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Postdoc in Tissue Mechanics, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh

yuhangchen's picture

Tissue Mechanics Group at the School of Engineering and Physical Sciences, Heriot-Watt University (Edinburgh, UK), has a postdoctoral research associate position available for 26 months (Grade 7, Salary: £34,308 - £39,745, plus standard academic package of remuneration). The main research area will be computational tissue mechanics (with the option to lead experimental tissue characterisation, depending on experience and interests), with the application area in mechanics-based tumour detection for robot-assisted surgery. 

The application portal and detailed job description can be found deadline is midnight (UK time) Sunday 4th December

*For informal enquiries, please email y.chen AT


Additional information: (for full advert, please visit

The successful candidate will lead the tissue mechanics research in an EPSRC-funded large consortium (MIRAS), including collaborators from Heriot-Watt University, University of Edinburgh (Western General Hospital) and CMR Surgical, one of the leading surgical robotics companies in the UK, working with a team of of engineers, physicists and clinical researchers in developing miniaturised sensors for minimally-invasive surgical robotics for intraoperative tumour detection and surgical margin prediction.

The focus of this post will be to develop, test and validate the computational modelling framework to process, intra-operatively, the mechanical measurement data from the device into quantitative assessment of tumour identification and surgical margin, taking into account the interplays with the surgical robot and the constraints given rise by the clinical and surgical procedures. Main work and research methods will involve model reconstruction from medical imaging data, finite-element modelling of soft tissue mechanics and computational methods for inverse analysis for nodule detection using experimental data. Depending on the expertise and personal research interests, the PDRA is also encouraged to lead or participate in experimental characterisation of animal/human tissues using lab equipment or the device developed from this project.

The post-holder will make use of our research facilities including dedicated tissue mechanics labs, medical device laboratories and the high-performance computing labs. The research at Heriot-Watt university will be carried out, jointly, between the Tissue Mechanics Group ( and the Applied Optics and Photonics Group (, under the joint supervision and support of Dr Yuhang Chen, Dr Bill MacPherson, Prof Bob Reuben and Prof Duncan Hand. S/he will also work collaboratively with other investigators (e.g. the clinical team from University of Edinburgh), research associate/clinical fellow and industrial partners on work closely related to their research focus, in our state-of-the-art laser-based precision manufacturing labs, tissue processing facility, mechanical characterisation and imaging facility. Occasional working, with the other research associates, at the large animal research facility at University of Edinburgh and the robot-assisted surgical facilities at the Western General Hospital (Edinburgh) will be expected. During the project, visits/secondments to our industrial partner, CMR Surgical, will be supported to conduct collaborative research.

We are looking for a postdoctoral researcher who is ambitious, self-motivated and collaborative, with a passion for solving engineering problems and good interpersonal skills. The post will be for up to 26 months, with opportunities and funding available for personal development, conference travels and outreach activities, as well as support from the project team and external members of the consortium management committee. Opportunities exist to lead further studies depending on skills and interests. Training is available in any areas where the postholder is less experienced.

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