Mechanical Engineering: Fully Funded EPSRC DTP PhD Scholarship at Swansea: Lung mechanics

  • Phd
  • Full cost of UK tuition fees and an annual stipend
  • 16 August 2021
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This scholarship is funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) DTP.

Start date: October 2021

Subject areas: Biomedical Engineering, Biomechanics, Medical Imaging, Image-Based Modelling

Project supervisors: Dr Hari Arora (Primary Supervisor) and Dr Raoul van Loon

Project description: 
The lungs are a complex, dynamically moving organ. Much research has studied the mechanical behaviour of the lung across length scales, from the whole organ down to cellular mechanics. In health, the lung performs almost effortlessly, undergoing significant deformations, facilitating gas exchange for the body. Our group has used experimental and computational methods to characterise the behaviour in health, injury (trauma) and disease (covid-19). Methods include the use of commercial and bespoke computational codes to capture fluid flow and mechanical stretch of the tissue; high-speed micro-CT imaging of lung tissue to characterise the tissue strain state during mechanical ventilation (via digital volume correlation); and fabrication methods to mimic and study various aspects of alveolar mechanics.

This PhD opportunity aims to advance and integrate the imaging methods and computational framework to study lung pathologies down to the lower airways. The project aims to advance computational functionality to study transient biomechanical phenomena in various lung pathologies, using advanced experimental methods for validation. There is significant scope for interaction and collaboration with partnering research institutions and industry.

Available resources/facilities: The Biomedical Engineering lab is home to a wide range of experimental equipment and computational resource, managed by Hari Arora. Collaborating research groups include the Advanced Imaging of Materials (AIM) Institute, The Advanced Data-Driven Engineering Design (ADDED) Centre for Doctoral Training and the Zienkiewicz Centre for Computational Engineering (ZCCE). There is significant support and learning opportunity within this diverse research environment.


Candidates should hold a minimum of an upper second class (2:1) honours degree (or its equivalent) in Biomedical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, or related subject areas in physical sciences and engineering. MEng/BEng/MSc will be considered.

  • Strong understanding in mechanics (solid mechanics and fluid mechanics) is essential.
  • Strong understanding of computational methods (e.g. finite element methods, programming) is essential.
  • Experience in biomechanics, biomaterials, soft solids or handling multi-phase/multi-physics problems is desirable.
  • Experience with imaging and image analysis (e.g. micro-CT imaging and image segmentation) is desirable.

Due to funding restrictions, this scholarship is open to UK candidates only.


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This scholarship covers the full cost of UK tuition fees and an annual stipend of £15,609. Additional £3,000 is available for research expenses.


Please visit our website for more information.
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