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Creating a Sensor Toolkit using Embroidered Electronics (Advert Reference: SF18/MPEE/DODD)

Project Description

Embroidered electronic sensors have received a great deal of interest in recent years. Sensors are a mainstay of modern society but are often large, heavy and bulky. A lot of research has taken place to investigate a wearable version of these sensors, including using embroidery to stitch the sensors in clothing. A major advantage of doing this is that the issues of size and discomfort are removed. Furthermore, the sensors can be used to monitor many different key parameters, including the health of the wearer, or to act as an antenna, which then could be used for wireless communication between the wearer and their smart phones or home network. A major challenge facing the current research in this field is the high resistance of the devices. Making sensors and antennas out of thin, overlapping threads can lead to significant progress in electrical properties, compared to the equivalent sensors. The aim of this project to is focus on investigating the interactions between threads and to modify the stitching patterns used to create the sensors, thus ensuring that the flexible devices are as functional as possible.

As a valuable addition, these threads could also be used to collect and channel fluids, using hydrophobic and hydrophilic threads in different patterns, providing a flexible substrate of microfluidic control and manipulation. This part of the work ties in closely with existing laboratory research in our group. This research builds on existing knowledge in droplet manipulation and microsystems technology physical analysis techniques, but where the use of embroidered devices presents a new and exciting branch of research at Northumbria.

Please note eligibility requirement:

* Academic excellence of the proposed student i.e. 2:1 (or equivalent GPA from non-UK universities [preference for 1st class honours]); or a Masters (preference for Merit or above); or APEL evidence of substantial practitioner achievement.
* Appropriate IELTS score, if required

For further details of how to apply, entry requirements and the application form, see

Please note: Applications that do not include a research proposal of approximately 1,000 words (not a copy of the advert), or that do not include the advert reference (e.g. SF18/MPEE/DODD) will not be considered.

Start Date: 1 March 2019 or 1 June 2019 or 1 October 2019

Northumbria University takes pride in, and values, the quality and diversity of our staff. We welcome applications from all members of the community. The University hold an Athena SWAN Bronze award in recognition of our commitment to improving employment practices for the advancement of gender equality and is a member of the Euraxess network, which delivers information and support to professional researchers.

Funding Notes

This is an unfunded research project


• Nicasio R. Geraldi, Glen McHale, Ben B. Xu, Gary G. Wells, Linzi E. Dodd, David Wood, Michael I. Newton, Leidenfrost transition temperature for stainless steel meshes, Materials Letters, vol. 176, 2016, Pages 205-208,
• Nicasio R Geraldi, Linzi E Dodd, Ben B Xu, David Wood, Gary G Wells, Glen McHale and Michael I Newton, Bioinspired nanoparticle spray-coating for superhydrophobic flexible materials with oil/water, Bioinspiration & Biomimetics, vol. 13, 2018,
• David Etor, Linzi E. Dodd, David Wood and Claudio Balocco, High-performance rectifiers fabricated on a flexible substrate, Applied Physics Letters, vol. 109, 2016,
• Linzi E. Dodd, Nicasio R. Geraldi, Ben B. Xu, Gary G. Wells, Simone Stuart-Cole, James Martin, Michael I. Newton, Glen McHale and David Wood, Low friction droplet transportation on a substrate with a selective Leidenfrost effect, ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces, vol. 8, no. 34, pp. 22658-22663, 2016, 10.1021/acsami.6b06738

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