Phd in Therapy Planning and Monitoring of Tissue Ablation by High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound University College London, Department of Mechanical Engineering

PhD: Therapy planning and monitoring of tissue ablation by high-intensity focused ultrasound, - Ref:1656161


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UCL Department / DivisionMechanical Engineering

Duration of Studentship Three Years

Stipend £16,290 per annum

Vacancy Information

The Department of Mechanical Engineering at UCL has an outstanding international
reputation in teaching & research on energy and the environment, marine engineering and
naval architecture and engineering for medical applications, with strong research
collaborations with industry and universities in the UK, North America, Asia and the Far East
and has excellent research and teaching facilities.

This studentship provides an opportunity for a UK/EU candidate to join a 3-year study
program in UCL's Department of Mechanical Engineering.

Studentship Description

High-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) is an emerging treatment modality which uses
high-amplitude ultrasound to thermally ablate a localised region of tissue. HIFU is the only
non-ionising intervention capable of complete non-invasive ablation at depth. While HIFU is
currently in the early stages of development and adoption, it has the potential to transform
the treatment of a variety of serious medical conditions, including cancers of the liver and
kidneys, and uterine fibroids. In order to facilitate the clinical uptake of HIFU, patient
specific and efficient numerical modelling schemes are required to plan and optimise the
treatment. The aim of project OptimUS (EPSRC grant EP/P012434/1) is to develop a novel
mathematical and treatment planning framework for ablating tumours of the abdomen
using HIFU. HIFU has the potential to lead to significant improvements in disease outcomes
and the quality of life of patients. In addition, the development of HIFU treatment planning
methods will lead to more cost-effective cancer treatment protocols, saving the NHS time,
resources and money.

A key component to the successful outcome of devising a HIFU treatment planning platform
involves experimental validation of the underlying numerical schemes. For this purpose,
experiments on soft tissue and bone phantoms will be carried out and compared with
output from the OptimUS treatment planning software. Access to a clinical MR-guided HIFU
system at the Royal Marsden Hospital has been secured specifically for this task.
This PhD Studentship offers a unique opportunity to join a team of world-leading
investigators and partners from UCL, University of Cambridge, The Institute of Cancer
Research and the Oxford HIFU Unit. All bring unique yet complementary expertise in the
fields of mathematics, engineering, physics, medicine and computing to solve a series of
complex challenges. Applicants interested in a career in engineering applications of
healthcare technologies are strongly encouraged to apply. Successful completion of this
appointment will lead to excellent academic and industrial prospects.

Person Specification

Applicants must have a UK-equivalent first degree in an appropriate engineering discipline
(e.g. Mechanical or Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering), or Applied Physics.
Proficiency in applied mathematics, Matlab or Python programming experience and
knowledge of measurement techniques are a distinct advantage. Only students with a good
First degree, or who are expecting to receive one, and/or an MSc degree with distinction
will be considered.


Candidates must be either UK residents, or EU residents who have been living in the UK for
3 years prior to the course commencing. EU residents who have not been living in the UK
are eligible for fee only awards; see


For more information please contact Prof. Nader Saffari ( )


To apply, please send a CV and cover letter by email to Prof. Nader Saffari
( ).

Contact name Nader Saffari

Contact details n.saffari

UCL Taking Action for Equality

Closing Date 30 Sep 2017

Interview date TBC

Studentship Start DateDecember 2017 at the latest

If you apply for this position please say you saw it on Engineeroxy


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