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PhD Studentship - Development of a User-Friending Scanning System to Enhance Orthopaedic Clinical Analysis

Engineering and Applied Science - Studentships

Basis:  Full Time
Closing Date:  23.59 hours BST on Saturday 06 October 2018
Reference:  R180314

Applications are invited for a three year Postgraduate studentship, supported by the School of Engineering and Applied Science, to be undertaken within the Biomedical Engineering Research Group at Aston University. The successful applicant will join an established experimental group working on orthopaedic devices.

The position is available to start in the 2018/9 academic year (subject to negotiation).

Financial Support

This studentship includes a fee bursary to cover the home/EU fees rate, plus a maintenance allowance of £14,777 in 2018/9.

Overseas Applicants

Applicants from outside the EU may apply for this studentship but will need to pay the difference between the ‘Home/EU’ and the ‘Overseas’ tuition fees, currently this is £12,290 in 2018/9.

As part of the application you will be required to confirm that you have applied for, or secured this additional funding.

Background of Project

The aim of this project is to develop a 3D scanning system for use in clinical orthopaedic settings in order to evaluate and demonstrate changes in the shape of a patient’s torso over time and following treatment. The hypothesis is that this will allow better patient understanding and visualisation of individual conditions, as well as an enhanced analysis tool for clinicians.

The objectives for this PhD would be centred on the design, build and analysis of a system which could be used by clinicians and patients to provide information and images to show time matched changes to a patient’s anterior torso shape. 

Specific objectives will include the following:

  • Creation of a user requirement and product design specification
  • A literature review and prior art search
  • Ethical impact plan and ethics applications (NHS and Aston)
  • Identification of suitable sensors and data analysis software
  • Design and build of prototype system (with subsequent iterations)
  • Creation of user interface both for environment and software
  • Assessment of the range of shapes and sizes seen in the normal population
  • Assessment of how scoliosis and scoliosis surgery changes the shape of the anterior torso
  • Analysis of the patient response to images 

Person Specification

The successful applicant should have a first class or upper second class honours degree or equivalent qualification in Biomedical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Robotics or a related area. Preferred skill requirements include knowledge/experience of experimental measurement and data analysis. 

We would particularly like to encourage applications from women seeking to progress their academic careers. Aston University is committed to the principles of the Athena SWAN Charter, recognised recently by a prestigious Silver Award to EAS, and we pride ourselves on our vibrant, friendly and supportive working environment and family atmosphere.

Contact Information

For formal enquiries about this project contact Greg Swadener or Laura Leslie by email at or

If you require further information about the application process please contact the Postgraduate Admissions team at

Submitting an application

Details of how to submit your application, and the necessary supporting documents can be found here.

Applications must also be accompanied by a research proposal giving an overview of the main themes of the research as detailed in the Background to the Project section above.  This should demonstrate your understanding of the research area and how your knowledge and experience will benefit the project.

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Further particulars and application forms are available in alternative formats on request i.e. large print, Braille, tape or CD Rom.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact HR via






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