PhD studentship at Insigneo Institute (University of Sheffield):

A stochastic finite-element model for predicting changes in bone strength

Closing date 22/09/2019

Employer: The University of Sheffield (Department of Mechanical Engineering)

Location: Sheffield, UK

Description

Are you a bright, enthusiastic and self-motivated student interested in a PhD in biomechanics? An exciting multidisciplinary PhD opportunity is now available at the Insigneo Institute for in silico Medicine at the University of Sheffield, UK.

Pharmacological interventions that target improvement in bone strength typically seek to improve bone morphology (geometry). Yet, a model to predict change in strength, given knowledge of bone morphology changes, has not received much attention. The recently awarded project MultiSim2 (supported by the EPSRC, UK) will engage with this ageing-related challenge.

Changes in tibia geometry appear at distinct scales (doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0219404)

Previously in MultiSim, in vivo micro-computed tomography enabled quantification of bone geometry changes in small animals (e.g. mice) with unprecedented spatial and temporal detail. The PhD student will use this information to:

  • Capture bone geometry changes driven by cellular processes using Gaussian Process emulators;
  • Implement a stochastic finite-element (sFE) model to predict bone strength changes in response to emulator parameters;
  • Analyse the global sensitivity and uncertainty propagation of the sFE model.

The expected start date for this project is December 2019.

About the University of Sheffield
The University of Sheffield is a Russell Group university, which represents the 24 leading UK universities committed to maintaining outstanding research and teaching environments. The University of Sheffield regularly ranks among the top 10 in the UK in terms of research output. In addition to having a long tradition of world-class engineering research, Sheffield benefits from geographical proximity to the industrial cities of Manchester, Liverpool and Leeds.

The ambition of the Insigneo Institute is to achieve a transformational impact on healthcare. As such, it possesses extensive experience in the development of computer simulations aimed at better understanding of the biomechanics of the musculoskeletal system. This project will be co-supervised by Dr Pinaki Bhattacharya, Dr Enrico Dall’Ara and Prof Visakan Kadirkamanathan. It will benefit as well from the multidisciplinarity of MultiSim2 research.

Candidate Profile
The successful candidate should have or be expected to obtain an excellent degree in mechanical engineering, bioengineering, computer science, physics, applied mathematics or a related discipline. Experience in finite-element analysis and in programming languages (e.g. C, C++, Matlab, Python) are essential. Exposure to high-performance computing is desirable.

Funding and Duration
A 3.5 year studentship, co-funded by the Departments of Mechanical Engineering, Oncology and Metabolism and Automatic Control and Systems Engineering, is available for UK and EU applicants. The studentship covers the cost of tuition fees and provides an annual tax-free stipend at the standard UK research rate.

How to apply?

To apply please use our standard on-line PhD application form and indicate on your form that you are replying to this advert or email me-pgadmit@sheffield.ac.uk for further guidance on applying.

Contact details

For further information about this project, please contact Dr Pinaki BhattacharyaDr Enrico Dall’Ara or Prof. Visakan Kadirkamanathan with “BONEsFE PhD studentship” in the title.