Fully funded PhD available on the iTrend project

Fully funded PhD available: Development of a novel cardiovascular hardware simulator for in-vitro assessment of haemodialysis technologies

The fully funded studentship will carry out research to support the iTrend (Intelligent Technologies in Renal Dialysis) project team, which is a collaborative research project between the Derby University, Royal Derby Hospital and Nottingham University.

School of Engineering and Technology, University of Derby

A fully-funded full-time traditional route PhD Post Graduate Research Assistantship (PGRA) studentship is available to supplement the research team working on the ITrend (Intelligent Technologies for Renal Dialysis) programme. The studentship covers tuition fee to the UK home/EU level and provide a tax-free stipend of £18,777 pa for 3 years subject to satisfactory progress. The start date is June 2019 or the next available intake.

Project Title: Development of a novel cardiovascular hardware simulator for in-vitro assessment of haemodialysis technologies

Qualification type: PhD
Location: Derby, UK
Funding amount: £18,777 stipend pa + UK home tuition fees
Hours: Full Time
Closes: 14 April 2019
Interview: w/c 6th May 2019
Start date: June 2019

The student’s activities will be associated with the iTrend research programme. The programme is a collaborative project between the Universities of Derby and Nottingham and Derby Royal Hospital. The project is funded by the MStart Charity and is led by Principal Investigator Prof Paul Stewart.

The aim of the project is to improve the outcome for patients with end-stage renal failure who depend on hemodialysis treatment. To support this activity, the RDH is conducting a 50-patient study collecting real-time physiological data while the patients receive treatment, a first in the analysis of renal failure treatment.

The data from the project forms a large, unique repository, maintained and analysed by Prof Jill Stewart. In parallel with this, a first-stage prototype experimental cardiovascular system is now built and running in the programme laboratory in Lonsdale House.

Project Description:

The purpose of this project is to develop a novel systemic mock circulation loop to enable the in vitro development and testing of medical devices and technologies for haemodialysis.  The human circulatory system is a closed loop comprised of two circulations in series.  The pulmonary circulation exchanges oxygenated blood from the lungs with deoxygenated blood from the systemic circulation.  The systemic circulation transfers oxygenated blood to organs and tissues of the body and is of interest here as haemodialysis removed excess fluid from this compartment. 

This purpose of this project is to provide a test platform for novel medical technologies associated with haemodialysis, and it is envisaged that work will proceed along three phases.  First, there is a need to develop new-high performance hardware to enable the real time and automatic control of the mock circulation loop such that real-time and automatic simulation of haemodialysis patients physiological data.  Second, appropriate anatomical models and geometries at critical flow sections will need to be included and accompanying software tools will be developed to enable precise investigations of cardiac and blood pressure response to haemodialysis.  The third phase with involved the testing and validation of the mock circulation loop, leading to clear recommendations for prospective patient studies.

Entry Requirements

Previous technical research experience is required, either at Masters level or as strong component of independent project work at Bachelor’s level. Prior experience with real-time control, data analysis, engineering design and experimental electronics and control laboratory work is essential. We welcome applications both from candidates with a first degree in an Engineering of Physics-related subject.

How to apply:

In order to apply, please see the University website at https://www.derby.ac.uk/research/degrees/apply/. In addition to the documents requested on the website, please also include with your application a Curriculum Vitae and a covering letter. Completed applications should be submitted via our website at https://www.derby.ac.uk/services/admissions/apply-online-research/, selecting PhD by Traditional Route and quoting reference iTrend_studentships_pgra_0319 in the funding reference field.

For further information and informal discussions on possible research topics please contact Professor Paul Stewart (p.stewart1@derby.ac.uk). Please note that applications sent directly to this email address will not be accepted. If you have not been invited for interview by the interview date, please assume that on this occasion your application has not been successful.

These Studentship positions are only available to UK/EU applicants. If your application is successful and you are assessed as Overseas for fees purposes, you will need to pay the difference between the Home/EU fees and the Overseas fees.