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EPSRC Funded PhD Scholarship in Soft 3D printed structures with integrated flexible electronics


School of Engineering and Informatics

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Dr N Munzenrieder No more applications being accepted Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About the Project

Recent advances in materials science and new fabrication processes drive a paradigm shift in electrical and mechanical engineering. Instead of rigid bulky structures such as silicon wafers and metal frames, soft biomimetic approaches are envisioned. Novel semiconductors and polymeric substrates result in flexible electronics which can be unobtrusively attached to biological or synthetic tissue and be used to realize sensor systems which naturally conform to static or dynamic three-dimensional surfaces. At the same time, 3D printing of soft materials offers the possibility to realize mechanical systems which are reconfigurable and able to mimic the deformability and mechanical properties of human skin or soft robots.

The parallel optimization of mechanical, electrical, and biological properties by using advanced fabrication techniques and materials offers the possibility to realize biomimetic systems e.g. for healthcare applications. In particular, sensory patches adapting to the artificial or biological systems promise to lead to new kinds of wearables not restricting the movement or comfort of limbs or skin, supporting athletes or the rehabilitation of patients.

The aim of this project is to work on novel electronics concepts by combining deformable structures with flexible electronics to realize adaptable systems with monolithically integrated electronics for sensing applications. This can include interconnections made from liquid metals, soft sensors or deformable transistors. All these elements should be combined to detect parameters relevant for healthcare or soft robotics applications.

This project combines electrical and mechanical engineering with material science and innovative fabrication methods. A particular focus will be set on using a recently acquired high resolution Optomec Aerosol Jet printer. Ultimately a smart biomimetic system will be realized using thin film technology and 3D printing of soft rubber materials.

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Eligibility criteria:

- Master’s or very good Bachelor’s degree in engineering, physics, material science, or a related field.

- Preferably experience in 3D printing, the fabrication of electronic circuits, or cleanroom processing.

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Apply online for a full time PhD in Informatics using our step by step guide (http://www.sussex.ac.uk/study/phd/apply). Here you will also find details of our entry requirements.

Please clearly state on your application form that you are applying for the EPSRC Funded PhD Scholarship in Soft 3D printed structures with integrated flexible electronics with Dr Niko Munzenrieder as the prospective supervisor.

Funding Notes

£15,009 stipend p.a., plus full UK/EU fees.

You will receive a tax free stipend at a standard rate of £15,009 per year for 3.5 years. In addition, your fees will be waived for 3.5 years (at the UK/EU rate).
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