Postgraduate research opportunities

Next Generation Medical Design Tools: Full device Design Modelling of Aneurysm Repair Stents

A 39-month PhD Studentship with strong industrial collaboration is available to develop computational design methods for stents used to mitigate rupture in aneurysms of the large arteries. The project will be in collaboration with Terumo Aortic,, an international leading medical device com

Number of places



Home fee, Travel costs, Stipend


22 March 2021


7 May 2021


39 months


The studentship is available for UK, EU and International students, who possess or are about to obtain a first class or BEng (Honours), MEng or MSc degree, or equivalent EU/International qualification, in a relevant physical sciences or engineering discipline.

Eligible Subject: Applied Physics, Mechanical Engineering, BioMedical Engineering, Computational Engineering. Student should have some experience in the use Finite Element computational tools or equivalent (example: ANSYS, ABAQUS)

Project Details

The research challenge is to design these devices for continuous use for longer than normal engineered life times in a fatigue prone environment of 10-20 years when the stress state is generally unknown. Devices essentially are constructed from a polyester tube, structurally supported by nitinol wire, either wound into a ring bundle or in a Z- profiled ring which is then inserted into the diseased arteries to strengthen the artery and improve flow patency. Furthermore, device failures may also arise when the device becomes occluded due to thrombosis accumulation or migration due to haemodynamic forces or vessel wall pulsation. While current developments in medical image scanning technologies have led to a better appreciation of such issues it is generally accepted that improved design can only result from advances in computational modelling technologies, ie simulation tools that can model full device- artery interaction and provide details of the stress state and local blood flow conditions, thus connecting device state to artery geometrical configurations.

The principal objectives of the project are three fold:

(i) To extend the current structural analysis techniques to model full device conditions in patient specific geometries for both Ring and Z-stent Terumo Aortic graft devices.
(ii) To assess the accuracy of the model by comparison to experimentally derived validation data.
(ii) investigate the use of the full device model using scans of human anatomy for a range of complex conditions.

The student will join a diverse international community of researchers, numbering over 70 academics, post docs and PhD students working with an established wide range of knowledge in modelling, numerical methods, experimental techniques and practical applications in similar and related fields. The department runs international visitor and internal student focussed seminar programmes, including researcher social events. The student will work within a recently revised and modernised open plan office environment which is co-located with academic staff offices. IT equipment will be provided and access to funding for conference attendance is available.

START DATE: 1 July 2021

Funding Details

Funding is provided by Scottish Research Partnership in Engineering and Terumo Aortic, and covers full Home/EU tuition fees , along with a standard stipend (currently £15,285 for academic year 2020/21), and support with travel costs for the duration of the project.

International students will be considered, but must provide evidence of sponsorship/funding, which will cover the difference between the Home/EU and International tuition fees



The project will be supervised jointly by Dr William Dempster and Professor David Nash, both of the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering with the principal supervisor being Dr Dempster. Both Dr Dempster and Prof Nash have a long standing relationship with Terumo Aortic in this area and succesfully supervised numerous PhD students

How to apply

Forward CV, academic transcripts, and two references (if available) together with cover letter, justifying interest to Dr W Dempster