Current Student Research
Hussien Mraity – 1st year PhD student
Project: Optimisation of image quality and radiation dose for AP pelvis radiographic examinations
Within medical imaging there is a need to limit the amount of X-radiation that is used to image humans; this is to reduce the risk associated with the ionising radiation. Whilst computed tomography (CT) contributes a significant and increasing radiation burden to patients plain radiography is used commonly for certain body parts the radiation risk can be high. This is particularly true for imaging the pelvic area where the radiosensitive male and female gonads are located. This research will optimise the radiation dose and image quality for plain radiography pelvic imaging. Initially it shall commence with research on phantoms; this will involve the analysis of physics and perceptual measures. The intention is that the work shall culminate with human imaging to validate and elaborate upon the phantom data. The aim is to reduce the radiation required for pelvic X-rays, consistent with obtaining images of diagnostic quality. Hussein will study a number of areas to achieve the PhD, including: measurement and analysis of perpetual image quality; measurement and mathematical modelling of effective dose; operation of imaging and ancillary equipment involved with the research; spread sheets and statistical packages.
GTA Student Profiles
Mary Ossati – 2nd year PhD student and GTA
Project: Optimising compression force in mammography
The aim of this project is to determine, in an anthropomorphic breast phantom, how simulated cancer visibility varies with the application of pressure force in mammography. Due to the use of ionising radiation, it is impractical to experiment on living human breast tissue. Therefore, a synthetic deformable anthropomorphic breast phantom with simulated cancer lesions will be utilised in the research. Ultimately the thickness of the deformable phantom will be altered by the mammography machine compression paddle and under varying levels of thickness images will be acquired; the resultant images will then be analysed. Through this analysis, I shall determine whether relationships exist between lesion visibility and breast phantom thickness / applied compression force.
I have been a GTA for a year and a half at Salford University. My teaching journey with students from all over the world with different cultures, backgrounds, characters and levels of comprehension has helped me build up my self-confidence and teaching skills. Facilitating the PBL sessions for two semesters helped me develop my knowledge in anatomy, radiography and physics. I have also run some computer-based lectures and invigilated the students for a few hours which were quite interesting for me as a GTA. Helping and mentoring the students with statistics, experimental designs, scientific methodologies and physics of X-ray during the RiTe project has been the highlight of my GTA experience so far.
Training and Skills
All postgraduate research students are expected to attend the College’s research methods seminars during your first year of study, covering subjects such as conducting a literature review, methods of data collection, research governance and ethics, and analysis, presentation, interpretation and rigour in qualitative research.
In addition, the University offers all postgraduate research students an extensive range of free training activities to help develop their research and transferable skills. The Salford Postgraduate Research Training Programme (SPoRT) has been designed to equip researchers both for your university studies, and for your future careers whether in academia, elsewhere in the public sector, or in industry and the private sector.
As a postgraduate research student at the University of Salford, you are required to meet a number of milestones in order to re-register for each year of study. These ‘progression points’ are an important aid for both you and your supervisory team and it is essential that you complete them on time.
Learning Agreement: this is completed by you and your supervisor collaboratively in the first 3 months of your research programme. It encourages both of you to develop a thorough and consistent understanding of your individual and shared roles and responsibilities in your research partnership.
Annual Progress Report: this report is completed by your supervisor at the end of each year of study, and reports on your achievements in the past year, the likelihood that you will submit on time, confirmation of the Learning Agreement and relevant training undertaken.
Self Evaluation Report: this is completed by you at the end of each year of study. It asks you to comment on your academic progress, supervisory arrangements, research environment, research training, and relevant training undertaken.
Interim Assessment: this is an assessment of your progress by a panel. It takes place towards the end of your first year, and is designed to ensure you have reached a threshold of academic performance, by assessing your general progress. The assessment comprises a written report, presentation and oral examination by a Panel. You must successfully complete it in order to register for your second year.
Internal Evaluation: this will take place towards the end of the second year and successful completion is required in order to continue onto your third year of study. You will be expected to show strong progress in your PhD study reflected in the submission of a substantial piece of work, generally at least 4 chapters of your thesis.