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Adaptive modelling and optimisation of hyperelastic cellular structures

Among the best known mechanical qualities of cellular solids are their high strength-to-weight ratio and energy absorption capacity, which arise from the inextricable relation between the geometric architecture and the nonlinear elastic responses of their constituents.

In living structures, such as biological tissue, apposition and resorption of cellular matter are determined by the magnitude of the stresses, with structures under loading becoming denser at the point of stress.

In cellular structures in general, several main factors determine the magnitude of the enhancement of stress level in the cellular material, including the cell geometry, the cell wall thickness, and the presence of cell inclusions.

While new physical criteria associated with different stages of development or healing in natural structures are still to be identified, there is also a need for appropriate theoretical approaches to be developed that take into account the large stress and strain fields during physiological or pathological changes.


The main objectives of this project are:

  • to identify mechanical properties amenable to mathematical treatment and produce physically realistic mathematical models for natural cellular structures capable of recovering completely after large deformations
  • to carry out the mathematical mechanical analysis of these models within the theoretical framework of large strain elasticity, which provides a complete description of the elastic responses of a solid material under loading
  • to design and test computational models based on the finite element method for the numerical analysis of these structures.

We are interested in pursuing this project and welcome applications if you are self-funded or have funding from other sources, including government sponsorships or your employer.

Please contact the supervisor when you want to pursue this project, citing the project title in your email, or find out more about our PhD programme in Mathematics.


Dr Angela Mihai

Dr Angela Mihai

Senior Lecturer in Applied Mathematics

+44 (0)29 2087 5570

Programme information

For programme structure, entry requirements and how to apply, visit the Mathematics programme.

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