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PhD Studentship in Mechanical Engineering - Project VISION: Evaluating and Modelling the Performance Characteristics of Intraocular Forceps

Newcastle University

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Newcastle upon Tyne
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students, International Students
Funding amount: £18,622 - please see advert
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 23rd January 2024
Closes: 29th February 2024
Reference: ENG127

Award Summary

100% home-fees covered, and a minimum tax-free annual living allowance of £18,622 (2023/24 UKRI rate). This studentship will be based in the Fluid Dynamics Laboratory in the new Stephenson Building at Newcastle University. International applicants will need to ensure additional funding is secured to bridge the gap in tuition fees. 

Overview

Do you want to work on the cutting-edge intersection of mechanical engineering, physics and biotechnology? Could you formulate ideas to answer our research questions: is it possible to design a machine which can accurately evaluate the surgical performance of intraocular forceps? Can you use this machine to design the next generation of forceps for our NHS? If the answer is yes, we want to hear from you!

Intraocular forceps, often used during surgical procedures on the retina, are designed to carefully peel tissues away from the retina with precision and control. These vitreoretinal forceps are used in 70-80% of all retinal surgeries, which is approximately 24,000 cases a year in UK alone, and over a million globally. Currently tip design is based on theoretical design parameters without reference to measured performance and success is based on surgeon feedback. The lack of quantitative data makes it challenging to ensure that forceps design is optimised.

Project VISION aims to fill the gap in this ability by further developing a recently patented machine to accurately assess the performance of forceps and forge the designs of the next generation of forceps for use across the global market.

Number of awards: 1

Start date: 16th September 2024

Award duration: 4 years

Sponsor

Dutch Ophthalmic Research Centre (DORC) Ltd

Supervisors

Dr Richard Whalley (Richard.Whalley@ncl.ac.uk), Professor David Steel (david.steel@newcastle.ac.uk).

Eligibility criteria

You must have, or expect to gain, a first class Honours degree or international equivalent in engineering or physics. Enthusiasm for research, the ability to think and work independently, a strong background in mathematics, excellent analytical skills and strong verbal and written communication skills are essential requirements.

Home and international applicants (inc. EU) are welcome to apply. Applicants whose first language is not English require an IELTS score of 6.5 overall with a minimum of 5.5 in all sub-skills.

International applicants may require an ATAS (Academic Technology Approval Scheme) clearance certificate prior to obtaining their visa and to study on this programme.

How to apply

You must apply through the University’s Apply to Newcastle Portal

Once registered select ‘Create a Postgraduate Application’.

Use ‘Course Search’ to identify your programme of study:

  • Search for the ‘Course Title’ using the programme code: 8090F.
  • Research Area: Mechanical and Systems Engineering.
  • Select ‘PhD Mechanical Engineering’ as the programme of study.

You will then need to provide the following information in the ‘Further Details’ section:  

  • A ‘Personal Statement’ (this is a mandatory field) - upload a document or write a statement directly in to the application form.
  • The studentship code ENG127 in the ‘Studentship/Partnership Reference’ field.
  • When prompted for how you are providing your research proposal - select ‘Write Proposal’. You should then type in the title of the research project from this advert. You do not need to upload a research proposal.

Contact details

Dr Richard Whalley (Richard.Whalley@ncl.ac.uk), Professor David Steel (david.steel@newcastle.ac.uk).

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