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PhD Studentship - A microstructural mechanobiological model of hair growth

School of Engineering

Location:  Highfield Campus
Closing Date:  Monday 31 August 2020
Reference:  1261020DA

Supervisor:                 G Limbert and A Page 

Project description

Personal care products fuel a multi-billion pounds industry which relies more and more on advanced multiphysics computational simulations to accelerate development and assist in the design decision-making process. Of particular relevance to hair care products and male and female shaving is the ability to predict how hair grows in response to morphogenetic and mechanobiological factors. Simulation of hair biophysics in the entertainment and advertising industries is also fuelling a large body of work. However, current physics-based 3D models do not account for the composite and hierarchical nature of hair structure nor its mechanobiological evolution in response to natural growth.

The objective of this project is to develop a physics-based mechanistic model of hair growth covering its full development cycle and study the effects of mechanical/surface properties and differential growth on hair morphology. The model will account for the multi-level structure of hair and the morphological variability associated with ethnicity. Mechanical characterisation tests and high-resolution imaging will be part of this PhD project. 

The model will be developed in collaboration with our partner Prof. N. Khumalo, Head of the Department of Dermatology and Director of the Skin and Hair Lab in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Cape Town, South Africa. The project will involve research visits to Cape Town.

If you wish to discuss any details of the project informally, please contact A/Prof. Georges Limbert, nCATS Research Group, Email:, Tel: +44 (0) 2380 59 2381.

Entry Requirements

A very good undergraduate degree (at least a UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent).

Closing date: applications should be received no later than 31 August 2020 for standard admissions, but later applications may be considered depending on the funds remaining in place.

Funding: full tuition fees for EU/UK students plus for UK students, an enhanced stipend of £15,285 tax-free per annum for up to 3.5 years. 

How To Apply

Applications should be made online, please select the academic session 2020-21 “PhD Eng & Env (Full time)” as the programme. Please enter Georges Limbert under the proposed supervisor.

Applications should include

Curriculum Vitae

Two reference letters

Degree Transcripts to date

Apply online:

For further information please contact: 

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