MSc and PhD Studentships in Brain Surgery Simulation, High Performance Computing, UK

High Performance Computing MSc+Ph.D. position available at the University of Glasgow on Massively Parallel Brain Surgery Simulation with the extended finite element method (XFEM and FleXFEM) (University of Glasgow) — funding body is EPSRC.
One year MSc in HPC in Edinburgh (all costs covered by funding) + 3 year Ph.D. and access to HecToR, one of the world’s largest super-computer, including training with experts in massively parallel simulation (10,000+ processors).

Supervisor: Dr Stephane Bordas,Dr Lee Margetts (Manchester)

Collaborators: Prof. Ray Ogden and Prof. Gerhard Holzapfel

Medical experts: two expert surgeons in Belgium and medical imagery specialists

UK or EU students preferred,

Standard EPSRC Stipend + all fees covered.

Aims and Objectives
This project aims to devise and validate a uniquely effective fully parallel surgery simulation tool for use in the training, rehearsing and objective evaluation of surgeons to eradicate much of the uncertainty in improving existing and creating new surgical procedures. High Performance Computing (HPC) is today the only way forward to simulate the effects of various strategies for cutting and manipulating brain tissue both accurately and in real­time. Achieving this will provide a step ­change in surgical.

Aim: The main long­term aim of the research in which this studentship is inscribed is to reconcile real­time and accuracy in brain surgery simulation through cutting­edge computational mechanics, high­performance computing and realistic brain matter mechanical models. Achieving this aim is not reasonably possible within a Ph.D.­level research, the proposed work will provide a detailed proof ­of concept required for further research by tackling the following four objectives.

(1) Optimise accuracy versus computational cost through cutting­edge numerical methods
(2) Develop and test massively parallel algorithms developed by leaders in HPC to achieve real­time simulations
(3) Utilise rigorous experimentally­informed mathematical models of brain tissue developed by world leaders in the field (4) Validate and verify the proposed simulation tool.
For the first time in the field of surgical simulation, the increased efficiency (objectives 1 and 2) will allow realistic non­linear material models to be used (objective 3) without sacrificing accuracy.

What is there for you in this project?

Benefit to the student: Suitability of the project for training Through the unique HPC training, the student will acquire cutting­edge skills in high­performance computing. By working closely with Lee Margetts, and expert in HPC, the proposed project will allow him/her to build upon and hone these skills beyond the MSc training. What is more, the proposed research is highly multi­disciplinary and will train the Ph.D. student in computational biomechanics, which is a leading theme in today’s research. More specifically, two major sets of skills will be acquired:

Numerical methods for evolving discontinuities [OpenXFEM++, FleXFEM, SB] XFEM is one of the most highly researched fields in computational mechanics ­­5 articles in 1999-­2000 and 74 in 2006­-2007 for a total of 138 journal papers between 1999 and 2008 (source: scirus) and more than 400 citations of the original paper [8]. This method and its sibblings such as the Flexible XFEM (FleXFEM) is very likely to become an industrial standard in the coming decade. The student will join SB’s group, one of the most active and recognized developers of XFEM today both academically and industrially, which will be essential in the transfer of his/her skills after the Ph.D.

Element­ by­ element massively parallel architectures [ParaFEM, LM] An essential point for this research is that after his/her Msc, the training of the student in HPC will continue intensively, through the involvement of Lee Margetts, a recognized expert in massively parallel computing and an experienced developer of HECToR supported packages. In particular, the student will be gradually introduced to ParaFEM, developed and maintained by Lee Margetts.

Additionally, the student will benefit from the ongoing work of the team of Profs. Ogden and Holzapfel in soft­tissue modelling and be exposed to some of the leading­edge research by Prof. Ray Ogden’s group, of the host organisation, a world leading expert in fundamental theory in nonlinear elasticity. These sets of skills are highly transferable and will provide the individual with a powerful springboard for a successful career.

Please contact me for more details, this is only a preliminary advert

email: stephane dot bordas at gmail dot com

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