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The University of Southampton
EngineeringPostgraduate study

SES-80-159 PhD Studentship: Biophysics modelling framework investigating the drying stress & damage process in skin

Skin is the largest organ of the human body. Its main role is to ensure cohesion and protection of the internal body structures. The geometry and biophysics of this complex multi-layered biological structure are key elements in determining the nature and characteristics of these interactions.

Skin, the largest organ of the human body, is a complex multi-layered structural material. Its main role is to ensure cohesion and protection of the internal body structures and therefore acts as the body's interface to the external environment. Daily, skin is involved in a wide range of (multi-physics) tribological interactions such as those occurring during a shaving stroke. This apparently simple activity involves complex coupled multi-scale physical phenomena such as surface physics, foam/gel/skin rheology and fluid-structure interactions.

The project's aim is to characterise and unravel some of the key multi-physics interactions taking place between the skin, gel/foam and razor. This will be achieved by developing a modelling environment based on finite element techniques together with an experimental framework.

The project will involve a close interaction with the sponsoring company (Procter & Gamble/Gillette, Reading Innovation Centre, Reading, UK) and the successful candidate will spend significant amount of time at the company facilities to conduct physical experiments and interact with the R&D team.

The ideal candidate will have a background and/or interest in continuum mechanics, physics, mathematical and computational modelling techniques, particularly finite element methods (structural/multi-physics). Experience in a finite element application such as ABAQUS, COMSOL, ANSYS or CFD package is not essential but would be a definite advantage. The candidate will use state of the art software/supercomputer facilities at Procter & Gamble and the University of Southampton.

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