Study level


Vacation research experience scheme


Topic status

We're looking for students to study this topic.


Dr Caroline Grant
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Division / Faculty
Science and Engineering Faculty
Professor Peter Pivonka
Professor and Chair of Biomedical Engineering and Spinal Disorders
Division / Faculty
Science and Engineering Faculty


Modern advanced manufacturing techniques have the potential to revolutionise the patient-specific orthopaedic implant space. Many of the existing orthopaedic joint replacements offer a modular design, allowing surgeons to select the size of each component to suit their patient.

However in some joints, for example the shoulder, the conditions that lead to a shoulder replacement (osteoarthritis of the shoulder and rotator cuff tears) also create anatomical anomalies that are challenging to correct with generic implant shapes.

The advent of titanium 3D printing provides an opportunity for the development of patient specific implants to help correct the degenerate anatomy. To design these patient specific implants, we need to construct patient-specific finite element (FE) models.

Research activities

Your involvement will be in areas such as:

  • mechanical testing of prototype implants components and materials
  • FE modelling of prototype implants
  • FE modelling of the implant-shoulder complex
  • segmentation of patient computed tomography (CT) data for modelling of anatomical variations

The specifics of the project will be developed with respect to your background and the progress of the overall project at the beginning of the VRES project.


You will work on aspects of the overall project which are intended to be published in an academic journal.

Skills and experience

Ideally you will be familiar or competent in the following areas:

  • laboratory testing, through participation in practical lessons
  • report writing
  • CAD software
  • FE modelling software

Ideally, if you are a VRES student, you will be a medical or mechanical engineering student.



Contact the supervisor for more information.