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  Prof Charlie Yang  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Background of the project

The Bristol Robotics Laboratory (BRL) have an exciting PhD post within a team of roboticists, surgeons and machine learning researchers working on a project which will lead to the accurate and reproducible delivery of novel cancer therapy. The PhD will involve the creation of novel robotic methods for the positioning probes and anti-cancer treatment within soft tissues having differential compliances and haptic feedback. In the first instance the focus will be the treatment of prostate cancer, however, the outcome has the potential for adaptation post PhD for implementation across various treatment pathways for different cancers which involve internal treatment of soft tissues.
In the world, millions of people take prostate biopsies and brachytherapy per year. The success depends on precise needle placement which targeted to the focal lesions. Needle steering, which requires a flexible needle (e.g. bevel-tip needle) and controls the insertion path within tissue (by rotating the needle, applying external forces to the needle base etc.), shows its potential in cancer therapy. Due to the rigorous scrutiny of brachytherapy techniques, robot-assisted needle steering (i.e. which involves real-time needle positioning, needle dynamics control, tissue modelling, vision and imaging) has huge room for improvement in terms of safety, reliability, and accuracy. The PhD is a part of BRL’s ongoing research project in robot-assisted brachytherapy/biopsy with a team of clinical academics from North Bristol Trust.

Eligibility criteria

The successful applicants should have a first class or upper second class honours degree or equivalent qualification in Computer Science or Engineering or a related degree with interest in medical robotics and image guided procedures.

Preferred skill requirements include knowledge/experience of mechatronics design, control, machine learning and writing scientific papers.

The applicants should have a master degree in one of the relevant subjects.

Person specification

The successful applicants should have a first-class or upper second-class honours degree or equivalent qualification in computer science or engineering or a related degree, with a keen interest in robotics. However, prior knowledge of medical robotics or, more specifically, brachytherapy is not essential as training will be incorporated within the PhD programme. Preferred skill requirements include knowledge/experience of image processing, mechanical design and control engineering. The applicants should have a master’s degree in one of the relevant subjects.

A recognised English language qualification is required.

Funding Notes

The studentship is available from 1 July 2020 for a period of three years, subject to satisfactory progress and includes a tax exempt stipend, which is currently £15,009 per annum.

In addition, full-time tuition fees will be covered for up to three years (Home/EU rates only). Overseas applicants will be required to cover the difference between Home/EU and the overseas tuition fee rates in each year of study.