Applications are invited for three fully funded PhD positions to work on an exciting inter-disciplinary project. The project aims to investigate the hearing organs of various insects, and use this biological knowledge to inspire the development of novel acoustic sensors with biomimetic properties.
The focus of this project is the development of new micro-scale acoustic sensors, which is a growing area of research that seeks to produce innovative designs for use in a huge variety of applications including mobile phones, and portable and wearable computing. This engineering development and innovation will take inspiration from the micro-sized hearing organs found in many insects. A large number of insect ears are known to have interesting properties currently not exploited in industrial or commercial sensor products. Such properties will then expand and enhance the function of artificial acoustic sensors.
The project will involve working in an inter-disciplinary team, combining experimental and theoretical investigations of different insect ears with the development of new artificial acoustic sensors. The three students will each focus on a specific aspect of the project, relating to their own degree experience (i.e. from biology/engineering/physics/mathematics). However, this project will allow the PhD students to gain training and experience in the tools and techniques used in the other disciplines, extending their skill set and experience base.
The tools and techniques to be utilised within the project include the very latest equipment to undertake microscopy, vibrational measurements, and design and create new sensors. The project team also includes two postdoctoral research staff with high levels of experience in this area, who will provide help to the PhD students. Finally, there will be lots of opportunities for all students to travel internationally, both to conferences and to visit other laboratories.
Dr James Windmill