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Smart insole systems to help prevent diabetic foot ulceration

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Monday, August 31, 2020
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Supervisor: Prof. Liudi Jiang

Project description

There are over 3.3 million people in the UK who have diabetes, and this will increase to 5 million by 2025. There are over 60,000 people with diabetic foot ulcers in England at any given time, and approximately 160-foot ulcer related amputations every week. Many of these may be preventable with better management of the loading applied at the sole of the foot.

Currently, the NHS spends £1.13 Billion every year on diabetic foot ulcer-related care. Prevention is predominantly through scheduled foot screening and patient education. However, a foot ulcer can occur quickly in daily activities. People with diabetes often cannot feel foot pain and thus fail to recognise the early warning signs. There is lack of effective monitoring and/or intervention systems to help alert and avert diabetic foot ulcers (DFUs) in everyday use.

This project aims to address this unmet need by developing a unique wearable smart insole system which can be used by people with diabetes for the daily living environment to monitor early signs and self-management of DFU risks. This PhD project will focus on the engineering development and biomechanical research in the field of medical devices and body-interface biomechanics, building upon established expertise in the team. You will join and benefit from this dynamic and interdisciplinary research team at the University of Southampton. You will also benefit from strong collaborations with established health scientists, industries and other stake holders.

Candidates should have knowledge or interest in one of multiple engineering fields of mechanical engineering, mechatronics, biomedical devices, electrical engineering, machine learning, signal processing, programming or other relevant engineering disciplines. No previous experience with biomedical devices or foot biomechanics is required as training will be provided, although this could be desirable. You will also be expected to demonstrate excellent communication and writing skills.

Applicants should have, or expect to gain, a UK first or upper second-class degree in a related subject. This is a fully funded PhD. The PhD studentship is available to start in September/October 2020. For further information or to discuss any details informally, please contact Prof. Liudi Jiang (email: ) attaching a brief CV.

Entry Requirements
A very good undergraduate degree (at least a UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent).

Closing date: applications should be received no later than 31 August 2020 for standard admissions, but later applications may be considered depending on the funds remaining in place.

Funding: full tuition fees for EU/UK students plus for UK students, an enhanced stipend of £15,285 tax-free per annum for up to 3.5 years.

How To Apply

Applications should be made online, please select the academic session 2020-21 “PhD Engineering and Environment (Full time)” as the programme. Please enter Luidi Jiang under the proposed supervisor.

Applications should include:
Curriculum Vitae
Two reference letters
Degree Transcripts to date
Apply online: https://www.southampton.ac.uk/courses/how-to-apply/postgraduate-applications.page

For further information please contact:


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