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Temporal Design for the Additive Manufacturing of Medical Devices

Department of Electronic, Electrical and Systems Engineering

About the Project

Dr Lauren Thomas-Seale is a principle investigator in the Biomedical Engineering Research Group, School of Engineering, University of Birmingham. Her research is highly interdisciplinary, conducted at the interface of design for additive manufacturing, biomedical engineering and bioinspired design taken from the growth of organisms in nature [1]. This PhD is offered in collaboration with the Mathematical Biology Research Group in the School of Maths with Dr Rosemary Dyson [2]. The scholarship will be undertaken alongside a funded Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council project in to the development of design methods and software for Temporal Design for Additive Manufacturing. Therefore the scholarship will include pre-funded research and public engagement dissemination activities in the UK and EU and close collaboration with active clinical and industrial research partners.
Advanced manufacturing and the digitalisation of design methods offers unprecedented flexibility to product development. Yet, it is well-acknowledged that design for additive manufacturing (AM) is still highly constrained and requires radically new approaches to apply the breadth of topology and exploit the benefits of the technique. In the design of medical devices, the geometric patient specific capabilities of AM are widely applied. Recent research in the Thomas-Seale group has demonstrated the benefits of designing of implants that satisfy not just the geometric but the physiological requirements of the patient [3]. This PhD will develop design and advanced manufacturing processes to support the development of medical devices with additional functionality to reduce the recovery times of patients. The project will require a well-rounded skill base in design, manufacturing, experimental and computational and/or mathematical techniques with an interest in medical devices and bioinspired design. Whilst not all these skills are essential, the applicant will need to demonstrate an ability to learn and develop new skills efficiently.
The Biomedical Engineering Research Group hosts scholarships across a diverse range of research area’s including biomaterials, imaging, mechanical testing, medical device design and computational validation. It will provide both a dynamic and well-supported environment to conduct research for prospective PhD students.
This PhD opportunity will be available from September 2020. The principle investigator Dr Lauren Thomas-Seale () will be on maternity leave until May 2020. She will have email access from February 2020. Please approach the project co-investigator, Dr Rosemary Dyson () for initial enquiries. Dr Thomas-Seale and Dr Dyson would be pleased to support students who require part-time or flexible working arrangements.
Funding Notes
This PhD is funded through the School of Engineering, University of Birmingham and is available for UK and EU students only.


[1] Thomas-Seale, L. E. J. et al. (2019). The analogies between human development and additive manufacture: Expanding the definition of design. Cogent Engineering, DOI: 10.1080/23311916.2019.1662631
[2] Dyson, R. J., et al. (2014). Mechanical modelling quantifies the functional importance of outer tissue layers during root elongation and bending. The New Phytologist, 202(4): 1212-1222.
[3] Kanagalingam, S. et al. (2019). Design principles to increase the patient specificity of high tibial osteotomy (HTO) fixation device. Proceedings of the Design Society: International Conference on Engineering Design, 1(1): 917-926, DOI:

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