Preterm birth prediction using impedance spectroscopy and advanced signal frequency analysis

Deadline: Friday 31 August 2017, 4pm

The aim of this PhD is to develop advanced signal frequency analysis techniques for processing the EIS data for preterm birth prediction. This is a project involving the crossdisciplinary collaborations between two research teams led by Prof Dilly OC Anumba at the School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences and Prof Z Q Lang in the Department of Automatic Control and Systems Engineering (ACSE), respectively. The research works will involve deriving effective data processing algorithms, developing implementation software, conducting data analysis, and validating the analysis by comparing the results with clinical doctors' advice.

The timing of birth is crucial to reproduction. Up to 13% of babies are born prematurely at annual costs to the National Health Service of £1 billion more, and 10-fold higher, than for term babies. The preliminary studies by Prof Dilly OC Anumba at Sheffield have shown that women at high risk of premature birth between 20 and 28 weeks may have lower cervical electrical impedance than those who do not. Initial analyses for the data of cervix electrical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) have demonstrated significant clinical implication of the analysis for the prediction of preterm birth and, at the same time, indicated a need for the development of powerful data analysis technologies that can effectively be used to process the EIS data.

Candidate Requirements

Prospective candidates should have a good honours degree (Class 1 or 2:1) in Engineering, Mathematics, Physics or other related disciplines. Candidates with a strong background in data analysis for biomedical applications are particularly encouraged to apply.

Funding Notes / Residency Restrictions

The Scholarship will offer 3.5 years Home/EU fee; tax-free stipend at the EPSRC rate (£14,553 for 2017/8) and £1000 per annum Research Training and Support Grant. Please note that EU/ UK students are eligible to apply, and that any applicant who has not been resident in the UK for the three years prior to their start date will be eligible for a fees award only.

How to Apply

To apply please submit a PhD application using our online application system via the Apply link at the following: http://www.sheffield.ac.uk/postgraduate/research/apply/applying.

Please choose the Department of Automatic Control and Systems Engineering as the host department and state Professors Lang and Anumba as your preferred supervisors in your application. The preferred start date for the studentship is 25 September 2017 (Please note that deferral to a later start date for this scholarship is not permitted).

The deadline for receipt of applications is 4pm, Friday 31 August 2017. If you wish to discuss any details of the project informally, please contact Prof Z Q Lang via z.lang@sheffield.ac.uk.