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PhD Studentship in Development of Human Gastric Process Computational Models for the Design of Foods with Optimised Nutrient Uptake and Satiety


   Department of Mechanical Engineering

  Prof Maria Charalambides  Applications accepted all year round  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

The Food Consortium CTP is looking for a PhD candidate for the BBSRC funded project “Development of Human Gastric Process Computational Models for the Design of Foods with Optimised Nutrient Uptake and Satiety” based at the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Imperial College London.

The Food Consortium CTP comprises four major food manufacturers together with the largest UK-based independent science and technology provider and trainer for the food industry (Campden BRI), and the Haydn Green Institute (Nottingham University Business School).

This industry-led collaborative programme will develop highly skilled PhD researchers and provide an innovation ecosystem through collaboration and partnership. As a successful PhD candidate you will be part of a larger cohort of students with the opportunity to form strong links to industry and be part of a supportive network of peers, academic supervisors, industrial supervisors and training partners.

Business facing training will include concepts and issues to consider when commercialising early-stage science and technology, using tools to help evaluate innovation and commercialisation strategies.

About the Project

Applications are invited for a research studentship in the field of Mechanics of Materials leading to the award of a PhD degree.

The evolution of food structure within the human digestive tract influences drastically the metabolism and health of individuals. Food breakdown is strongly linked to glycaemic index, whilst it also impacts appetite regulation. Mechanistic understanding of the relationship between food structural mechanics, the gastrointestinal (GI) tract motility and digestion is still lacking. Specifically, the breakdown of the food structure under the effect of the mechanical loads due to the gastric peristaltic waves, the associated hydration from gastric fluids and the chemical degradation through the enzymatic action need to be investigated. The project aims at developing a novel computational platform for food product design to control food disintegration and nutrient bio-accessibility and consequently the digestion efficiency; the output from this research will have a great impact on both the food industry and public health. It will be a continuation of current work in the Soft Solids group (e.g. Skamniotis et al., 2020, Eulerian-Lagrangian finite element modelling of food flow-fracture in the stomach to engineer digestion, Innovative Food Science & Emerging Technologies, 66, 1466-8564).

Entry Requirements

You will be an enthusiastic and self-motivated person who meets the academic requirements for enrolment for the PhD degree at Imperial College London. Candidates are expected to hold (or be about to obtain) a minimum upper second class honours degree (or equivalent) in mechanical engineering or a related subject with a strong intellect and disciplined work habits. An interest in Mechanics of Materials is essential. Good team-working, observational and communication skills are essential. Equality, diversity and inclusion is fundamental to the success of the programme. The full Equality, diversity and inclusion plan for the Food Consortium is available on request.

How To Apply

To find out more about research at Imperial College London in this area, go to:

https://www.imperial.ac.uk/mechanical-engineering/research/mechanics-of-materials/composites-adhesives-and-soft-solids/soft-solids/projects/

For information on how to apply, go to:

http://www.imperial.ac.uk/mechanical-engineering/study/phd/how-to-apply/

For further details of the post contact Prof Maria Charalambides  +44 (0)20 75947246. Interested applicants should send an up-to-date curriculum vitae to Prof Charalambides. Suitable candidates will be required to complete an electronic application form at Imperial College London in order for their qualifications to be addressed by College Registry.

Closing date: until post filled


Funding Notes

The Food Consortium CTP studentships are predominantly open to students with established UK residency. Although international students (including EU countries) can apply, due to funding rules no more than 30% of the projects can be allocated to international students. The funding will include a tax free stipend (currently minimum £18,062 per year), support for tuition fees at the standard UK rate (currently £4,596 per year) and a contribution towards research costs.
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