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  Camera-based Biomechanical Assessment through Facial and Eye Tracking for Neuromuscular Diseases


   School of Engineering & Physical Sciences

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  Dr Yuhang Chen  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

The Project and Our Offer:

Real-time image processing via smart phone cameras is capable of capturing and monitoring early and subtle signs of neuromuscular and neurological dysfunction including facial characteristics such as eye movement, facial expression, weakness, altered fat distribution, speech. The project plans to develop a ‘smart’ and accessible digital health technology (DHT) that integrates computer vision (camera-based 3D surface reconstruction and feature capturing) with biomechanical modelling and simulation involving both surface and deep tissue characteristics, to facilitate earlier diagnosis and screening of patients with neuromuscular disease. The research will help with improved detection and diagnosis (via digital biomechanics-based ‘biomarkers’), objectively monitoring disease progression and guiding clinical management.

During this PhD project, you will develop significant expertise in experimental and computational tissue biomechanics and its interface with computer vision, with specific skills in image processing, computer vision and biomechanical modelling. Personal development towards either industrial and/or academic career will be supported (at your choice), including attending national and international conferences, collaboration with other academic and clinical groups, collaboration with industry, publication of peer-reviewed papers and application of small research funding as an early career researchers.

You will join a multidisciplinary research group in the Biomedical Engineering theme, led by Dr Yuhang Chen. Working with other PhDs and postdocs who are working in relevant and complementary research areas, you will benefit from a range of research and training opportunities that are tailored towards both your project (e.g. summer schools to learn techniques from an area that may not be familiar to you from your UG studies) and personal career development objectives. You will be co-supervised by Dr Chen's group at Heriot-Watt University and a clinical group from Newcastle University's Centre of Mitochondrial Disease (Prof Gorman), and will be supported to take secondment to the clinical centre for the planned research.

What we are looking for:

The successful candidate will have background in Mechanical Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, Materials Engineering, Applied Physics, Applied Mathematics or Computer Science, or other related areas (first or upper second-class degree). They should demonstrate clear motivation to work on multidisciplinary research and enthusiasm for developing their research on an individual basis and within a team.

Interested candidates are encouraged to contact Dr Yuhang Chen to discuss their applications. Please include a CV and a cover letter highlighting relevant experience to [Email Address Removed]

We expect to carry out interviews as we receive the applications until the funded position is filled.

Biological Sciences (4) Computer Science (8) Engineering (12) Mathematics (25) Physics (29)

Funding Notes

This is a directly-funded PhD project (3.5 years) through our James Watt Scholarship scheme. The successful candidate will receive a full scholarship that covers their tuition fees and a stipend package (UKRI standard rate)