Performance aspects in the development of the smart prosthetic lower limb PhD

Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering
Entry requirements:
2:1 +
Not available
Reference number:
UK/EU fees:
International fees:
Application deadline:
February 2018



in the UK for research quality

REF 2014


in the UK for Mechanical Engineering

The Complete University Guide 2018


of 2 Queen's Anniversary Prizes


Loughborough University is a top-ten rated university in England for research intensity (REF2014) and an outstanding 66% of the work of Loughborough’s academic staff who were eligible to be submitted to the REF was judged as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’, compared to a national average figure of 43%.

In choosing Loughborough for your research, you’ll work alongside academics who are leaders in their field. You will benefit from comprehensive support and guidance from our Doctoral College, including tailored careers advice, to help you succeed in your research and future career. 

Project detail

Restoration of human functional activity has been a drive for many centuries dating back to early Egyptian and Greek civilizations. These interventions would often take the form of a prosthesis or an assistive device made from various materials depending upon the body part. Emerging technologies in the last two decades have enabled a new paradigm of manufacturing in this area, using biomimetic and light-weight materials; structural-optimization techniques; additive manufacturing and active robotic controls. Current state-of-the-art research is focused on the integration of a human body with artificial components, electronics, temperature, pressure sensors etc. for greater functionality and comfort. In parallel with these developments, a field of tissue engineering has progressed significantly with various relevant tissues now “fabricated” in vitro.

Building upon the existing success of the group on prosthetic mechanics of lower-extremity, the proposed project invites a suitable candidate to join the multi-disciplinary, dynamic research team to work on the “smart prosthetic” project. The candidate will focus on loading and performance aspects in the development of “smart prosthetic lower limb”. These aspects will be addressed by implementing experimental studies and developing numerical simulation tools to get an in-depth knowledge of mechanical behaviour of biological and artificial components of a smart prosthetic lower limb and to investigate deformation and fracture mechanisms under various usability regimes including cyclic and impact loading. Another important aspect will be analysis of stress and strain distributions in critical elements of the system, especially at the interface between living tissues and mechanical components of the prosthetic leg. This project is part of a larger multi-disciplinary project being pursued by academics from several Schools under the University’s strategic theme “Health & Wellbeing”.

The project embraces the disciplines of mechanics of materials, engineering, materials and life sciences and aims to create a step change in prosthetic rehabilitation. This studentship will appeal to students interested in studying structural integrity of challenging multi-material mechanical structures with emphasis on design of medical devices and their integration with biological systems.


Primary supervisor: Dr Simin Li

Find out more

Applicants should have, or expect to achieve, at least a 2:1 Honours degree (or equivalent) in Mechanical Engineering, Continuum Mechanics, Computer Science, Materials Science, Physics or a related subject. A relevant Master’s degree and/or experience in one or more of the following will be an advantage: Mechanical Engineering, Continuum Mechanics, Computer Science, Materials Science, Biomedical Engineering, and Computational Biology.

All students must also meet the minimum English Language requirements.

Fees and funding


Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching, assessment and operating University facilities such as the library, IT equipment and other support services. University fees and charges can be paid in advance and there are several methods of payment, including online payments and payment by instalment. Special arrangements are made for payments by part-time students.

This is an open call for candidates who are sponsored or who have their own funding. If you do not have funding, you may still apply, however Institutional funding is not guaranteed. Outstanding candidates (UK/EU/International) without funding will be considered for funding opportunities which may become available in the School.

How to apply

All applications should be made online. Under programme name select Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering. Please quote reference number: SFSL100317