School of Engineering




This research area is based on strong collaborations with our Medical School, agriculture research, and with the NHS and leading medical charities.

Our areas of specialist expertise are wide and varied, ranging from biomechanical modelling and motion analysis, to nanotechnology and robotic solutions.

The Bioengineering group has an element of public engagement. Professor Tom Joyce has been awarded a grant for patient-centred public engagement work about failed hip replacements. Find out more about the MetalHip project.

Bioengineering wear testing rig

Collaboration with industry


  • Glass Technology Services (UK)
  • JRI Ltd (UK)
  • BPEX (British Pig Executive)
  • PXD (UK)


  • Bionica Tech srl (Italy)
  • Italian Institute of Metrological Research Turin (Italy)
  • Ceramtec (Germany)
  • Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology (Switzerland)


  • Ascension Orthopaedics (US)

Collaboration with academia


  • Imperial College London
  • UCL London
  • York St John
  • Huddersfield University
  • Liverpool John Moores University
  • Glasgow University
  • University of Southampton
  • QMUL London
  • Chemical Engineering research at Newcastle University (collaboration on bio-tribocorrosion of orthopaedic implants)


  • University Politecnico di Torino (Italy)
  • Universidade de Evora (Portugal)
  • Institute for Biomaterials-University of Erlangen-Nuremberg (Germany)
  • Sakarya University (Turkey)


  • Banaras Hindu University (India)
  • Nanyang Technological university (Singapore)
  • Monash University Sunway Campus (Australia)

Collaboration with hospitals


  • Newcastle Surgical Training Centre Freeman Hospital
  • University Hospital of North Tees
  • James Cook University Hospital
  • Wrightington Hospital
  • Taunton Hospital



Find out what we're currently working on, and what projects we've completed.

PhD Students

If you're considering doing a PhD with us, here's a list of possible PhD project titles and current research student projects to think about.

You can also read about former students, completed projects, and publications co-authored by PhD/post doctorate students.


Our research takes us into the fields of biomaterials, biomechanics modelling, biotribology and biofabrication. Find out more in the expandable boxes below.


Bioengineering students will have use of some of the best specialist equipment available.

TG/DTA/DSC thermal analysis max temp.1600°C

Thermogravimetry with simultaneous Differential Thermal Analysis and Differential Scanning Calorimetry measurements within the temperature range of ambient to 1600°C. It measures glass transition, melting, crystallization, heat capacity, weight changes with temperature.

Dynamic Mechanical Analyser max temp.400°C

Dynamic Mechanical Analyser with fluid bath option. Tests: 3point bending, compression, tension, shear, Young’s modulus.

Freeze dryer -55°C

Freeze dryer for fabrication of microporous scaffold.


Simultaneous titration with 2 dosing units, automatic addition of solvents and pH control.

NanoSight Particle sizer

NanoSight visualizes, measures and characterizes virtually all nanoparticles moving under Brownian motion.

Multi-station shoulder wear simulator

A five-station shoulder simulator has been developed. The simulator includes a sixth ‘load-soak station’. The simulator can apply loading of up to 1,500N and motions of up to 90° of internal-external rotation and 110° in the flexion-extension and abduction-adduction axes.

50-station pin-on-disc wear machine

This is a 50-station version of the machine designed by Vesa Saikko (Saikko 2005, J Eng Med, 309-18) and now manufactured by Phoenix Tribology. A recent paper which employed the 50-station machine to compare the wear of UHMWPE and XLPE is Harsha and Joyce, 2013, J Eng Med, 600-08.

2x Finger wear testing machines

Two reciprocating pistons combined with a pulley mechanism simulate the biomechanics of the human hand, moving the artificial finger joints between 0° extension to 90° flexion. An intermittent static load is applied (to simulate finger pinch) through a larger pneumatic cylinder.

4 station pin-on-plate machine

Two of these four station wear test rigs are available. Each test station can apply multi-directional motion to test samples which provides clinically relevant wear rates. A recent paper which describes the use of the machine to investigate the addition of a visco-supplement to a lubricant of bovine serum is Joyce, 2009, J Eng Trib, 297-302.

Vicon T20

Six camera motion capture system using stereo-photogrammetry.

Mitutoyo Legex 322

Co-ordinate measuring machine.

Other equipment

  • digital microscope
  • high temperature furnaces
  • oven
  • analytical balances
  • manual/hydraulic press
  • hot plate/magnetic stirrer
  • pH meters
  • siever
  • incubator
  • ultrasonic cleaner
  • grinder/polisher