Project code



School of Mechanical and Design Engineering

Start dates

February and October

Closing date

Applications accepted all year round

Applications are invited for a 3 year PhD to commence in October 2020 or February 2021.

The PhD will be based in the Faculty of Technology, and will be supervised by Dr James Buick, Dr Jason Knight and Dr Jovana Radulovic.

The work on this project could involve:

  • Use of in-house lattice Boltzmann method (LBM) software for simulation of flow in the carotid artery.
  • Development of models for stenosis development, based on artery haemodynamic properties, following from previous work.
  • Investigating the complex interaction between stenosis development and flow properties such as wall shear stress, in the carotid artery.

Stroke is one of the leading causes of mortality in the world and is responsible for around 10% of all deaths each year. In around 80% of all strokes the blood supply to the brain is interrupted. This project is aimed at understanding how the haemodynamic and vascular properties in the carotid artery affect the formation of the wall plaque forming the stenosis, and how changes in the artery geometry affect the haemodynamic properties.

Haemodynamic and vascular properties that probably contribute to the development of stenosis and their subsequent rupture include blood flow, plaque geometry and vessel compliance. The majority of existing numerical models consider flow in arteries with differing levels of stenosis. Here the focus will be on the mechanisms through which the Haemodynamic and vascular properties influence the formation of the stenosis, and how this in turn changes these properties.

A number of numerical techniques are available for studying arterial flow. Traditional computational methods applied to blood flow dynamics concentrate on solving the Navier-Stokes and continuity equation. This proposal considers the application of a relatively new numerical technique: the lattice Boltzmann model (LBM) and will build on previous work (Boyd et al. 2007, 2008; Stamou et al. 2016).

This project will provide an improved understanding of arterial haemodynamic and vascular properties and their effect on forces on stenosed regions of the carotid artery. The level of force on the stenosis is a significant factor in its rupture which leads to thrombosis and frequently to ischaemic stroke. Additionally, modelling the extent to which the haemodynamic properties in the artery influences the progression the progression of the disease will aid in developing treatment regimes. Given the high mortality and disability rates associated with strokes in the Western World, a successful outcome will be of considerable benefit both nationally and internationally.

J. Boyd, J. M. Buick and S. Green (2007). Analysis of the Casson and Carreau-Yasuda non-Newtonain blood models in steady and oscillatory flows using the lattice Boltzmann model. Physics of Fluids, 19, 093103

J. Boyd and J. M. Buick (2008). Three-dimensional modelling of the human carotid artery using the lattice Boltzmann method. I: Model and velocity analysis. Physics in Medicine and Biology, 53, 5767.

A. C. Stamou and J. M. Buick (2016).An LBM based model for initial stenosis development in the carotid artery. Journal of Physics A: Mathematical and Theoretical, 49, 195602.

Fees and funding

Funding availability: Self-funded PhD students only. 

PhD full-time and part-time courses are eligible for the UK Government Doctoral Loan (UK and EU students only).

Entry requirements

  • You'll need a good first degree from an internationally recognised university (minimum second class or equivalent, depending on your chosen course) or a Master’s degree in a relevant subject area
  • In exceptional cases, we may consider equivalent professional experience and/or Qualifications
  • English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0

Candidates should have an interest, and some background knowledge, in fluid mechanics and CFD. Experience in programming in C, or similar programing language, is also required.

How to apply

We’d encourage you to contact Dr Jim Buick ( to discuss your interest before you apply, quoting the project code.

When you are ready to apply, you can use our online application form. Make sure you submit a personal statement, proof of your degrees and grades, details of two referees, proof of your English language proficiency and an up-to-date CV. Our ‘How to Apply’ page offers further guidance on the PhD application process.

If you want to be considered for this PhD opportunity you must quote project code SMDE5380220 when applying.

October start

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February start

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