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The University of Southampton

Dr Philipp J Thurner MSc, PhD

Visiting Professor

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Professor Philipp J Thurner is a Professor of Biomechanics at TU Wien (Vienna University of Technology), Austria

Prior to his appointment at TU Wien, Professor Thurner was Lecturer, Reader and then Professor of Biomedical Engineering within the Faculty of Engineering and the Environment at the University of Southampton. His main research interest are experimental micro- and nanomechanics of biological tissues and individual tissue components and related structure-function relationships.

Before joining the School of Engineering Science he was working at the University of California from 2004 to 2007. In 2007 he held the position of an associate specialist in the research group of Prof. Tamara Alliston at UC San Francisco, investigating the effects of noncollagenous bone matrix proteins on bone ultrastructure and bone matrix material properties. From 2004 to 2006 he was a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Prof. Paul Hansma at UC Santa Barbara. For this period he was awarded two fellowships from the Swiss National Science Foundation allowing him to explore failure initiation and crack propagation in bone on the micro- and nanoscale. For his discovery and explanation of the stress-whitening effect in bone he won an outstanding meeting paper award at the MRS Spring Meeting in 2005.

He received his PhD in Materials Science from the Institute for Biomedical Engineering (IBT) of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in 2004, while being also affiliated with the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Testing and Research (EMPA). During his PhD project he developed novel methods for functional 3D imaging of bone, cell cultures, and porous biocompatible materials using synchrotron radiation micro-computed tomography (SRµCT). One of these methods, the combination of in situ mechanical testing during SRµCT, led to the first time-lapsed x-ray 3D images of microcrack and microfracture formation. Initially he graduated with an MSc degree in Physics with distinction from Graz University of Technology in Austria in 1999.

Research interests

  • Bone matrix material properties
  • Noncollagenous bone matrix proteins
  • Bone ultra- and nanostructure
  • Bone mechanics
  • Osteoporosis

Research group

Bioengineering Science

Research project(s)

The effects of substrate mechanics on keratinocytes and epidermal stem cell behaviour at wound sites

Module titleModule codeDisciplineRole
Mechanics of Biological Tissues SESM6024 Mechanical Engineering Course leader
Dr Philipp J Thurner
Engineering, University of Southampton, Highfield, Southampton. SO17 1BJ United Kingdom

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