SixNy coating.
Whilst joint replacements provide substantial benefits, the failure of these devices still occurs too frequently, placing a significant burden on the patient and the adjunct health care system, leading to the conclusion that both their longevity (survivorship) and reliability (early failures) must be improved. Growth in the hip replacement sector, specifically, and the total joints more generally is estimated to be between 2% and 5% per annum over the near term due to the rapid demographic shift. A faster rate of growth has been observed in the revision market, where prosthetic joints are replaced, than in the number of primary interventions. The major cause of these revisions, limiting the average lifetime of an articulating joint, is that all joint replacements are prone to wear at articulating and, with increasing recognition, non-articulating interfaces. Here, pain and loosening associated with debris release are the most significant challenges to long-term performance leading to revision surgery and impairment in the quality of life of the patient. The reactions to the particulate debris from the different materials used in joint replacements vary, but ultimately these reactions are often involved in the failure of THR (total hip replacement) devices. Wear-associated ion and nanoparticle release is a direct consequence of surface wear and tribocorrosion. It is predicted that the application of a novel Silicon Nitride (SixNy) coating against SiN counterfaces will reduce or eliminate the production of such particles (through wear) and ions leading to reduced adverse biological responses and enhanced biocompatibility of these devices. The aim of the project is to develop joint prostheses that (1) have extended lifetimes within younger patients and (2) improve reliability across all patient groups.

Main Duties and Responsibilities
You will be involved in the development of computational analysis to assess wear and corrosion mimicking those found in vivo. In addition, you will develop an understanding of the role of wear and corrosion in overall hip joint degradation and assess the mechanisms by which a coating can reduce degradation rates.

The full list of duties is available at the website link together with the person specification essentials and desirables. Candidates will only be considered if they apply through the University on-line job system.