Mechanics of Large Deformation in Soft Solids

University of Glasgow

James Watt School of Engineering

Project Description

Solid materials that can undergo large deformations are ubiquitous in nature and are widely used to manufacture engineering components.

Naturally occurring materials include soft biological tissues such as heart, arteries, skin and brain. Study of their deformation characteristics is not only important to understand biological function but also necessary to develop an efficient treatment for medical conditions (design of coronary stents, skin patches and surgical procedures).

Several advanced composites used in aircraft and spacecraft components, artificial muscles in advanced robotics and substrates for flexible electronic devices also fall under this category. Of great interest are smart magneto-active and electro-active materials that can undergo extremely large, rapid, and reversible deformations just at the flick of a switch and therefore present great promise for future applications.

This project aims at mathematical and computational modelling of large deformations in soft solids described above. Models for material response will be developed with the help of experimental observations. Computer simulations will be performed to predict the response of these new models under physically relevant loading scenarios. Extreme deformations often lead to buckling instability. Instability is associated with material/structural failure in traditional engineering design but in the case advanced soft composites instability is a desirable and useful tool. One of the main aims of this project is the prediction of post-buckling response of soft materials.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicants should have an undergraduate degree in engineering, applied mathematics, physics, material science or a related discipline. Experience in one or more of the following is desirable:

  • Solid Mechanics: knowledge of continuum mechanics and elasticity.
  • Numerical methods: knowledge of computational techniques to solve differential equations such as the finite element or finite difference method.
  • Scientific programming: the ability to program in a scientific programming language such as Matlab/ Python/ C/C / Fortran.
  • Communication: excellent writing and presentation skills.

This PhD project is suitable for students with interest in either one or more of the following topics:
solid mechanics, continuum mechanics, structural engineering, computational mechanics, composites, biomechanics, advanced materials, or applied mathematics.

Application Process

Informal enquiries can be made by writing to Dr. Prashant Saxena at [email protected] with a copy of your CV and cover letter.

Applications should be made online by following the instructions here.

Supplementary Information

You will benefit from a wide range of researcher development opportunities offered to PGR students. These range from the development of subject-specific skills (mechanics, applied mathematics, computer programming) to transferable skills (scientific communication, time management, networking).
You will be a part of the reputed Glasgow Computational Engineering Centre and will closely interact with world-leading subject experts over the course of your PhD thereby enhancing your knowledge and career prospects.

To apply for this PhD, please use the following application link: https://www.gla.ac.uk/postgraduate/research/infrastructureenvironment

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