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Textile-Based Wearable Devices for Real-Time Human Monitoring (COB23/EE/MPEE/DODD)

   Faculty of Engineering and Environment

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  Dr Linzi Dodd  No more applications being accepted  Competition Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About the Project

This is a funded studentship covering a monthly stipend and tuition fees.

Embroidered electronic sensors have received a great deal of interest in recent years. Sensors are a mainstay of modern society but are often large, heavy and bulky. A lot of research has taken place to investigate a wearable version of these sensors, including using embroidery to stitch the sensors in clothing. A major advantage of doing this is that the issues of size and discomfort are removed. Furthermore, the sensors can be used to monitor many different key parameters, including the health of the wearer, or to act as an antenna, which then could be used for wireless communication between the wearer and their smart phones or home network. 

Wearable sensors have a variety of applications, including continuous health monitoring in normal daily activities, real-time monitoring of individuals in extreme environments or of those who may be considered vulnerable, such as newborn babies or older individuals.

As the methods of realising wearables and their applications are expanding, there is a growing need for standardisation and more importantly investigating usability of this technology from user acceptance and patient compliance perspectives. Embroidered wearables are no exceptions where these aspects require a systematic investigation in terms of their design, fabrication and usability.

The aim of this project is to develop a wearable sensing platform based on embroidery methods. The scientific and technological goal towards this aim will be on the demonstration of wireless sensors for continuous health monitoring. The target biomarkers in this research include but are not limited to: temperature, cardiac signals, human motion, and breath analysis. In addition, relevant environmental parameters such as air quality and radiation sources will be considered. The scientific and technological development will be complemented by the research in usability. 

Designing and fabricating such sensors will involve the research into and optimisation of appropriate materials for the role. This includes the creation and optimisation of infused polymer thin films and fibres, as well as the surface modification of specified or fabricated metal fibres/threads. Stitching styles, densities and patterns will also be investigated to optimise sensor designs. Additional considerations would include sensor location, waterproofing and adhesion.

The usability research will be focused on the investigation of the wearer’s (of their guardian’s) perception of the devices, gaining feedback on the devices and the user perception while wearing them, providing an interdisciplinary approach to the application of wearable devices.

Academic Enquiries

This project is supervised by Dr Linzi Dodd and Dr Hamdi Torun. For informal queries, please contact [Email Address Removed]. For all other enquiries relating to eligibility or application process please use the email form below to contact Admissions. 

Eligibility Requirements

This scholarship is aimed at potential researchers from underrepresented groups in Higher Education. We therefore ask applicants in the personal statement section how they may fit such a criteria, and to outline how this scholarship will allow them to study a PhD, which they may have not been otherwise able to access (maximum 500 words).

Examples of eligible applicants for the scholarship may include, but are not limited to:

Academic eligibility criteria consists of:

  • Academic excellence of the proposed student i.e. 2:1 (or equivalent GPA from non-UK universities [preference for 1st class honours]); or a Masters (preference for Merit or above); or APEL evidence of substantial practitioner achievement.
  • Appropriate IELTS score, if required.
  • Applicants cannot apply if they are already a PhD holder or if currently engaged in Doctoral study at Northumbria or elsewhere.

Please note: to be classed as a Home student, candidates must meet one of the following criteria

  • Be a UK National (meeting residency requirements), or
  • have settled status, or
  • have pre-settled status (meeting residency requirements), or
  • have indefinite leave to remain or enter.

If a candidate does not meet the criteria above, they would be classed as an International student. Applicants will need to be in the UK and fully enrolled before stipend payments can commence.

How to Apply

For further details of how to apply and the application form, click the link below  

For applications to be considered for interview, please include a research proposal of approximately 1,000 words, your 500-word personal statement and the advert reference (e.g. COB23/…).

Deadline for applications: 13 July 2023

Start date of course: 01 October 2023

Northumbria University is committed to creating an inclusive culture where we take pride in, and value, the diversity of our doctoral students. We encourage and welcome applications from all members of the community. The University holds a bronze Athena Swan award in recognition of our commitment to advancing gender equality, we are a Disability Confident Employer, a member of the Race Equality Charter and are participating in the Stonewall Diversity Champion Programme. We also hold the HR Excellence in Research award for implementing the concordat supporting the career Development of Researchers.

Funding Notes

This opportunity is only open to applicants who would be classed as 'Home' students. The studentship includes a full stipend at UKRI rates (for 2023/24 full-time study this is £18,622 per year) and full tuition fees.


S. Zahertar, E. Laurin, L. E. Dodd and H. Torun, Embroidered Rectangular Split-Ring Resonators for the Characterization of Dielectric Materials, IEEE Sensors, 2019.
D. Etor, L. E. Dodd, D. Wood and C. Balocco, High-performance rectifiers fabricated on a flexible substrate, Applied Physics Letters, vol. 109, 2016.
O. Korostynska, K. Arshak, D. Morriso, A. Arshak and E. Jafer, Radiation-induced changes in the electrical properties of carbon-filled PVDF thick films, Materials Science and Engineering B, 2007.
A. Steckl and P. Ray, Stress Biomarkers in Biological Fluids and Their Point-of-Use Detection, ACS Sensors, vol. 3, 2018
L. E. Dodd, H. Torun and D. Wood, Jewelry and Clothing: Transforming from Decoration to Information, Digital Health, 2021.

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