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2015 James Watt PhD Scholarship available (Multiscale Modelling in Tissue Mechanics) at Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, UK

There is ample evidence that structural and mechanical properties of human and animal tissue greatly depend on their microstructures although few models exist to account for the relationship between the structural features at multiple length scales and the tissue functionality. This project will develop tissue models at a range of length scales (from tissue to cellular/sub-cellular) using both experimental and computational approaches. It is expected that this project would address key scientific issues in understanding the relationship between tissue microarchitecture and its functionality and property, not only in healthy condition, but more importantly in its pathological condition where mechanical property of tissue is closely related to grade of disease thus can be adopted as a key index for clinical diagnostics.

Working closely with our EPSRC-funded project (EP/K036939/1(2013-2016): A Novel Diagnostic Tool: from Structural Health Monitoring to Tissue Quality Prediction), the successful candidate will work with a group of mathematicians, engineers and surgeons from universities and institutions in collaboration. 

Value of the Studentship: 
This is one of the 2015 James Watt Scholarships that were recently announced by school of EPS at HWU. It fully covers tuition fees and also provides a tax-free stipend (£15k per year) for 36 months. 

Entry Requirements:
The ideal candidate should be highly-motivated and have good written and oral communication skills as well as genuine interest in research and publishing your work. In addition, prior experience in computer programming/finite element analysis/multiscale modelling is a plus. A first/master degree in mechanical engineering/solid mechanics, material science, biomedical engineering or other related fields is desired. 

Closing date:
All applications must be received by 27th March 2015. The successful candidate must commence studies by 1st Dec 2015 at the very latests.

Application procedure:
Informal enquiries about project details can also be made to Dr Yuhang Chen ( 

Formal application should be made through Heriot-Watt on-line application system by 27th/March/2015. (

When applying through the Heriot-Watt on-line system please ensure you provide the following information:
(a) in “Planned Programme of Study” (Checklist Item 6):
"Planned Programme of Study" presents you with a drop-down menu. Choose Mechanical Eng PhD. See subheadings "Leading to a PhD in ...." in the full list of projects. Supervisor provides a free text box. Enter supervisor’s name (Dr. Yuhang Chen)
(b) in “Background Information” (Checklist Item 9):
Proposed Area of Research provides a free text box. Enter Title and Reference number (JWS2015/14). This information will greatly assist us in tracking your application.

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