Jack is a PhD student in the Biotribology Group

" Find projects and supervisors that inspire you, demonstrating that passion will be what separates you from other applicants"

Why did you decide to study for a PhD?

During my undergrad in civil engineering, I got the opportunity to compete my dissertation in a biomedical project. The project looked at finite element modelling implants in the eye to correct poor vision. I found research the most engaging part of my degree, I enjoyed the time spent reading into interesting applications of engineering into the bio space. When I saw an opportunity to continue researching in biomedical engineering it was a no brainer.

What has your experience been like so far during your PhD studies in the department? What has been the best thing so far about your experience?

This year I was lucky enough to present some of my work on lower limb amputees at parliament. This was a great opportunity to take the research somewhere it can have a real impact and changed the usual dynamic of presenting your work to experts. I also was able to participate in a extended volunteering project with North Paddington Youth Club, helping students go through a design project on an electric scooter and helping with their university, apprenticeship and job applications.

What is your research about?

My research is looking into the reason why so many lower limb amputees are suffering from injuries while using their devices, we investigate this at many different scales. This involves having amputees coming to the lab, having tissue samples from surgery and testing cells at the very small scales. The ultimate aim of this research is to provide a solution to the high injury rates with tissue engineering.

What would you say about the supervision you receive?

My supervision has been excellent, my main supervisor Marc Masen brings lots of energy and creativity to quite a challenging project in places, My second supervisor in Bioengineering, Claire Higgins has been crucial in teaching the biology and techniques required for the project. Both have made the transition from civil engineering very easy.

Do you have any thoughts about what you might like to do in the future?

I am always looking for interesting avenues to pursue and my PhD gives me confidence that I will be well suited to most jobs on the market. My experiences through the college's widening participation have inspired me to continue to close the gap for working class kids to get into STEM.

What advice would you offer to students considering applying for a PhD in the Mech Eng department at Imperial?

Find projects and supervisors that inspire you, demonstrating that passion will be what separates you from other applicants.