Student Projects

We supervise a number of individual and team projects each year for our students based in the School of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Leeds.  Interested students should review the project options we present each year, and contact the relevant academic members of our group.  We encourage students to engage with our academics to highlight their particular interest.

Examples of recent projects are provided below:

  • Project Example 1: The Low-Cost and Rapid Fabrication of Passive Microfluidic Mixers
  • Academic Supervisor: Dr Robert Kay
  • Student: Michael Philip
  • Acknowledgements: Nathan Wilkinson

This project investigated using CO2 laser ablation as a route to engraving microchannels onto a Poly(methyl-methacrylate) (PMMA) substrate. The digitally-driven nature of this approach facilitates rapid iterative construction of passive microfluidics enabling a range of flow and mixing conditions to be achieved.

  • Project Example 2: Combining 3D printing with Shape-Memory Alloy Actuation for Prosthetic Applications
  • Academic Supervisor: Dr Robert Kay
  • Student: Alice Russell
  • Acknowledgements: Matthew Shuttleworth

Motorless actuation approaches using shape memory alloy (SMA) materials offer a potentially lightweight, compact and quiet alternative to generating movement within a prosthetic device. This video showcases the results of combing Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) with Nitinol SMA wire. Movement of the actuator was achieved through direct Joule heating the wire. Bidirectional motion was generated using torsion springs. To improve grip, sections of the prosthesis were printed using a Thermoplastic Elastomer (TPU) filament material. The use of FFF – a type of 3D printing process – allows patient specific and personalised prosthetics to be rapidly manufactured.