PhD Scholarship The role of dynamic mechanical loading on bone mineral density

Closing date 8th July 2013.

Interviews held on 18nd July 2013. Studentships will start in September 2013

In the UK women face a 1 in 6 lifetime risk of sustaining hip fracture. The cost to the NHS in treatment of these hip fractures alone amounts to more than £1.73 billion per year. Progression in understanding bone mineral density reductions and fall incidence will reduce the risk to elderly women, and save the NHS both time and money. A multitude of factors may predispose individuals to osteoporosis. Although the direct influence of mechanical loading on bone formation is well known, the influence of this over the course of a lifetime is relatively unknown. It is proposed that the development of osteoporosis in the elderly may be a result of subtle differences in mechanical loading during locomotion, and this will be examined during the course of this OSPREY (Osteoporosis Research in East Yorkshire) funded PhD studentship.

To test this hypothesis approximately 50 osteoporotic females aged between 65 to 70 years have already undergone complete gait analyses, including 3D motion capture of both level walking, stair ascent and descent, muscle strength testing and postural (balance) assessment. This data now requires analysis to see if it is possible to identify typical movement patterns of those at differing stages of osteoporotic development. Participant-specific musculoskeletal models (MSM) will be created from the 3D motion capture data using musculoskeletal simulation software AnyBody. This will provide both further gait parameters as well as muscle forces, which will also be analysed with respect to T-score.

Also Read  PhD Studentship Co-learning and Co-innovation to achieve Impact in Research: Informing technology transfer in Scotland and New Zealand

Highly motivated students interested in pursuing a PhD in the Medical and Biological Engineering Research Group (MBE) within the School of Engineering at the University of Hull are invited to apply.

Applicants should have at least a 2.1 honours degree (or predicted) in an appropriate Sports Science or Engineering discipline. Previous experience in processing gait data, large volume data analysis and musculoskeletal modelling would be an advantage.

Due to funding restrictions this full-time PhD Scholarship is open to UK/EU students and will include fees at the ‘home/EU’ student rate and maintenance (£14,013 in 2013/14, subject to final confirmation) for three years, depending on satisfactory progress.

PhD students at the University of Hull follow modules for research and transferable skills development and gain a Masters level Certificate, or Diploma, in Research Training, in addition to their research degree.

Applications should be made via the University’s online application system:

Successful applicants will be informed of the award by 22th July 2013.


Dr Catherine Dobson, email: , tel: +44 (0)1482 465049, Department of Engineering, University of Hull.

Professor Michael Fagan, Department of Engineering, University of Hull.

Dr Tina Smith, Department of Sport, Health and Exercise Science, University of Hull.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *