PhD Studentship in Biomechanics

UCL Mechanical Engineering, University College London

Biomechanics of skull growth in children with craniosynostosis

 (This funding is only for UK/EU passport holders.)


The human skull consists of several bones that are joined together along their edges by dense soft tissues called sutures. Once the brain and skull have reached their full adult size, the sutures fuse together to create a single bony structure. Early closure of the sutures (craniosynostosis) occurs in 1 in 2000 births and may result in functional abnormalities of craniofacial system unless there is surgical intervention. However, even after intervention, some children redevelop raised intracranial pressure requiring further surgical procedure.

The aim of this research project is to optimise management of craniosynostosis from a biomechanical point of view. The long term goal of the work is to provide advice to surgeons on when to operate and how best to manage the condition from a biomechanical point of view to ensure the best possible outcome for the child. This project is a joint collaboration between UCL Mechanical Engineering and several UK/EU partners. It may require the student to travel to other centres and possibly spend time in those centres.

See moazenlab.com for our ongoing research in this area and our publications.

Person specification

Applicants should have a strong background (at least a 2.1 honours degree or predicted) in an appropriate engineering discipline (e.g. Mechanical and Biomedical). Previous experience in finite element method, use of ANSYS/ABAQUS finite element software, image processing, and geometric morphometric methods would be an advantage.  The candidate must be self-motivated, take the lead in running the project and liaise the collaboration between the three project partners. You must meet UCL English language requirements.

Financial support

Full tuition fees and tax free stipend of £17,500 per annum (for 3 years). The funding will be contingent to satisfactory performance.


This funding is only for UK and EU passport holders. There is no minimum qualifying residence requirement for applicants from the EU. Please DO NOT enquire about this studentship if you are ineligible.

Application and enquires

Any queries related to the position should be addressed to Dr Mehran Moazen (m.moazen@ucl.ac.uk). To apply for this position, please submit your CV (including at least two referees), a covering letter and a transcript of results (listing all subjects taken and their corresponding grades/marks) to Dr Moazen (m.moazen@ucl.ac.uk) by 30th April – now extended to 14th June . We will be continuously having informal discussion with interested candidates until this position is filled.  The studentship preferred start date is September/October 2018.