Project title: User-Centred Design to Investigate Auxetic Support Pads for Load Alleviation in Multiple Sclerosis Patients.
  
Director of Studies: Professor Stephen Hoskins
Other members of the proposed supervisory team: Dr Peter Walters
Professional partners: Dr Rosie Jones, Bristol MS Research Unit, Prof Fabrizio Scarpa, Bristol Composites Institute, University of Bristol
  
Project details:
  
The Centre for Fine Print Research at the University of West of England Bristol invites applications for a three-year full-time Doctoral studentship, fully funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), to develop a holistic, user-centred approach to the design of auxetic support pads for improved stability and comfort for wheelchair bound patients.
  
The project will investigate methods for the design and fabrication of support pads for patients suffering from Multiple Sclerosis, working in close collaboration with auxetic materials engineering specialists at the University of Bristol, and clinicians at the Bristol Multiple Sclerosis Research Unit at Southmead Hospital. Applicants may be from a product design or engineering design background. The successful candidate will need to develop an understanding of the aesthetic as well as technical aspects so the design will be appropriate for the user and not intrusive or unusable.
  
The Centre for Fine Print Research has a strong track record of successful PhD completions and our doctoral programme provides a thriving intellectual community, with students from around the world researching into aspects of multi-disciplinary print. We expect research students to take a full and active role in the Research Centre including taking part in regular workshops, conferences and seminars.
  
The studentship commences October 2017. Knowledge and experience of 3D computer aided design and 3D printing will be an advantage. The PhD candidate will be given freedom to develop his/her own dissertation topic within the wider remit of this project.
  
Applicants will be expected to attend an interview and demonstrate:
  
• imaginative and viable preliminary ideas for research into this subject area
• an appreciation of the nature of PhD study and of both independent and collaborative research
• clear motivation for undertaking PhD study in Bristol in this subject area
• evidence that you have, or can develop, the skills required to start the proposed research
  
For an informal discussion about the studentship, please email Peter2.Walters@uwe.ac.uk