My biomechanics experience!

by Madison Smith

I applied to the in2science program with high expectations due to the great reviews I had heard. I wanted to use the experience to help me decide whether Engineering was the right career for me. I really enjoyed my 2 weeks in the Biomechanics lab at the University of Bath, learning about really interesting research and also working alongside actual PhD students and researchers.

I did some work in the mechanical engineering labs where I learnt how to disassemble and reassemble an engine, how to use CNC machines and how to use laser cutting software. I then specialised into the biomechanics lab where I was introduced to many research projects.

One research project I was shown was looking into pain within the knee. My supervisor, Evelyn Frank, showed me how to prepare and clean bones in a hydrogen peroxide solution. She went on to do a CT scan of the bone that we had prepared and developed the image into a software. From this she will use the model of the bone to simulate a load that occurs whilst walking to see how the material behaves mechanically. It was an incredible experience working alongside Evelyn, helping her with the bone development and learning how to use software like Ansys.

Dissection of a pig spine
Dissection of a pig spine

My other supervisor, Sonia Ramos Pascual, is aiming to characterise and understand the biomechanical behaviour of the spine by looking into the properties of the natural, intact intervertebral disc, the degenerated disc and the spine as a whole. She hopes to aid the development of the next generation of artificial discs. I found this research project extremely interesting, especially learning about the machine Sonia is programming and using to characterise the biomechanics of the spine.

Many thanks to everyone in the biomechanics lab at Bath!