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Nicholas Bennion

Dr Nicholas Bennion


School of Engineering

Queen's Buildings - South Building, Room S 3.37, 5 The Parade, Newport Road, Cardiff, CF24 3AA
Available for postgraduate supervision


I joined Cardiff University in 2011 as an undergradute in Medical Engineering. My PhD, submitted in 2019, involved computational modelling of the brain under quasi-static loads, for applications such as prediction of brain shift in stereotactic neurosugery. I now work in a combined teaching and research role within the department. Whilst my main area of research interest is still brain biomechanics, this has expanded to include mechanical characteristation and modelling of other soft tissues such as skin, muscle and fat. Outside of academia, I have also worked in various engineering roles within the medical device industry and have a keen interest in developing industrial collaborations in future. 









My primary area of research is brain biomechanics. Within this area, I am actively working on the following:
- Computational modelling (FEA) of the brain and cranial meninges
- Analysis of brain displacement under head re-orientation with respect to gravity (positional brain shift)
- Assessment of age-related changes to the displacement pattern of positional brain shift
- In vivo, inverse material characterisation of the time-dependant properties of the brain
- Experimental and mechaincal material characterisation of the pia-arachnoid complex
- Modelling of drug diffusion within the brain for neurosurgical procedures such as Convection Enhanced Delivery (CED)
- Use of computational methods to understand the limitations of Magnetic Resonance Elastography (MRE)

I am also interested in other soft tissues of the body and their interactions with devices, including:
- Better understanding the bulk compressive properties of muscle and fat
- Using Digital Volume Correlation to measure deep tissue strains in patients with lower limb amputations using prosthetics
- Investigating the significane of fat distribution on the accurate measurement of blood pressure using a sphygmomanometer
- Characterising the fracture properties of silicone soft tissue substitutes

Through my previous experience as an R&D engineer, I am in the process of initiating collaborative research projects with  industrial partners across a wide range of applications within minimally invasive surgery. 

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or potential oportunities for collaboration across these subject areas or beyond. 


Education and qualifications

  • 2020: PhD (Computational Modelling of Brain Shift in Stereotactic Neurosurgery, School of Engineering) Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK
  • 2015: BEng Medical Engineering, Cardiff University


I currently supervise a range of 3rd and 4th year level projects across a wide range medical engineering topics, these include:
- Computational modelling of the residual limb/prosthetic interaction for the prediction of pressure ulcers. 
- Mechanical characterisation of cutting properties of silicone soft tissue surrogates.
- Analysis of arterial collapse during blood pressure measurement. 
- Development of realistic, affordable training aid for epidural placement.
- Optimisation of the graft tunnel location for ACL repair