Available masters and doctoral projects

An overview of opportunities for students to work with scientists at Reykjavik University on research projects. Please contact the person listed within each project for further information.

Undergraduate level projects are on the Icelandic portion of RU's website: Available undergraduate level projects

  • Finite Element simulations of a side-ways

Finite Element simulations of a side-ways fall to the hip: Investigation of critical and non-critical alignment

MSc level project, School of Science and Engineering


X-ray Computed Tomography (CT) based Finite element models have the potential to improve the prediction of hip fracture risk for osteoporotic patients compared to current standard of diagnosis. The aim of this project is to use such models for investigating the influence of leg and pelvic alignment on the fracture outcome.


Elevated hip fracture risk is generally addressed either pharmacologically or through lifestyle interventions. While both of these have been moderately successful, they can be expensive and difficult to implement but pharmacological intervention may also carry its own risk. For this reason, clinicians must carefully screen before implementing these solutions, and how this screening is informed is critical to its success. Presently, areal bone mineral density (aBMD) is the clinical ‘gold standard' used to diagnose those with osteoporosis. Epidemiologic evidence supports that low BMD is associated with increased population-based risk of fracture, however, aBMD and other clinical assessment tools are not sensitive enough to identify individuals likely to suffer a fracture. X-ray Computed Tomography (CT) based Finite element models have the potential to improve the prediction of hip fracture risk compared to aBMD. Novel explicit finite element models are used to investigate the influence fall alignment on the loading condition and fracture outcome of the hip.   


In this project, the candidate will work together with an international team of experts, on answering the question: What predisposes a hip to fracture? The particular aim of this part of the project is to modify existing image based partially validated dynamic FE models of human hips to perform a structured parameter study to investigate the influence pelvis and leg alignment on the fracture outcome. To date little is known about which body alignments are critical for the fracture risk during sideways falls. This parameter study aims to use mesh morphing to create several alignments and these result to guide future boundary conditions for experiments and simulations.  

Funded position?



The project is carried out in close collaboration with the Bone Pathologies and Treatment group at the Institute for Biomechanics, ETH-Zurich, Switzerland. An externship at the ETH while working on the project is possible. Students with background in Biomedical-, Mechanical- and Civil Engineering are preferred.


Dr. Benedikt Helgason, benhel@ru.is, Biomedical Engineering, School of Science and Engineering, Reykjavik University.