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Modelling, simulation, analysis of Cosserat rods with application to microswimmers

PGR-P-446

Key facts

Type of research degree
PhD
Application deadline
Ongoing deadline
Country eligibility
International (open to all nationalities, including the UK)
Funding
Competition funded
Supervisors
Dr Thomas Ranner
Schools
School of Computing
<h2 class="heading hide-accessible">Summary</h2>

The theory of Cosserat rods is very classical and understood from many different view points. A Cosserat rod is a long, thin structure which can bend, twist, stretch and shear. Cosserat rods have recently been proposed as the fundamental building block for modelling long, thin microswimmers (such as sperm cells or snakes). In this project, we are interested in developing finite element methods for their dynamical simulation. We aim to produce efficient, accurate and robust computation tools. The demonstration of the good properties comes by both detailed numerical analysis as well as thorough simulation. The specific aspects of this project to be worked on will depend on the strengths of the candidate. Different contributions to this project are welcome. The earliest start date for this project is 1 October 2020.

<h2 class="heading hide-accessible">Full description</h2>

<p><strong>Background</strong></p> <p>PhD students are sought in the School of Computing at the University of Leeds, UK. These studentships form part of a larger collaborative and interdisciplinary project, that currently includes two academics (Thomas Ranner and Netta Cohen), two postdoctoral fellows and three PhD students.</p> <p>We study the neuromechanical basis of behaviour in the nematode worm&nbsp;<em>C. elegans</em>. Research combines biological experiments, mathematical and computational modelling of the neural control as well as investigations of the physics of the worm and its interaction with the environment. We are seeking to appoint up to four further PhD candidates focusing on the undulatory motion of this worm: one project on the mathematical understanding of numerical methods for biomechanical models (with Thomas Ranner), one on modelling the neural control of locomotion (with Netta Cohen), one experimental project, combining behavioural experiments and machine vision (with Netta Cohen) and one exploring the dynamics of the worm&rsquo;s behaviour (with Netta Cohen). All projects are envisioned within this multidisciplinary setting. You will join a multi-disciplinary, dynamic, and creative group within the School of Computing at the University of Leeds, with close ties to the Fluid Dynamics Centre for Doctoral Training and to the Hope Laboratory in the Faculty of Biological Sciences, where additional biological experimental facilities are housed.</p> <p><strong>Project</strong></p> <p>The theory of Cosserat rods is very classical and understood from many different view points. A Cosserat rod is a long, thin structure which can bend, twist, stretch and shear. Cosserat rods have recently been proposed as the fundamental building block for modelling long, thin microswimmers (such as sperm cells or snakes). In this project, we are interested in developing finite element methods for their dynamical simulation. We aim to produce efficient, accurate and robust computation tools. The demonstration of the good properties comes by both detailed numerical analysis as well as thorough simulation.</p> <p>The specific aspects of this project to be worked on will depend on the strengths of the candidate. Different contributions to this project are welcome.</p> <p><strong>Entry requirements</strong></p> <p>Candidates should have a strong undergraduate degree in a relevant area (including but not restricted to mathematics, physics or computer science). A good candidate for this project should have some knowledge of aspects of the design, analysis and implementation of finite element methods for partial differential equations. Programming (implementing novel finite element methods) is an essential part of this project. Prior experience in research (e.g.&nbsp;a Masters degree or work in industry) is a plus.</p> <p>Informal enquires are welcome from all potential candidates. For more details please contact Dr Thomas Ranner (<a href="mailto:T.Ranner@leeds.ac.uk">T.Ranner@leeds.ac.uk</a>) and/or Prof Netta Cohen (<a href="mailto:N.Cohen@leeds.ac.uk">N.Cohen@leeds.ac.uk</a>).</p>

<h2 class="heading">How to apply</h2>

<p>Formal applications for research degree study should be made online through the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.leeds.ac.uk/rsa/prospective_students/apply/I_want_to_apply.html">University&#39;s website</a>. Please state clearly in the research information section&nbsp;that the research degree you wish to be considered for is &lsquo;Modelling, simulation, analysis of Cosserat rods with application to microswimmers&rsquo; as well as&nbsp;<a href="https://eps.leeds.ac.uk/staff/643/Dr_Thomas_Ranner">Dr Thomas Ranner</a> as your proposed supervisor.</p> <p>If English is not your first language, you must provide evidence that you meet the University&#39;s minimum English language requirements (below).</p> <p><em>We welcome applications from all suitably-qualified candidates, but UK black and minority ethnic (BME) researchers are currently under-represented in our Postgraduate Research community, and we would therefore particularly encourage applications from UK BME candidates. All scholarships will be awarded on the basis of merit.</em></p>

<h2 class="heading heading--sm">Entry requirements</h2>

Applicants to research degree programmes should normally have at least a first class or an upper second class British Bachelors Honours degree (or equivalent) in an appropriate discipline. The criteria for entry for some research degrees may be higher, for example, several faculties, also require a Masters degree. Applicants are advised to check with the relevant School prior to making an application. Applicants who are uncertain about the requirements for a particular research degree are advised to contact the School or Graduate School prior to making an application.

<h2 class="heading heading--sm">English language requirements</h2>

The minimum English language entry requirement for research postgraduate research study is an IELTS of 6.0 overall with at least 5.5 in each component (reading, writing, listening and speaking) or equivalent. The test must be dated within two years of the start date of the course in order to be valid. Some schools and faculties have a higher requirement.

<h2 class="heading">Funding on offer</h2>

<p><strong>UK students:</strong>&nbsp;Three EPSRC Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP) Scholarships (fees and maintenance for 3.5 years) are available within the School of Computing for Home/UK rated students. One award is only available for a start date of no later than April 2020. The other two are intended for a start date of October 2020. A full standard studentship consists of academic fees (&pound;4,500 in Session 2019/20), together with a maintenance grant (&pound;15,009 in Session 2019/20) paid at standard Research Council rates. UK applicants will be eligible for a full award paying tuition fees and maintenance. European Union applicants will be eligible for an award paying tuition fees only, except in exceptional circumstances, or where residency has been established for more than 3 years prior to the start of the course.&nbsp; Applications will be considered on a rolling basis until the available awards are filled. For an October 2020 start date, the deadline for receiving applications is 8th January 2020.</p> <p><strong>UK/EU students:</strong>&nbsp;The School of Computing will be nominating up to two candidates for a further University wide competition (15 awards available).</p> <p><strong>UK/EU/International students:</strong>&nbsp;This year our faculty also has a number of additional awards that are funded by individual schools, and School of Computing has at least one such award.</p> <p><strong>Chinese students:</strong>&nbsp;We welcome applications from China for students who apply for the China Scholarship Council - University of Leeds Scholarships 2020. These awards cover fees and maintenance for three years. The application deadline is 8th January 2020. Details can be found at:&nbsp;<a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk/funding/48-china-scholarship-council---university-of-leeds-scholarships-2020">https://phd.leeds.ac.uk/funding/48-china-scholarship-council&mdash;university-of-leeds-scholarships-2020</a></p>

<h2 class="heading">Contact details</h2>

<p>For further information regarding your application, please contact Doctoral College Admissions by&nbsp;email:&nbsp;<a href="mailto:phd@engineering.leeds.ac.uk">phd@engineering.leeds.ac.uk</a>&nbsp;or by telephone: +44 (0)113 343 5057.</p> <p>For further information regarding the project, please contact Dr Thomas Ranner by email:&nbsp;&nbsp;<a href="mailto:T.Ranner@leeds.ac.uk">T.Ranner@leeds.ac.uk</a></p>


<h3 class="heading heading--sm">Linked funding opportunities</h3>
<h3 class="heading heading--sm">Linked research areas</h3>