Mathematical Sciences

News and events

18 Nov 2013

Fully funded 3 year PhD Studentship

3-­year PhD studentship in mathematical modelling of the consequences of the decomposition of magnesium-­based bone implants in humans.

Collaborate with a strong and enthusiastic multi-­disciplinary team towards the design of improved bone implant technologies.

Project Background and Aims: Advances in tissue engineering has enabled significant improvements to be made in the clinical treatment of damaged or malformed bone tissue. Novel magnesium based alloys offer exciting prospects for the next generation of bone implant technology, having many properties that make them better suited than currently used materials. However, the use of these new alloys requires much more understanding of how the alloys degrade in the body, how they spread and what are the likely consequences to health. The aim of this project is to augment laboratory experimentation on these alloys with mathematical modelling in order to accelerate their development and ultimately their clinical use for bone implantation.

Project Outline: The student undertaking this PhD studentship will be tasked with the development of new mathematical models, that incorporates biological knowledge and data, to reliably predict the decomposition, dispersal and potential pathological effects of prolonged magnesium released from an implanted device. As part of a multi-disciplinary team, the student’s work will inform the tissue engineering collaborators on experimental direction and, in return, they will provide data for validation of the student’s modelling work. The mathematical models will be analysed to help identify the most desirable properties of the magnesium alloy material in order to optimise bone healing and ensuring patient's safety.

Project Supervisors: Dr John Ward (Department of Mathematical Sciences) and Dr Yang Liu (School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering).

Applicant: candidates for this project will need at least an upper-­-2nd undergraduate degree or masters in mathematics or a related subject and willing to engage in multi-disciplinary research. Knowledge of differential equations, mathematical modeling and computational skills are advantageous. Due to funding conditions, only applicants with UK/EU fee status are eligible for the award.

Funding: The Graduate School studentship provides a tax-­free stipend of £13726 per annum for a period of three years, plus coverage for tuition fees (full-time UK/EU rate), research expenses and relevant travel costs.

For Further information on the project contact Dr John Ward ( For information about the Department of Mathematics see and information on the research in tissue engineering undertaken at the university can be found at

Start date: 1st January 2014

The deadline for applications is Monday December 9th 2013. Applications can be made online via this APPLY link. Candidates should use the reference GSS13 on the application form for the 'funding' section.