PhD Research Studentship Virtual Reality Rehabilitation For Use With Powered Orthotics



Applications are invited for a fully funded PhD studentship in the Department of Mechanical, Materials & Manufacturing Engineering. Current Funding is available to UK/EU members only, due to funding restrictions. The Faculty is ranked in the top 5 out of 85 engineering departments in the UK in the last Research Assessment Exercise (RAE 2008), with most of its research output classified as world leading or internationally excellent in quality. This studentship is an excellent opportunity to become involved at the forefront of research in a rapidly developing new area and to join a dynamic and internationally renowned research team.

With advances in actuation and sensory feedback techniques, powered orthotic devices are increasingly being employed to provide resistance/assistance in patient rehabilitation schemes. At the same time these devices are becoming more compact and energy efficient thus allowing for use outside of the clinical environment. Because of this it is especially important that the device and rehabilitation methodologies be integrated at an early stage to improve effectiveness.

We are looking for a student to work as part of an integrated team to develop a comprehensive virtual rehabilitation scheme that can be employed over an entire day to facilitate long term recovery that has previously been unachievable. In particular the student will be responsible for the development and clinical trial of virtual rehabilitation techniques associated with a powered orthotic device currently under construction. The student will also be expected to provide feedback based on their results to the device designers to improve overall effectiveness of the project.

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Students should have research interests in one or more of the following areas:

  • Human biomechanics and bioengineering
  • Virtual rehabilitation techniques
  • Human-mechanical interaction
  • Human Factors

Students should have, or expect to obtain, a first-class or good 2:1 honours degree or MSc in engineering, mechatronics, applied mathematics or a related subject.

Experience of working in a clinical environment with patients, and development of virtual environments would be valuable. Previous experience of working with haptic feedback devices and medical devices is also beneficial. Preference is given to students able to start in late 2013 or early 2014.

The studentship covers fees at the home student rate and a tax-free maintenance of £13,726 per annum (for UK/EU students only), due to funding restrictions, with additional funding available for applicants holding first-class degrees.

Applications with a detailed CV, the names and addresses of two referees, and a covering letter should be sent to Dr D Branson III, via the ‘Apply’ button below.

Please quote ref. ENG706

Closing Date: 30 July 2013

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