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Nathan Gavin

Research Postgraduate - Computational Mechanics Node

Research Postgraduate - Computational Mechanics Node in the Department of Engineering


Nathan is a PhD student in the Department of Engineering having completed a MEng degree in Mechanical Engineering at Durham in 2019. Nathan's project focuses on using the Material Point Method to model biomechanical structures from MRI scan data, namely the human heart.

Research Project

The ability to model biomechanical structures is an impoertant task in investigating the way the human body works, giving scientists a greater understanding of how human tissues are affected by various factors. The Material Point Method (MPM) is a semi-meshless method which discretises a domain into particles which deform to define the response of the material. The MPM has not been used previously to model heart tissue but can better handle large deformation problems compared to standard modelling techniques. By performing an inverse analysis, a greater understanding of the changes in material properties of the heart with factors such as age or disease can be seen.