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PhD Studentship: Printed electronics for wearable sensing in health-monitoring applications

Mechanical Engineering

Location:  Highfield Campus
Closing Date:  Wednesday 31 July 2019
Reference:  1144119DA

Project Reference: MechEng-Mech-567

The technology trend towards smart wearables is apparent from the exponential growth of the wearables market in recent years for consumer, sports, and military applications. By offering unique functionalities for in-situ, real-time and non-invasive monitoring, wearable sensors for health and sports performance have been proposed. For example, electronic skin that replicates the complex sensory response of real skin by having sensors on flexible substrates has been the focus of many research groups. Pressure and strain sensors show interesting potential in many wearable applications, from breathing detection, human motion detection to soft robotics and human-machine interactions. On the other hand, conductivity and moisture sensors can be used to monitor sweat and breath chemistry as an indicator for health condition.

In this project, we will explore the use of printed graphene together, with other functional materials in wearable sensors, to sense parameters such as pressure, strain, conductivity and moisture. Functional material deposition, materials characterization, sensor device fabrication and electrical characterisation will be areas of focus in the project. In addition, solution-based processes that enable large-area, low-temperature printing will be the preferred process technologies in order to realise cost-effective flexible electronics.

This project is part of a collaboration between the University of Southampton and Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology (A*STAR SIMTech). The first part of the project will be at the University of Southampton’s Highfield campus where you will complete a project plan and compulsory modules as part of your training. You will then be based at SIMTech in Singapore for two years where you will be guided by supervisors from both A*STAR and the University of Southampton. You will return to the University of Southampton for the final phase of the project to focus on any remaining fabrication, characterisation and also to write up your thesis. You will be supervised by Dr Suan Hui Pu, Dr Junie Tey and Prof John Atkinson in this project.

 We encourage interested students with a background in Engineering, Applied Physics or Materials Sciences to apply. To secure complete funding, you will need to have a strong upper second class honours or a first class honours degree (or equivalent). If you wish to discuss this opportunity informally, you may contact Dr Pu in the first instance at

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