40 Funded PhD Programs at Loughborough University, England

Are you holding Master’s degree and looking for PhD positions – Fully Funded PhD Programs in Europe? Loughborough University, England inviting application for funded PhD Programs or fully funded PhD Scholarship. Loughborough University is one of the largest university in the world with thousands of employees, students, and research scientists are involved in the innovation of science and technology daily.

Loughborough University has huge a campus in England and widely known as for its contribution in top notch education and research. The contribution of Loughborough University is not only limited to natural sciences and engineering but it also offers high quality research as well as higher education in bio-medical sciences, social sciences, humanities, psychology, education, architecture etc.

1. Applied Bio-principles in Design and Manufacture

Summary of Doctoral Project:

For bio-inspired principles to be validated, physical prototyping and exploration of contemporary manufacturing methods and materials need to be developed and explored. Additive Manufacturing (also known as 3D Printing) offers the opportunity to replicate integrated forms at small scale, such as capillary connectivity for micro-fluidics, surface and edge textures to facilitate fluid flow and aerodynamics, and the use of complex sustainable materials for applications such as soft robotics and self-healing polymers. Invitations are invited from PhD candidates from with a Design Engineering background with creative ideas to focus on exploring and developing effective applications of biomimetic principles for modern manufacturing processes where scale and functionality present substantial challenges. The candidate should have strong CAD skills and an excellent knowledge of materials and integrated technologies for prototyping applications.

Last Application Date: Open Until Filled

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2. An integrated approach for damage identification in composite materials

Summary of Doctoral Project:

Non-destructive inspection based on acoustics is today one the primary methods for the identification of damage precursors in components and structures. Acoustics-based methods are widely used to monitor material states during manufacturing or in operational conditions, however, there is a need for models that would assist in the interpretation of experimental findings. The aim of this project is the identification of damage in composite plates through an integrated experimental-computational approach. To this aim, experimental measurements at the micro- and macro-scale using state-of-the art monitoring techniques (e.g. micro-CT, Digital Image Correlation) will be used to quantify damage states and create inputs for the computational approach. The latter will leverage particle-based and continuum level numerical techniques (peridynamics, XFEM) suitable to study wave propagation in layered materials and simulation of fracture events. Then, damaged regions will be predicted through modelling of ultrasonic testing. Also, the energy release of characteristic fracture types will be quantified, which is crucial to the design of next generation sensing technologies.

Last Application Date: Open Until Filled

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3. AI for Legal Change

Summary of Doctoral Project:

An interconnected world enables us to model the emergence of social synchronisation and using data science, make informed predictions about future law-making. Precursors to significant changes in the law appear in social media discussion, test cases, and government communication. For example, dialogue around the sale and misuse of personal data and algorithmic decision-making foreshadowed a proliferation of privacy regulation and advances towards algorithmic regulation. Social movements have an impact on the law and these forces can be mapped to transformations of public opinion that have historically resulted in law reform. In creating machine-readable AI models of human discussion, sentiment, and relationships the research will address methods of predicting trends in popular opinion and pressures that could have a future impact on legal decision-making.

Last Application Date: 18 September 2022

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4. Advanced thermal management materials for high temperature and power electronics

Summary of Doctoral Project:

Wide-band gap (WBG) semiconductors such as silicon carbide and gallium nitride have excellent switching characteristics and stable functionality at elevated temperatures (i.e. > 350°C), making them a promising IC material for the next-generation high temperature and power devices. In the regime of high power components, the temperature dependence of the long-term reliability is a crucial factor and has placed stringent requirements on thermal management of entire system. In particular, the increasingly intensive thermal loading and power loss experienced during the chip operation requires the die attach to minimise the thermal mismatch between the die (CTE: ca. 2-5 ppm/°C) and the underlying copper-based substrate (CTE: ca. 17 ppm/°C), without compromising its thermal and electrical conduction. This PhD project aims to develop a unique interlayer of various kinds, which is able to bridge the CTE mismatch while maintaining good thermal and electrical property. The manufacturing methods include but are not limited to electrolytic and electroless deposition to enable the functional interlayer structures to close the gap of CTE mismatch between die and substrate.

Last Application Date: Open Until Filled

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5. Advanced radiofrequency materials and dielectric property measurements for satellite antenna applications

Summary of Doctoral Project:

The exceptional student will have the opportunity to work alongside outstanding researchers supporting the EPSRC grant “ANISAT”. The aim of the work is to design non-resonant metamaterials that have anisotropic properties. The challenge is to measure the anisotropy of the relative permittivity. This anisotropy will be used to realise radiofrequency devices and antennas for satellites. The project will include antennas, metamaterials, 3D printing, and RF measurements from 10 GHz up towards 1 THz. The ANISAT project is in collaboration with another UK University and several industrial companies. Please note this is an unfunded position. The student will need to pay their fees and living expenses.

Last Application Date: Open Until Filled

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6. Advanced materials and manufacturing processes for heterogeneous integration of compound semiconductor devices

Summary of Doctoral Project:

Heterogeneous integration of power devices refers to the assembly of separately manufactured power semiconductors, passive components and control elements into a single package, i.e. System in Package (SiP) that, in the aggregate, provides increased functionality, enhanced reliability and reduced cost. The integration of the next generation wide-band gap (WBG) power devices has, nevertheless, been bottlenecked by prevailing manufacturing technologies, which are unlikely to offer a cost-effective way of implementing the necessary 3D structures needed to contain the electromagnetic interference (EMI), address the thermal integration issues and offer a more robust and reliable packaging solution. This PhD project will focus on the development of novel structural embedding methodology and 3D multi-material architecture, using various processing methods such as subtractive lithography, additive manufacturing, patterned deposition (e.g. electrolytic and electroless plating) and precision micro-machining, and with emphasis on the thermal and electrical reliability of the integration system. Successful candidates will join an interdisciplinary team with substantial industrial exposure and academic collaborations in the UK and worldwide, as such they will be able to continue their career in this exiting field delivering future high value added hybrid electronics.

Last Application Date: Open Until Filled

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7. Advanced electron beam sources – 3D printing of metals

Summary of Doctoral Project:

Electron beam technology is a unique technology that enables joining dissimilar and otherwise hard to weld metals with very precise and clean welds while minimizing the heating of the material outside the working area. In recent years, the use of this technology has been extended to additive manufacturing (“3D printing”). Electron beams provide an exciting opportunity to reduce the manufacturing cost and improve the versatility and performance of complex parts made out of advanced materials such as titanium and super-alloys. A current shortcoming of the technology is the short lifetime of conventional thermionic electron sources and their slow thermal response. In this project, you will investigate (experimentally and/or computationally) the use of a plasma cathode instead of thermionic emission as a source of electrons to overcome these limitations. The project builds on an ongoing collaboration with TWI, UK and lies at the interphase of electrical engineering, particle physics, plasma diagnostics and scientific computing.

Last Application Date: Open Until Filled

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8. Advanced CFD methods for porous media flows

Summary of Doctoral Project:

Applications are invited to work on the development of advanced modelling techniques, based on existing novel high resolution, massively parallel schemes applicable to porous-media Simulations can include flows in porous media with the direct pore simulations as well as Darcy flows.There are many applications of porous media modelling, including our research into biomechanical design e.g. 3D printed bones, application and absorption of medications and in a wider context geophysical flow behaviour in reservoirs, relevant to petroleum and water industry. Due to the multidisciplinary character of the work, we anticipate that the student will have to receive training complementing their existing background. Extensive guidance will be provided. The project will also provide opportunities to acquire advanced parallel computing skills. The successful candidate will be expected to work closely with collaborating scientists including our experimental team, industrial partners and numerical experts from the leading international laboratories. The student will be encouraged to engage with the collaborating partners, make presentations at review meetings, and to travel to international conferences and seminars. The research and developments will be multidisciplinary thus offering important transferable skills – an excellent background for diverse career paths.

Last Application Date: Open Until Filled

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9. Advanced antenna arrays for 5G and space

Summary of Doctoral Project:

The overall aim of this project is to design, fabricate and measure novel antenna array structures for advanced 5G and space applications. This could involve metamaterials or reflectarrays. The student will develop, characterise and apply radiofrequency (RF) materials, such as 3D printed materials or ceramics to create novel antenna/metamaterial geometries. The target frequency range is 10 to 60 GHz. The project will also involve signal processing. Please note this project does not have funding currently associated with it. Therefore, students will be expected to cover the costs of their fees and their living expenses.

Last Application Date: Open Until Filled

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10. Addressing unmet clinical needs in the repair and rehabilitation of non-union fractures

Summary of Doctoral Project:

A non-union is a broken bone that fails to heal. These result from both civilian and military injuries and lead to pain, suffering and loss of dignity. Recent study (Geris et al 2010) suggested that mechanical, chemical and biological factors should all be present at the right time and right place in order for fractures to unite successfully. However, the exact mechanisms which disrupt this process, resulting in non-union, are still largely unknown, especially at the micro and tissue levels. Therefore, understanding the regulatory factors and mechanisms that result in ossification and remodelling of the haematoma/callus at different length-scales following a fracture could help to unlock new strategies to treat non-union. It is well known that mechanical stimuli alter the local stress/strain conditions at the fracture site and affect both angiogenesis and osteogenesis. Yet, the underpinning mechanisms which regulate tissue angiogenesis and the subsequent mineralisation process and how these processes interact to promote, or inhibit tissue ossification are still not known.

Last Application Date: Open Until Filled

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11. Additive manufacturing (3D printing) of tools for plastic injection moulding

Summary of Doctoral Project:

This project offers a chance to work on a truly disruptive and innovative research project in the high-tech and high-value manufacturing, with very high potential impact in aerospace and energy sectors. This project runs under a consortium between Loughborough University and a British innovative industrial partner, Photocentric Ltd. Photocentric Ltd is a patent holder in visible light curing technologies, specialising in photopolymerisation and inventors of LCD based 3D printing. Photocentric is an award-winning specialist 3D resin and LCD printer manufacturer based in Cambridgeshire, UK, and Arizona, USA.

Last Application Date: Open Until Filled

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12. A population-based computational modelling framework for prognosis of osteoporosis

Summary of Doctoral Project:

Localised loss of bone at sites of structural importance can increase risk of osteoporotic fracture, whilst changes in the bone underlying articular cartilage (subchondral bone) such as bone marrow lesions precede osteoarthritic change. Previous study has shown that regular exercise may induce localized changes in bone structure which affect bone strength independently of bone mineral content (BMC) which could thus affect risk of osteoporosis or osteoarthritis. However, the scanning techniques used in previous research cannot provide adequate resolution on the microscopic changes of bone morphology caused by mechanical loading, nor it can tell the effect of localized bone adaption on further development of bone marrow lesions and osteoarthritis. This cross-school, multi-disciplinary project is to continue develop our novel experimental technique based on in-vivo High Resolution peripheral Quantitative Computed Tomography (HR-pQCT) and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) in order to evaluate and quantify micromorphological responses of subchondral bone-cartilage interface subject to brief, regular (high-impact loading) exercise. The developed technique therefore, allows a quantitative evaluation of the effects of exercise on structures that affect the risk of osteoarthritis and osteoporosis.

Last Application Date: Open Until Filled

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13. A multiscale approach to model the biomechanical behaviour of human skin

Summary of Doctoral Project:

The skin consists of sub-layers such as stratum corneum, epidermis with morphological parameters varying spatially. Being viscoelastic (similar to cheese), the skin is also subjected to high loading and environmental conditions every day resulting in skin damages. Healing from these skin damages is time-consuming and challenging as it is under the influence cyclic loading conditions generated due to bodily movements and posture. In treating these chronic skin problems, there has been an estimation of three million primary care hours and about £723m is spent by National Health Services, UK every year. Hence, it is important to understand the biomechanical behaviour of skin such as deformation and stress distribution. The project aims to understand the link between tissue and cell level skin studies using a dynamic modelling platform. This is critical in understanding how the changes in cell level can influence the prevention and treatment of patients suffering from chronic skin ailments. The PhD student will design and develop this modelling platform to understand the mechanics of the skin on interaction with medical devices (such as prosthetic, dressing tapes/textiles). Further collaboration with the University of Sheffield is also in place to validate the model using in-vitro experimental results.

Last Application Date: Open Until Filled

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14. A bottom-up approach to muscle mechanics

Summary of Doctoral Project:

Muscles exhibit highly complex behaviour made up of thousands of individual muscle fibres, each with different properties, interacting with each other and the surrounding bio-mechanical structures. Linking the fundamental response of a single fibre to the whole muscle behaviour is a challenge. This is especially true for human muscles were developing a realistic scalable computational representation has eluded the biomechanics community to-date. Developing such a model is important as skeletal muscle disorders can be understood (and hence treated) from a fundamental standpoint. In this project, we shall develop a truly representative patient-specific mathematical model to study how fast and slow muscle fibres, work and generate force and displacement in muscle bundles allowing for locomotion to happen. Once developed full-scale validation studies will be carried out to test the efficacy of such an approach.

Last Application Date: Open Until Filled

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15. A biomimetic approach to peroxide-derived polyketide synthesis

Summary of Doctoral Project:

Marine sponges are a source of complex peroxide-derived polyketides natural products with unique and captivating molecular structures.1 Significantly, these natural products frequently display outstanding biological activities (antimicrobial, antiviral and anticancer) underlining their substantial therapeutic potential in addressing some of the world most pressing health concerns such as antimicrobial resistance, and the emergence of ‘world altering’ viral pathogens. Manzamenone K and untenolide A2 are two unique peroxide-derived polyketides natural products that are structurally related are thereby have a common biomimetic origin. The goal of the research programme is to complete the synthesis of both manzamenone K and untenolide A. The construction of manzamenone K will be accomplished through an ambitious biomimetically inspired3 synthetic strategy; this will then provide enough material to complete the synthesis of untenolide A. With ample synthetic material of each natural product, the antimicrobial and antiviral activities will be established.

Last Application Date: 30 September 2022

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16. 3D printing and simulation in surgical planning

Summary of Doctoral Project:

The development of 3D printing technology allows sugical planning to take a patient specific approach. Imaging of body structres can be used as input data to prepare physical models of tissue configuration at surgical sites with very high level of details. This can be used to aid the surgical planing via direct visualisation of a patient’s anatomy before surgery and gain better understanding of the best surgical routes to navigate through any complex anatomy, facilitating planning of operative methods. In addition, computational image analysis further allows demonstration of surgical outcomes in principles by simulation of the biomechanics at joints and various loading conditions before and after the surgery. In this study, 3D printing technology will be applied to reconstruct the details of selected skeletal structures of patients. Specification of the prepared prototypes will be established via iterative testing of various printing routes and printer configuration setting, and quantification of resolutions and cost-effectiveness in a scenario representing clinical setting. Feasibility of application of the prepared prototypes in surgical planning will be evaluated by clinical partners. Also virtual joint models will be established to capture the change of anatomy structure after surgery and such models will be further applied to demonstrate load distribution at the joints when being exposed to various biomechanics across a range of body motion.

Last Application Date: Open Until Filled

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17. 3D printing a biohybrid lung

Summary of Doctoral Project:

The project will develop a clinically-relevant technology that will be readily translatable through our industrial and clinical collaborators and will dramatically benefit the quality of life of ELD patients. In addition, this project offers an excellent opportunity for developing highly interdisciplinary skills at the engineering-life sciences interface, while working in the world-leading Centre for Biological Engineering at Loughborough University, greatly enhancing the prospects for a future career in academia or the medical devices industrial sector.

Last Application Date: Open Until Filled

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18. 3D nanozymes fabrication and assembly of hybrid enzyme

Summary of Doctoral Project:

Enzymes are by far the most proficient catalysts, mastering fundamental chemical transformations in all living organisms. This catalytic proficiency applied to industry would result in a drastic increase in efficiency, making the chemical processes more economic and sustainable. But all this potential has been hampered mainly due to the lack of stability and reusability. Therefore, the design of robust artificial enzymes that mimic enzyme activity could uncover the immense potential of natural enzymes. The project proposed here will allow to design a hybrid enzyme or Nanozyme by 3D assembling the catalytic core of a natural enzyme within an artificial porous material. 3D Nanozyme will represent the first truly mimic of an enzymatic active site, considered as one of the holy grails in catalysis. The 3D Nanozyme fabrication method will also allow to design innovative catalytic cores using unnatural amino acids with new and robust catalytic functions.

Last Application Date: 30th September 2022

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19. Comparison of machine learning techniques using measurement uncertainty for analysis of cell and gene therapy manufacturing data

Summary of Doctoral Project:

Recently completed research has investigated the variability of operators when completing manual analysis of flow cytometer data across a range of cell model dimensionality and complexity. Measurement uncertainty toolsets have been uniquely applied and give a more specific definition of variability in these manual analysis scenarios compared to more traditional statistical methods. This has allowed the identification of where measurement variation is potentially introduced, such that continuous improvements can be made to the Flow Cytometer measurement process and hence to the biomanufacture of cell and gene therapies. This research is now to be extended to automated software platforms. This new research opportunity aims to investigate the application and development of measurement uncertainty analysis to the performance of flow cytometry automated software analysis platforms, (for example SPADE, FLOCK and SWIFT), to understand their variance in specific data analysis scenarios. This provides the foundation for comparison to manual analysis techniques and to the eventual definition of a full measurement uncertainty budget for the Flow Cytometer process. This will better influence how process control can be better optimised for product quality in cell and gene therapies.

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20. Climate Gentrification 

Summary of Doctoral Project:

Gentrification has become a prominent feature of many urban areas as redevelopment attracts new residents who search for the urban conveniences. In recent years, as the number of climate-induced hazards has increased in their frequency and intensity, a new type of gentrification has recently started to appear – climate gentrification, manifesting itself in residential projects that are pitched as ‘climate-resilient’. This project will investigate various gentrification projects in order to understand to what extent climate change adaptation measures are taken into account and whether this widens the inequality gap by forcing those who cannot afford to live in climate-resilient houses to move away to risky areas.

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21. Clean hydrogen production using well defined earth abundant metal-based catalysts

Summary of Doctoral Project:

The global quest for developing pathways to clean, sustainable, energy continues with considerable interest as our current oil reserves dwindle. One attractive solution is based on generating hydrogen as a clean fuel. In this exciting project, based in the Smith research group within the Chemistry Department at Loughborough University, new molecular and material-based earth abundant metal catalysts based on Fe/Co/Ni will be developed. Stabilisation of these metal centres will require additional spectator ligands that will be synthesised via sustainable routes. An important aspect of this project will be structural elucidation of these novel catalyst materials using a suite of spectroscopic, analytical and X-ray crystallographic techniques. Finally catalysts will be assessed for their catalytic ability to generate hydrogen under a range of experimental conditions.

Last Application Date: 30th September 2022

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22. City-scale Big Data and Simulation for Emerging Mobility

Summary of Doctoral Project:

The ‘Transport and Planning’ research group invites applications for a PhD position in the broad area of city-scale big data and simulation for emerging mobility. Under the supervision of Dr Haitao He, Lecturer/Assistant Professor in Urban Mobility and Intelligent Transport, the PhD student will have the unique opportunity to develop expertise in big data analysis and mobility simulations. The student will explore their application in the planning, design, management, and/or operation of emerging mobility systems, addressing their challenges in efficiency, resilience and sustainability. The student’s interests and background will steer the research direction. We are seeking a talented student who is enthusiastic about developing innovative urban mobility solutions in this fast-evolving field. Due to the multidisciplinary nature of the topic, the candidate could have a background in any relevant STEM subject. The candidate should have strong analytical skills and ideally have experience in programming and working with large data sets. The successful candidate will have the chance to conduct innovative research with leading researchers both within the UK and internationally. Candidates should contact Dr Haitao He to discuss the research proposal and funding options. Highly competitive candidates can receive full/partial funding.

Last Application Date: Open Until Filled

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23. Circular economy for medical devices

Summary of Doctoral Project:

The aim of this PhD programme will be to address the barriers to the implementation of a circular economy model for medical devices. The successful candidate will have the opportunity to identify a research focus area around a specific medical product family, in line with their interests and previous experience, and will benefit from the guidance and extensive expertise in manufacturing sustainability and recycling technologies of the supervisory team. In addition, the candidate will work closely with a team of researchers employed on the £1.5M project on “Circular Economy for Small Medical Devices” funded by the Engineering and Physical Science Research Council (EPSRC), and interact with the project’s stakeholders which include NHS Trusts, product manufacturers as well as NHS waste processors. On completion of the programme, the successful candidate will be equipped with skills, knowledge and experience suitable for future roles addressing sustainability in industry or academia, and in particular in the medical sector.

Last Application Date: 18 September 2022

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24. Cellular automaton to model rapid crystal growth and recrystallisation

Summary of Doctoral Project:

Texture in materials plays a crucial role in metallic products. A thorough study of the underlying morphology and its evolution is relevant for producing cast parts of innovative technological products.The formation of grain boundaries during directional solidification of grains with different crystallographic orientations affect its deformation and mechanical response. The cellular automaton (CA) method aims at modelling complex phenomena taking place at the scale of interest through the use of simple laws applied at a smaller scale. The goal is to predict the grain structure formed in large simulation domains. This scale-bridging is necessary as the development of the structure depends on phenomena taking place at large spatial distances all being influenced by time-dependent boundary conditions. Coupling of the CA method with a relevant crystal plasticity finite element (CPFE) method will allow for a physics-based computational framework with a unique capability to model crystal growth and recrystallization in a bio-compatible magnesium alloy.

Last Application Date: Open Until Filled

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25. Cell mechanics and tumour growth

Summary of Doctoral Project:

The ultimate diagnosis still relies purely on the testing of biopsy. Mechanical properties of tumour tissue can be used as indicators to predict the type of cancer and its grade. The growth of the tumour and its severity are determined by the capability of cells to multiply and migrate to the adjacent tissue. Cell mechanics and their interaction with the local tissue structure play an important role in tumour growth and cancer cell invasion. In order to understand why different types of cancer cells respond differently to various chemical and physical treatments, it is critical to gain insight into the biophysical interactions between the invading cells and the local tissue structures. Within this project, we will focus on the different types of breast cancers to investigate the interaction of tissue stiffness and cell mechanics at both tissue, cell and sub-cellular levels. In vitro, 2D and 3D models will be established to replicate the tumour microenvironment and data derived from experimental work will further feed into modellings that can simulate the collective behaviours of cells in terms of tumour growth. The ultimate aim is to develop supplementary criteria based on the understanding of biophysical mechanisms in tumour growth and inform clinical decisions.

Last Application Date: Open Until Filled

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26. Carbon-fibre-reinforced 3D printing

Summary of Doctoral Project:

Carbon fibres can be included in polymers to increase the elastic modulus and strength by over 10x. Therefore, it’s of great interest to 3D print with carbon-fibre-reinforced polymer. However, the introduction of fibres results in added complexity for the 3D printing process. It is challenging to understand exactly how carbon fibres should be used to improve mechanical properties. This project will investigate the mechanical properties of carbon-fibre-reinforced 3D printer polymer. The work will involve a mixture of 3D printing and characterisation (e.g. tensile testing, microscopy). For candidates interested in computer modelling, the project may be tailored to included FEA or similar methods. You are encouraged to contact the primary supervisor, Dr Andy Gleadall, to discuss how the project may be tailored to your specific skills and interests.

Last Application Date: Open Until Filled

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27. Carbon reinforced 3D printing of personalised prosthetics

Summary of Doctoral Project:

There is an opportunity for a high-calibre candidate to join the multi-disciplinary team of engineers, material scientists and clinicians to work in the high-value manufacturing industry of biomedical engineering. Building upon the successions of funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and the medical industry, the project aims to truly disrupt the current manufacturing process of personalised prosthetic socket by realising a fully digital, design to manufacturing solution. The successful candidate has the opportunity to work on the following areas: parametrised CAD/CAE; data (experimental or computational) driven optimisation for additively manufactured carbon fibre reinforced prosthetic socket; Mechanical characterisation of socket performance; material synthesize for prosthetic socket; finite-element analysis. We highly recommend the candidate to contact the primary supervisor of the project prior to the application to discuss in detail.

Last Application Date: Open Until Filled

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28. Building a fully recyclable net-zero battery

Summary of Doctoral Project:

This research project involves working on key elements of the electrochemical cell, packaging, and integrated sensing to develop a seminal recyclable solid-state aluminium-ion battery. The project will optimise the novel electrochemical cell (electrolyte and electrode) to achieve the performance features required by the industry, such as energy density, range, and charging and discharging rates. The project will explore novel, flexible and potentially see-through packaging materials, methods, and geometry, that can give the required structural and thermal stability of the battery. The project will also integrate a novel electrochemical flexible sensor for state-of-health monitoring and end-of-life prediction. Working together with an established team of scientists and engineers, and leading academic and industry collaborators (UK and international), the outcomes of the project will include a lab-scale prototype that can be taken up for further development into an industry-scale prototype through a future project.

Last Application Date: 18 September 2022

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29. BioSynth Trust: Developing understanding and confidence in flow cytometry benchmarking synthetic datasets to improve clinical and cell therapy diagnostics

Summary of Doctoral Project:

Flow Cytometry (FC) is a common biometrology tool for measuring the identity of cell populations. FC has three components that determine the metrological quality of the final answer – upstream preparation of cell samples, the FC instrument itself, and subsequent data processing. FC output data analysis is typically completed in two common manners – operator manual gating (still regarded as the “gold standard” for FC analysis), and, automated software gating solutions. The potential for variation in the data analysis is significant. Our research has shown that as the complexity of manual gating analysis increases, the variation in cell number output increases. Likewise, our research has benchmarked different automated softwares using synthetic datasets. The benefit of synthetic datasets is that they allow for bespoke design of cell clusters and characteristics. The aim of this new project is to develop enhanced confidence factors in synthetic cell cluster datasets, extending their performance capabilities and applicability. This project will be in collaboration with UK National External Quality Assessment Service for Leucocyte Immunophenotyping (UK NEQAS-LI) – part of the Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, providing live cell and database benchmarking resources.

Last Application Date: 23 September 2022

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30. Biomarker development for intervention studies in aging

Summary of Doctoral Project:

Human longevity has increased through improved nutrition, sanitation and healthcare in the last century. Research for extending the human lifespan has recently sped up and the first drug candidates have entered clinical trials. Biomarkers are highly valuable tools in assessing the efficacy of such interventions. Methylation clocks recently developed using methlyomic data have shown how useful bioinformatic approaches are to developing aging biomarkers. This project seeks to develop biomarkers that can help us to evaluate aging intervention approaches with a focus on the ability to quantify senescent cells. The project will mix theoretical and experimental work. The experimental work will investigate the elimination of senescent cells and the restoration of stem cells in vitro and in vivo. Ideally, the candidate will possess strong biomedical data processing skills. The candidate will design experiments, test hypotheses, develop and implement machine learning methods on multi-parametric data, including imaging, genomics, proteomics and metabolomics, for the development of biomarkers of aging and to assess longevity intervention approaches.

Last Application Date: Open Until Filled

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31. Bio-tribology of synovial joint arthroplasty

Summary of Doctoral Project:

An increasing proportion of the population suffer from joint pain which stems from wear and tear, injury and arthritis. In severe cases the only option is to completely replace the joint. In England and Wales there are approximately 160,000 hip and knee replacement procedures conducted every year. In about 1 in 10 of these operations there is some complication with the mechanical replacement joint these include, joint wear, dislocation, stiffening and joint loosening. This PhD research project will create a computer model to predict the behaviour between the two links (bones) at the replacement joint interface. The multi-physics model will include contact mechanics of the acetabular cup femoral heard pair and the interceding fluids rheological response to entrainment into the elastohydrodyanmic conjunction. Various parameters pertain rheological, elastic, interfacial frictional behaviour for the model will be measured experimental measurement by the PhD researcher.

Last Application Date: Open Until Filled

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32. Bayesian marathon finish-time prediction

Summary of Doctoral Project:

This project aims to predict the finish time combined with a systematic quantification of uncertainty and to update the prediction as new data comes in. To that end, you will develop a dynamic Bayesian model which makes use of some of the data collected by fitness trackers/GPS watches during a race, e.g. pace, heart-rate or elevation data, along with other covariates. You will also develop suitable computational statistical methods (e.g. Kalman-filtering techniques or sequential Monte Carlo methods) which can be used to update the prediction as new data becomes available throughout the race. This will involve a substantial amount of coding. You will be joining a friendly and diverse statistics group located within Loughborough University’s Mathematical Sciences Department. You will be able to learn from other researchers at regular seminars and in weekly supervision meetings.

Last Application Date: 30 September 2022

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33. Autonomous underwater vehicles

Summary of Doctoral Project:

Autonomous vehicle technology has drawn a significant attention and made a significant achievement in recent years. Autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) have found many applications including scientific research, environmental protection, and search and rescue. Working with our industrial partner in Italy, this project will explore current advances in autonomous vehicles and develop state-of-the-art machine vision and deep learning based technology, computational models and algorithms for a number of challenging tasks for AUV navigation and exploration in the underwater environment. The develop algorithms and software aim to enhance the usability of underwater vehicles towards automation and achieve on-board embedded AI control. This research is more challenging than ground autonomous vehicles in terms of limited resources and navigation difficulty in largely unstructured, less featured and frequently changing underwater environments.

Last Application Date: 30 September 2022

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34. Artificial intelligence in additive manufacturing: use of deep-learning in dimensional accuracy of stereolithography 3D printing

Summary of Doctoral Project:

This project offers a chance to work on a truly disruptive and innovative research project in high-tech and high-value manufacturing, with a very high potential impact in aerospace and energy sectors. This project runs under a consortium between Loughborough University and a British innovative industrial partner, Photocentric Ltd. This project positions in the between two very innovative and got topic research area of machine learning and additive manufacturing, and aims for developing deep-learning algorithms to predict and thus improve dimensional accuracy and stability of 3D printed products. This research intends to focus on a novel LCD-based stereolithography 3D printing with high print resolution needed for highly accurate applications. However, to minimise deformation during print and post-print operations, a deep-learning model will be developed and trained to predict shrinkage, deformations, and shrinkages to enable the designers to better design the parts and 3D print processes.

Last Application Date: Open Until Filled

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35. Applied radiation detection

Summary of Doctoral Project:

We invite driven and enthusiastic PhD candidates to work in radiation detection and imaging, in the School of Science at Loughborough University. The successful applicant will join the Department of Physics and interdisciplinary Centre of Sensing and Imaging Science, under the supervision of Dr Sarah Bugby. The detection and imaging of high energy radiation is vital for applications in medicine, manufacturing, security, environmental monitoring and the space and nuclear industries. We conduct a range of research in this area from simulation of novel detector materials, fabrication and experimental characterisation of sensors, to the development of complete imaging systems and the translation of these to the clinic and industry.

Last Application Date: Open Until Filled

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36. Deep learning-based health monitoring electronic system with multi-wavelength optoelectronic sensor

Summary of Doctoral Project:

Loughborough’s opto-physiological interaction research has led to a new generation of multi-wavelength opto-electronic sensor technology (mOEPS, www.lboro.ac.uk/carelight). mOEPS offers a flexible, biomedical monitoring engineering research platform to meet growing demands, from clinicians to individual, which outperforms all current worn smart devices for vital sign monitoring. However, the present state of opto-physiological monitoring is lacking in sophisticated, dynamic solutions to deal with complexity of individual health monitoring. Hence this PhD aims to research how an electronics system effectively can monitor critical signs captured by the mOEPS system, integrating the smart approach of Deep Learning (DL) to cope with diversity of measurement environments. The objective of consolidating a DL function into the present diversity of the mOPES electronic system (Smart-mOPES) is to deliver an ultra-lightweight, wearable and enhanced prototype, capable of real-time vital sign monitoring and providing better performances both at rest and during physical activity for the healthcare, sport and fitness industries.

Last Application Date: Open Until Filled

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37. Continual Learning in Neural Information Retrieval

Summary of Doctoral Project:

Neural ranking models for information retrieval (IR) use deep neural networks to rank search results in response to a query. Recently proposed neural models learn representations of language from raw text that can bridge the gap between query and document vocabulary. We are seeking PhD candidates interested in combining deep learning and information retrieval to design and evaluate neural retrieval methods with an emphasis on increasing their continual lifelong learning performance for multi-modal, cross-modal and/or unimodal text data.

Last Application Date: Open Until Filled

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38. Computer vision and deep learning for real-time action recognition and semantic interpretation of video images

Summary of Doctoral Project:

Automatic analysis and machine understanding of human postures, action events and interaction between human-human and human-objects from video images is essential for human-computer interaction, robotics and surveillance. A vision system focuses on real-time interpretation of human activities, behaviour patterns and action events is also crucial for information retrieval, healthcare and sports performance analysis. In collaboration with industrial project partners, the project aims to develop novel computer vision and deep learning techniques for human action recognition and interpretation using rich contextual semantic natural language. The research will address topics of action element/feature extraction, temporal-spatial representation of actions, action intension prediction, and semantic interpretation using natural language processing (NLP). These will allow high-level machine understanding of human activities, action events, and thus to produce responsive effective interaction with people for next generation of human-centred intelligent systems.

Last Application Date: 30 September 2022

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39. Computationally efficient embedded classification algorithms for augmentative and alternative communication (AAC)

Summary of Doctoral Project:

Speech impairment (through a range of conditions that cause speech dysfunctionality) causes considerable anxiety and distress for people, and importantly in many cases considerably restricts their ability to verbally communicate. The issue is widespread, and in the UK alone there are over 14 million people with such speech dysfunctionality conditions that are classed as speech impairments. In addition, speech impairment occurs through clinical conditions such as cancers affecting the head and neck. An EPSRC Loughborough-funded study over the past 4 years has explored a new concept to help interpret communication through breath-activated augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) technology, in which a prototype AAC device comprising a pressure sensor and associated electronics/hardware and software (including a fully developed app) has gained proof of concept for interpreting and translating pressure and sound variations from breath analysis on 48 healthy volunteers at Loughborough University.

Last Application Date: 18 September 2022

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40. Computational Modelling of Organic Reaction Mechanisms

Summary of Doctoral Project:

We will model energies of intermediates and transition states using modern density functional theory methods as well as high-level correlated ab initio theory. Various additional contributions – solvent, enthalpy, and entropy – will be modelled. Optimal methods to analyse the data and present the results will be developed. You will gain the practical skills to carry out computations on molecules including geometry optimisations, frequency analyses, and more advanced topics in computational chemistry. In addition, thorough understanding of the theory will be taught. The necessary IT skills will be developed. At the end of this project, you will be able to carry out analogous work on your own.

Last Application Date: 31 December 2022

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