Adapting Offices for the Future of Work

The pandemic has driven changes in the way we work, in particular how office space is now utilised by employees. In order to address new needs borne through the pandemic and to accommodate hybrid working along with neurodiversity in shared offices, Leeds Business School are actively researching how these spaces are adapting for the future of work.

Check out this interesting summary on the Adapting Offices for the Future of Work research project, funded by the ESRC: Economic and Social Research Council.

500 LinkedIn Follower Milestone!

A year on since the start of BioTrib we have now completed recruitment of all 15 Early Stage Reseachers and achieved a milestone 500 followers on LinkedIn!

Thanks to everyone in the BioTrib community!

Building a career during a pandemic

Many BioTrib Early Stage Researchers have had the added challenge of beginning their PhD during the Covid pandemic requiring them to rapidly adapt to new paradigms of remote and hybrid working. 

Hannah Preston, Dr Helen Hughes and Dr Matthew Davis at Leeds University Business School have created a range of resources based on Helen’s research giving an overview of new working trends along with advice on what organisations and researchers can do to maximise their wellbeing and working practices.

They have even created a podcast avaliable here!

Check out the full report and more of this timely and cutting edge research on the Understanding the value of internships project page!

Formnext global exhibition

Additive manufacturing also known as 3D printing has rapidly evolved since the 80’s and is now a major fabrication methodology for rapid prototyping of custom-made object [1]. Its benefits are applied in many fields such as medical, academic, aerospace, robotics and industrial machinery. 3D printing encompasses different technologies like stereolithography (SLA), fused deposition modeling (FDM) or selective laser melting (SLM) using metal powder. Those printers exhibiting different workflows and using different materials allow to access wide range of possibilities for the characteristics (structural complexity, color, resolution, etc) and properties of the final constructs [2] [3].

Formnext convention in Frankfurt, November 2021

3D printing is making great strides every year and the business market is growing with them so as to respond to customers demand and to access a wider range of applications. In order to promote these new 3D printing related innovations, Formnext is taking place every November in Frankfurt since 2015. Formnext is a global exhibition on additive manufacturing and industrial 3D printing gathering hundreds of exhibitors and thousands of visitors. This event is an opportunity for the actors of 3D printing to exchange with companies and discover novelties in terms of printers, materials, post processing solutions and software.

Formnext also represents a human experience as this convention brings together people working in a wide range of fields, from experts to beginners in 3D printing. Formnext 2021 allowed the additive manufacturing community to meet again after 2020’s edition which took place online because of COVID-19.

Now let’s see how these innovations will be put to good use!

[1] Matias, Elizabeth & Rao, Bharat. (2015). 3D printing: On its historical evolution and the implications for business. 551-558. 10.1109/PICMET.2015.7273052.
[2] Deshmukh, Kalim & Houkan, Mohammad & AlMa’adeed, Mariam & Sadasivuni, Kishor kumar. (2020). Introduction to 3D and 4D printing technology: State of the art and recent trends. 10.1016/B978-0-12-816805-9.00001-6.
[3] Wohlers Associates Inc. (2013). Wohlers report. Fort Collins, CO: Wohlers.


This article was written by Marie Moulin as part of an ongoing series of scientific communications written and curated by BioTrib’s Early Stage Researchers.

Marie is researching the Bioprinting of Bone and Cartilage at Uppsala University, Sweden.

Five Lessons For A Successful Engineering Career

BioTrib is comprised of fifteen Early Stage Researchers all located in substantial engineering groups within five european universities in the global 1%. Each ESR is pursuing a PhD and developing significant expertise in the fields of Tribology, Biomechanics, Computational Fluid Dynamics, Polymer Science, Multifunctional Biomaterials and Materials Science. Following graduation from the BioTrib programme, our Early Stage Researchers will be equipped to be future engineering leaders within the medical technology community driving significant innovations in joint replacement technology.

To this end it is useful to consider what skills are required by effective engineering leaders. A recent article by John Butterfield at Hallam ICS reflects on five lessons learned throughout his own engineering career.

  1. Recognize you own strengths; respect those of others
    • None of us can be good at everything. We are at our best when we are engaged in work that fits our aptitudes, interests, education and experience.  Respect others for things that they know, and you don’t. Others can help you succeed.
  2. Understand your personal “value proposition”
    • What unique value do you offer through your personal combination of knowledge, skills, aptitude and experience? People will respect you and seek your advice for things that you “are good at”. Your contributions will also help others be successful.
  3. Never stop learning
    • Continuous learning and broadening your range of knowledge expands your mental “toolbox”. Our biggest limitation, is “not knowing what we don’t know”
  4. Communication is your link to the world
    • Your ability to speak, read, write and listen surpasses your technical knowledge and experience.
  5. Even in Engineering, it’s not just the technology, it’s really about the people
    • Cultivate the colleagues and contacts around you, they are your biggest asset and support network.

You can read the full article along with John’s own experiences throughout his engineering career here.

Seasons Greetings from BioTrib

Seasons greetings from BioTrib. We wish you a very pleasant winter break and a happy new year!

This concludes posting for 2021, we are looking forward to more novel and pioneering tribology and biomedical engineering research in the new year!

Researcher-App offers a bioconjugation course on the last week of January

Researcher App is an academic newsfeed with 15,000 journals across 10 different research areas (1). With the app, people can subscribe to specific keywords or journals and follow the latest updates via push notifications or email. Available at the store of your preference, web browser or as a google chrome extension, the app allows to get recent paper information such as the abstract, keywords and DOI.

In the week between January 20th and 31st, researcher will host four webinars about bioconjugation. With this technique, a molecule is attached to another molecule to elicit a biological response (2). None, one, or both molecules may biomolecules, e.g., protein, polysaccharides, and nucleic acids (2). As applications to the technique, we can cite polymer brushes conjugated to hydrogels to increase cell viability and lubricity (3), bacterial nanocellulose fibers modified with collagen I and fibronectin to increase cell adhesion (4), and others. At the seminar, key-speakers from UCL, Abzena, ETH Zürich and the University of Cambridge will talk about specific applications of bioconjugation. The seminar is free of charge and registration can be made in the following link.


(1)   Researcher app. Available at:  <> 29. Nov. 2021.

(2)   HERMANSON, Greg. T. Bioconjugate Techniques – Chapter 1. Available at: <> Access 29 Nov. 2021

(3)   DIVANDARI, M. et al. Surface-grafted assemblies of cyclic polymers: shifting between high friction and extreme lubricity. Available at: <>. Access 29 Nov. 2021.

(4) KUZMENKO, V. et al. Universal method for protein bioconjugation with nanocellulose scaffolds for increased cell adhesion. Available at:> Access 29 Nov. 2021.

This article was written by André Plath as part of an ongoing series of scientific communications written and curated by BioTrib’s Early Stage Researchers.

André is researching Boundary Lubrication of Fibrous Scaffolds at ETH Zürich, Switzerland.

LunchLottery: a way to improve our personal and professional relationships

Should you like to make more contacts within your University? How can we maintain a social relationship during the Covid pandemic? What would happen if people from different departments and hierarchies would talk more often to each other?

These are some of the questions I asked myself before taking part in this initiative a few weeks ago. The Covid pandemic radically changed the opportunities for interaction with people. But whether a smile in passing, a quick “hello” or a lingering conversation, shared moments bring vibrancy to life. Human interaction is a necessity for everyone and the desire for connection is a core need essential to feeling satisfied with your life.

Since I started this new experience at ETH Zürich, I was eager to meet as many people as possible, from all over ETH and other institutions, to keep me socially fit and also to compare with people and deal with different perspectives and cultures and upgrade my training and skills, not only in scientific fields. So, when I saw this opportunity called ETH LunchLottery [1], which I had never heard about before, I decided immediately to sign up. Unfortunately, like me, just a few people know about this occasion to meet people and that’s why I’m interested in talking about and sharing it.

The idea here is basically to mix staff and doctoral students as much as possible, once a month, by assigning randomly every participating employee one or several lunch or coffee break partners to meet both online and in person. Then a smart matching algorithm optimizes for the perfect match. All participating employees automatically receive a customized e-mail about the upcoming LunchLottery initiative [2] and partners’ e-mail addresses. You’re ready! Employees connect with new colleagues from other departments and hierarchy levels [2]. You can decide with your lunch/coffee break partners when and where to meet them. This will help to make new connections and exchange ideas with all sorts of people. It will enrich everyday working life immensely by getting to know new people and hearing about the work they do across all units and functional levels, or just by having an exciting chat on various topics. It could also be a great idea for setting up small projects and collaborations with other departments.

And in this regard, after this experience, I asked myself: “Could we take a cue from this kind of event also to develop networks and to share our knowledge or to simply get to know better the other BioTrib’s members, also considering the different geographies and time zones? Could be an idea to get in touch and know even other ETNs’ members in the most relevant scientific fields?”. A short interruption to our daily routine could be a good idea to get to know other colleagues better and it would also help to open many doors and possibilities for all of us, as well as to gain additional knowledge and skills to help us to manage and do better our jobs. And even more, in light of the pandemic we are still immersed in, I believe it is a perfect opportunity to allow people to return to real life.

Networking and relationship building will lead to innovation!



This article was written by Alessio Amicone as part of an ongoing series of scientific communications written and curated by BioTrib’s Early Stage Researchers.

Alessio is investigating the Elucidation of Friction-Induced Failure Mechanisms in Fibrous Collagenous Tissues at ETH Zürich, Switzerland.

Transient mixed lubrication model of the human knee implant

Fantastic paper (Transient mixed lubrication model of the human knee implant) from Rob Hewson’s Group at Imperial outlining a computational approach to implant design in terms of the biotribology of knee replacements. Crucially, the investigation uses real-world implant geometries and a statistical description of the surface roughness. Interestingly the model predicts that, under the motion and loading cycles from the standard ISO 14243-3, the implant can demonstrate elastohydrodynamic, mixed and boundary lubrication.

Pressure distribution (in MPa) mapped onto the tibial insert at (a) 2% of the ISO gait cycle, (b) 48% of the ISO gait cycle, (c) 84% of the ISO gait cycle.

The paper was published in a special issue of the Journal ‘Biosurface and Biotribology’ in celebration of the life of Prof Duncan Dowson who, more than anyone, made an outstanding contribution to Biotribology especially from a Leeds perspective.

Image from Butt, H, Nissim, L, Gao, L et al. (3 more authors) (2021) Transient mixed lubrication model of the human knee implant. Biosurface and Biotribology. ISSN 2405-4518

World AIDS Day – 1st December 2021

December 1st is the annual World AIDS Day, an important event to reflect on the worlds response to AIDS and to recognise efforts to raise awareness, reduce stigma, and improve access to treatment along with HIV prevention.

For information on HIV and where to get tested in the UK please refer to the NHS website. Further information and advice on PrEP can be found at the Terrence Higgins Trust.

Globally, young women are still disproportionately affected by the HIV epidemic and struggle to access appropriate care and resources. This also translates to underrepresentation of this marginalised group in research and will be the subject of an upcoming lecture titled ‘Involvement of women living with HIV in research‘ on 8th December 2021.

Involvement of women living with HIV in research lecture – 8th December 2021

Women living with HIV are under-represented in research, yet studies such as the Invisible No Longer project led by Sophia Forum and Terrence Higgins Trust indicate women do want to participate. Meaningful involvement of women living with HIV in research leads to better outcomes, both in upholding the right to participation and in the quality of the research itself. In this presentation, barriers to research participation and how to overcome them will be explored, and strategies to achieve visibility, inclusion and representation of women living with HIV in research will be discussed.

“Visibility and inclusion” involvement of women living with HIV in research

About this event:
Dr Jacqui Stevenson, Freelance Consultant/Researcher; promoting gender equality in the HIV response and in global health

Chair: Prof Richard M Hall, University of Leeds.

12:30 – 13:30, 8th December 2021 – online. Sign up on Eventbrite.

Road to BioTrib: Power of partnership

We all are the travellers of this wonderful world travelling through time and space till the end of our life. We have ups and down in life just like a sine curve. Every day we are growing up through learning new knowledge and skills. Although we have best set of skills, sometimes we get lost, we stuck, and we lose momentum of our life to pick up the best from numerous aspects. In such a situation a compassionate partner can play the life changing role either by pushing or pulling you to overcome the moment of inertia. My road to BioTrib program is standing on such a magnetic story.

I met my partner Afrina Khan Piya during my undergrad study. After completing my bachelor degree in mechanical engineering, I was desperately seeking for a position to pursue my MSc in a foreign country. Then one day Piya forwarded me one link regarding an MSc position on implant material in a Japanese lab. I applied and through a competitive selection process, I was finally awarded the position with Japanese Govt. scholarship. Later, Piya also joined the same lab with the same scholarship. We were thrilled while doing research on different aspect of implant materials. My research focused on the improvement of osteoconductivity of porous Ti in vitro while Piya analyzed Osteoblast cell adhesion behavior using AFM based measurement techniques. We relished the research that provided us the opportunity to contribute in the field of medical engineering. We participated several conferences in Japan and an international conference in Thailand where we had opportunity to talk with different researchers working on implant materials. I deeply comprehended the importance of this emerging field. Annually, 80,000 and 200,000 total hip replacement procedures are being performed in UK and USA respectively (Kurtz et. al., 2007). As a result, the demand for prosthetic implants is continuously increasing specially in the aging society because of the loss of bone strength caused by several biological and mechanical effects, such as osteolysis or wear debris (Zhang et al., 2009). Therefore, the development of artificial bones is in high demand that can directly enhance the quality of people lives. I strongly believe that a small contribution to this sector can improve the millions of lives. This thoughtfulness strongly motivated me to pursue my PhD research in the field of Bioengineering.

After the accomplishment of our MSc degree, Piya applied for GreenTRIBOS program under MSCA fellowship and finally she was accepted for the position at University of Leeds (UoL) in the year 2020. While doing a course of Professor Richard, she came to know about BioTrib program. She encouraged me to apply for the positions. Although I was a bit low thinking about the high competition for the positions, Piya was super optimistic. She motivated to me in such a way as such I am best suited for the position. She assisted me to build a strong SOP and other tasks as well. Again the golden moment came to my life in one morning when I found the email of my acceptance for the prestigious position. I believe it’s about the power of partnership that brought me here. I would like to recall the words, “Behind every successful man, there is a women” and she is none but my partner for me: heartiest gratitude to her!

We both feel extremely blessed to be a part of European Training Network. We would like to try our level best to have outstanding contributions throughout our project. Finally, I would like to quote,

“The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.”
– Robert Frost

This article was written by MM Raihan as part of an ongoing series of scientific communications written and curated by BioTrib’s Early Stage Researchers.

Raihan is researching In-situ Measurement of Nano-scale Wear Utilising Advanced Sensors at University of Leeds, UK.



International Day of LGBTQIA+ People in STEM

November 18 is the International Day of LGBTQIA+ People in STEM, an opportunity to celebrate diversity within the BioTrib community and wider STEM fields! In parallel to outputting cutting edge biotribology and medical device research, BioTrib celebrates diversity within our worldwide community by endeavoring to use the resources and influence of BioTrib to advocate for and educate towards equality in STEM.

Inequality and equal representation in STEM is a vastly complex landscape with much progress to still be made – but we are heading in the right direction!  Following the recruitment of Early Stage Researchers, BioTrib will set in motion a dedicated Gender Opportunities Committee to critically identify how BioTrib can best use its network and community to improve inclusivity in STEM as well as engineering research.

BioTrib commits itself to raising awareness and promoting equality in STEM:

  • Gender Equality: Women in STEM are still vastly underrepresented in senior academic positions. Gender disparity grows as research careers progress, only one third of EU researchers are women with less than one quarter in top academic positions [European Commission 2020].
  • Equal Representation: Ethnicity STEM data [RSC, 2020] highlights consistent disparity in BAME degree completion rates, and outcomes, along with reduced retention and career progression in STEM. Presently STEM ethnic minority staff are much less likely to hold senior posts and contracts.
  • LGBTQIA+ in STEM: It is estimated LGBT people are approximately 20% less represented in STEM fields than expected [Cech, 2017]. With nearly 28% of LGBT and 50% of trans staff at least once considering leaving the workplace due to a climate of discrimination [RSC, IOP 2019].

Read more about BioTrib’s commitment to promoting equality.

The Power of Networking

Finding the right position for yourself, a future career or achieving your dreams can be a real challenge. You might scroll through different job or research adverts and not know what to choose. Having the best set of skills but not being sure where to apply them is a common obstacle that most of the people occur. There are high chances that there is a job just built for you, but you just did not get the occasion to face it. The chances on being at the right place in the right time are always higher if people around you are aware of what you are looking for. Small talks with friends or colleagues can bring up great deals.

The story of Edona and Yasmin, who met through Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Program in Tribology funded by the European Union is a great example on how powerful Networking can be!

During their master’s degree they were two house mates studying together having coffee talks after lectures while sharing their dreams and interests. While attending a conference in Coimbra, Portugal, where the main objective was about different methods of Microscopy utilized in different areas of science and engineering especially in Bioengineering, it took a walking back home for Yasmin to see Edona’s high interest in the field. Edona was showing her notes and articles she found related to bioengineering and the related Linked in pages that she follows with a lot of passion. Yasmin remembered her saying “There would be only one case I would be motivated enough to pursue a PhD, and that is only if it would relate to bioengineering”.

After accomplishing their master’s degree, Edona decided to join the industry working for the European Union Office in Kosovo and Yasmin perused her education through academia starting her PhD at University of Leeds in the United Kingdom. Although far in distance and in different fields they kept their contact through social media. One afternoon, Yasmin encountered on LinkedIn an exciting research opportunity in bio tribology at University of Leeds. She knew the research group and the supervision team by working in the same lab but in a different section. Having Edona’s interests in mind, right away she shared the link to her. The one and only condition that Edona would joined a PhD was just there a click away. As Edona got the link in time she could go through the job advert, research about it and write a powerful SOP. After different tasks and an interview for the extremely competitive role Edona got the position and is now part of the BioTrib Research Group.

Moral of the story is that:

Everything you want in life is a relationship away

Idowu Koyenikan

Building ties can save your time, bear you stress and if you know how to use it, it will be a powerful tool for your personal and professional development. Therefore, we suggest: Do not be afraid of sharing your ambitions and interests with people and always stay connected.

Featured Image: Edona Hyla with Yasmin Hayatgheib

This article was written by Edona Hyla, one of BioTrib’s newest Early Stage Researchers at the University of Leeds as part of a series of articles curated by BioTrib ESRs.