Dr Simin Li

BEng, MSc, PhD

  • Senior Lecturer in Mechanics of Biomaterials


Simin is lecturer in Biomechanical Engineering since 2014. Prior to his appointment, he worked as PDRA in bioengineering at the Royal British Legion Centre for Blast Injury Studies at Imperial College London (2013~2014). Educated in mechanical engineering, Simin obtained his BEng in China in 2007, following an MSc in University of Bath in 2009 and a PhD in Loughborough University in 2013. During his student career, Simin has received a number of awards including International Scholarship (2009), EPSRC Studentship (2010-2013) and Best Research Student of the year (2013).

His research covers a broad area of mechanics of biomaterials and tissues across different length-scales, including musculoskeletal tissue modelling (bone muscle, ligament); characterization of tissue engineered constructs; blast injuries simulation; damage and fracture propagation of bone; wound healing; non-union; bespoke prosthetic/implant/orthosis design and optimization; mechano-adaptation of soft/hard tissue and cells mechanics. Since 2014, his research has led to multiple RCUK and government funded projects including those funded by EPSRC, NIHR, Royal Society and MOD/DSTL, with a total value of £230,500 as PI and a further £450,000 as CoI. His current work, focusing on defence and rehabilitation medicine, brings together experts from both academia and industry across the fields, including engineers, scientists and clinicians from different healthcare professions (physicians, radiologists, orthopaedists, prosthetists). He is an associated member of EPSRC Doctoral Training Centres (DTC) in Additive Manufacturing and members of Smart Prosthesis Mimi-CDT and Defence medicine Mimi-CDT.

Externally, he is member of European Society of Biomechanics (ESB) and serves as the secretary of the Technical Committee of the European Structural Integrity Society (ESIS) for biomedical and biological materials. He is an active referee for several leading journals in the field (journal of biomechanics; scientific reports; journal of mechanical behavior of biomedical materials; engineering fracture mechanics; computers in biology and medicine) and external panel for grant application.

Broad interests and expertise

  • Advanced characterisation for biomaterials and tissues
  • In-situ micro-mechanical testing
  • Fracture mechanics
  • Advanced computational modelling of biomechanical processes and biomedical applications
  • Defence and rehabilitation
  • Structural/topological optimization in biomedical engineering
  • Additive manufacturing for biomedical applications

Key Awards

  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy - 2017
  • Best Research Student - 2013
  • Best Research Student Paper of the year - 2013
  • EPSRC Scholarship - 2010-2013
  • International Scholarship - 2008

Research Interests and Activities

  • Defence and rehabilitation medicine
  • Characterization of residual limb biomechanics
  • Patient specific prosthetic/implant/orthosis design and optimization
  • Optimization of functionally graded prosthetic implantable materials
  • Multi-scale modelling of damage and fracture propagation of biomaterials and tissues
  • Computational modelling of mechano-regulated bone adaption
  • Effect of bone micro-morphology on crack growth
  • Modelling of traumatic/blast injuries biomechanics
  • Multi-scale modelling of negative pressure wound therapy (NPWT)
  • Quantitative digital image correlation for biomedical applications
  • In-vivo quantitative analysis of trabecular bone microstructure
  • Simulation of orthopaedic surgery and implant process
  • Computational modelling of atrophic Non-Union
  • Mechanical characterisation of human cancerous cells


  • 2016-2018 DSTL – Characterization of Residual Limb Biomechanics, £90,000, (PI)
  • 2016-2017 EPSRC-NIHR – Understanding the unmeasurable: a framework for linking macro and micro level tissue movement in non-union, £62,500 (PI)
  • 2015-2019 EPSRC – Optimization of functionally graded prosthetic implantable materials, £76,500 (PI)
  • 2015-2017 LU-HWB – A pilot study for high-impact exercise on micromorphological adaptation of bone, £1,500 (PI)
  • 2016-2018 Royal Society - Evaluating the biomechanical performance of additively manufactured endovascular scaffolds, £12,000 (CoI)
  • 2015-2019 ERC – MSCA-RISE-2014 grant MATRIXASSAY Novel Cell Migration Assay Based on Microtissue Technology and Tissue-Specific Matrices, € 324,000 (CoI)
  • 2014-2018 ERC – Trans-Atlantic Micromechanics Evolving Research "Materials containing inhomogeneities of diverse physical properties, shapes and orientations, € 200,000 (CoI)

Current teaching responsibilities

  • FYF322 – Engineering Science (Mechanical Engineering)
  • MMB302 – Engineering Computation for Sports Technology
  • MMC106 – Finite Element Analysis
  • MMD100 – Structural Integrity

Current administrative responsibilities

  • Coordinator of Overseas Internship Scheme
  • Visiting tutor for DIS Industrial Placement

External Collaborators

  • Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) (2016-)
  • National Centre for Sport and Exercise Medicine (2014-)
  • University of Birmingham, Queen Elizabeth Hospital; University of Nottingham (2016-)
  • Auckland University; Royal Centre for Defence Medicine (2016-)
  • University of Sheffield, Metabolic Bone Centre, Northern General Hospital (2015-)
  • University College London (2016-)
  • Imperial College London (2014-)
  • University of Glasgow; University of Edinburgh (2010-2013)