Research Fellow

University of Birmingham - School of Chemical Engineering

SALARY: Full time starting salary is normally in the range £29,799 to £38,832. With potential progression once in post to £41,212 a year.

DURATION: Fixed-term for up to 20 months

The School of Chemical Engineering at the University of Birmingham is seeking a Research Fellow to contribute to the creation of knowledge by undertaking a specified range of activities and personal research within an EPSRC funded Healthcare Impact Partnership - Process Design to Prevent Prosthetic Infections (PREVENTION).

The overarching aim of this project will be to develop a manufacturing process, incorporating additive layer manufacturing to fabricate patient-specific devices that can be modified with a silver-based antibacterial coating. This process will be used to prevent infection in implants that have a comparatively high likelihood of infection. We also aim to undertake modification of the structure of the implants to reduce imaging aberrations and leave space for the infiltration of a secondary therapeutic phase.

The successful candidate will be required to deliver one work package and contribute to a further two work packages within this project:

Work package lead:

1) Refinement of implant design

Additive manufacturing techniques enable the fabrication of implants with complexities unachievable through subtractive manufacturing techniques. This work package will involve identifying implants that may benefit from redesign with the aim of introducing additional functionality through incorporation of antimicrobial in a cavity or as a coating. Computational and empirical optimisation of these bespoke implants will be required.

Work package contributor:

2) Process optimisation

Working with the Prosthetics Department at University Hospital Birmingham the candidate will seek to identify stages in current manufacturing processes for cranioplasties that require optimisation in regards to infection risks and manufacturing efficiencies. Alongside this, the candidate will develop a selective laser melting process for the manufacture of cranioplasties that exhibit comparable performance to current designs. A number of characterisation techniques will be utilised to assess surface morphology and topography at all stages of both manufacturing chains.

3) Antimicrobial surface modification

The candidate will work closely with an industrial partner (Accentus Medical) to introduce an antimicrobial surface modification, utilising silver ions, to conventional and additively manufactured cranioplasties. In-vitro assessment of efficacy will be conducted using standard microbiology protocols and development of antimicrobial resistance will also be evaluated.

The candidate will be expected to have:

  • PhD in a relevant discipline and, a strong interest in multidisciplinary science.
  • First degree in a physical science or engineering subject
  • High level analytical capability and experience of additive layer manufacturing technologies, in particular select laser melting
  • Ability to communicate complex information clearly to a range of stakeholders, including clinical and industrial partners

Informal enquiries can be made to Prof Liam Grover; l.m.grover@bham.ac.uk

Closing date: 15 May 2018              Reference: 59038

To download the details of this position and submit an electronic application online please click on the Apply Online button below, please quote Job Ref 59038 in all enquiries.

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Midlands of England