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PhD Research Project

PhD Studentship: Robotic Design for Physical Rehabilitation Application

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Institution Location

Engineering & The Environment
Dr D.S. Laila
Applications accepted all year round

A PhD studentship is currently available in the area of robotics and control engineering with application to physical rehabilitation.

There has been a growing importance of medical robotics in physical rehabilitation processes, for instance to help stroke patients to re-gain the ability to move parts of the body that have been affected. The advances in dynamical modelling and robotic design makes it possible to develop a controlled device that can be used by a patient to do training that can be automatically adapted to the progress made by the patient from time to time.

This research aims at applying nonlinear control design to the construction of a device that can be used in physiotherapy. Euler-Lagrange and Hamiltonian models are used to model the dynamics. Nonlinear control algorithm that includes adaptation based on the model structure will be developed to construct the controller to use in operating the device. This research combines multidisciplinary areas of control theory and biomechanics, with an exciting hardware development. Through this research we expect to study nonlinear control design for electro-mechanical systems, robotic design and implementation in clinical setting. The PhD student is expected to collaborate with researchers from mechanical engineering, electrical engineering and medical science.

The successful candidate will have a first class or upper second class degree (or its equivalent) in relevant disciplines, e.g. Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, with strong background in control engineering or mathematics. Knowledge in nonlinear control, strong programming skills and experience in hardware/robotic design will be an advantage.
This studentship provides EU/UK tuition fees plus approx. £13,500 p.a. stipend, hence available to EU/UK applicants only, unless additional funding/scholarship have been obtained by non-EU/UK applicants to cover the overseas fees difference (£12,388 for 2011/12).
For further details regarding the project, please contact Dr Dina Shona Laila ( or Dr Christopher Freeman (

Funding Notes:

This position is available to EU/UK applicants only, unless additional funding/scholarships are obtained by non EU/UK applicants to cover the overseas fees difference (£12,388 for 2011/12).

Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) 2008 Results

Unit of Assessment: Mechanical, Aeronautical and Manufacturing Engineering What is the RAE?
FTE Category A Staff Submitted 4* 3* 2* 1* U/C
132.49 15% 45% 35% 5% 0%

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