PhD Studentship in Engineering - Simulation-Guided Manufacturing of Synthetic Bone

Newcastle University

Value of award: 100% of UK/EU tuition fees plus an annual stipend of £14,777 (at 2018/19 rate).

Number of awards: 1

Start date and duration: 24 September 2018 for 4 years.

Application closing date: 30 March 2018.


The medical treatment of diseased bone frequently involves scaffolds, which are porous materials with the ability to mimic and integrate with the patient’s own body whilst stimulating the growth of new healthy tissue. A new class of collagen-polymer (CP) based scaffolds will be developed to provide excellent structural and mechanical properties. The current approach for the optimisation of the microstructure and properties of these novel scaffolds is purely experimental, which is a costly and time-consuming process.

The key idea in this PhD project is that advanced computer simulations, combined with state-of-the-art experimentation, can provide a new efficient way to design micro-optimised CP scaffolds for bone tissue generation. Therefore the student will develop new computer simulations of CP scaffold fabrication and bone mineral precipitation, as a guidance to produce and optimise scaffolds and bone tissues.

This exciting project lies at the interface between three traditionally separate disciplines: experimental bioengineering, high-performance computing, and materials science. The PhD student will learn core skills in all these disciplines, acquire expertise in both experiments and simulations, and thus develop a unique and competitive scientific and professional profile.

The indicative PhD programme is in Mechanical and System Engineering, but alternative programs may be discussed with the supervisory team before applying.

More details are available here.

Sponsor: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

Name of supervisor(s): Dr Ana Ferreira-Duarte, Dr Enrico Masoero and Professor Kenneth Dalgarno, School of Engineering.

Eligibility Criteria

You must have, or expect to achieve, at least a 2:1 honours degree or international equivalent, in Chemistry, Computing Science, Materials Engineering, Structural Engineering or Mechanical Engineering, or a related subject. The candidate will be expected to conduct work with industrial partners and should have good interpersonal skills.

The studentships are open to applicants satisfying EPSRC home/UK or EU fee criteria, and are eligible for home fees. EU candidates may only be available for a partial award.

English language skills (if English is not your native language): an overall score of IELTS 6.5 or equivalent, with individual scores of 6.0 in each of the four sub-skills: writing, reading, speaking and listening.

How to apply

You must apply through the University’s online postgraduate application system. To do this please ‘Create a new account’.

All relevant fields should be completed, but fields marked with a red asterisk must to be completed. The following information will help us to process your application. You will need to:

  • insert the programme code 8090F in the programme of study section
  • select 'PhD in Mechanical Engineering (FT) - Mechanical and Systems Engineering' as the programme of study
  • insert the studentship code ENG012 in the studentship/partnership reference field
  • attach a covering letter and CV. The covering letter must state the title of the studentship, quote reference code ENG012 and state how your interests and experience relate to the project
  • attach degree transcripts and certificates and, if English is not your first language, a copy of your English language qualifications.


Informal email enquiries to Dr Ana Ferreira-Duarte or Dr Enrico Masoero

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