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PhD Studentship Opportunity in Understanding and enhancing the mechanical performance of bioinspired dental composite

Project Description

Driven by the rising ageing population in the UK who suffer from oral disease and need dental treatment, there has been a growing demand for reliable dental restorative products (e.g. dental crowns) with significantly improved mechanical properties and longevity. Inspired by the natural tooth enamel with graded microstructure and extraordinary resistance to fracture, the primary focus of this project is to understand and enhance the mechanical performance of novel dental composites with bioinspired functionally graded and textured microstructures. We will provide a fundamental understanding of the role of bioinspired microstructural features that are important in determining the mechanical properties. We will do so using the advanced mechanical microscopy techniques and incorporating the characterised results into micromechanical numerical modelling. Our aim is to calibrate the model against the mechanical performance at macroscale and explore how the properties can be enhanced by microstructural optimisation. This will allow us to provide new insights into addressing the longevity challenge of dental restorative products.

The PhD candidate will need to engage actively with all the project partners. The main duty of the PhD candidate is to develop an experimentally-validated micromechanics model to predict the deformation and fracture process of zirconia-based and alumina-based bioinspired composite. The PhD candidate will also engage in advanced experimental mechanical microscopy techniques, high performance computing (HPC) cluster available at the University of Surrey as well as the UK’s word-leading synchrotron X-ray large-scale facilities.

The project will commence on the 1st October 2019 and will finish on the 30th September 2022.

Entry requirements:
Applicants should have (or expect to obtain by the start date) at least an Upper Second Bachelor’s degree, and preferably a Master’s degree, in an appropriate discipline (e.g. engineering, material sciences, physics, chemistry, biology or related subject).

If English is not the first language, IELTS 6.5 or above (or equivalent) is required, with no sub-test score less than 6.

How to apply:
Applications should be made through the University portal via our program page. Please state the studentship title and supervisor on your application.

Funding Notes

The studentship covers the full cost of UK/EU tuition fees, plus a tax-free stipend of approximately £14,777 p.a., in line with standard RCUK stipend levels [2018-2019]. Studentships are open to overseas students provided they can support the difference between home and overseas fees (£16,540 p.a.).

This research programme is funded by the UK’s Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), the New Investigator Scheme (Dr Tan Sui, the grant holder, View Website ), and is a joint collaboration between universities of Surrey, Bristol and Birmingham, the National Physical Laboratory and the Agency for Science, Technology and Research.

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