Old name, new purpose: why we’ve gone back to RNID

Xinyu Zhou

University College London

Xinyu Zhou is an RNID-funded PhD student in ear institute at University College London, under the supervision of Dr. Torsten Marquardt, aiming to develop a numerical simulation method for cochlea that helps understand how ear working and help hearing loss people. 

Xinyu completed his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering at the University of Birmingham. During his undergraduate, he developed an understanding of finite-element simulation, including model building and analysis. Both course and project included the computational fluid dynamic analysis, which he found himself to be sincerely interested in and learned how powerful this approach is.

More about Xinyu’s work

Next, Xinyu studied acoustical engineering at the institute of sound and vibration research at the University of Southampton. During his master’s degree, he acquired knowledge related to acoustic research ranging from signal processing to sound response on humans, including some analysis methods, such as numerical simulation. He also became interested in sound quality and human hearing that underlies what happens inside the human’s ear. Now, he is undertaking research into a cochlea simulation as part of the ear institute at University College London. 

Improving the delivery of treatments/drugs to the inner ear

Read about Xinyu’s research project

Xinyu’s approaches to hearing research

What are the biggest problems faced by hearing research?

It is hard to access the inner ear tissue to do research, and the human ear is a complex system. 

Why have you chosen to work in hearing research?

The studying experience in ISVR helped me develop a basic understanding of human hearing. I look at the fuller picture to understand my interest and aspirations in research; the research about cochlea acoustical simulation shows some excellent foundations to building a strong connection between my bachelor’s and master’s degree experiences and to further work on improving the inner ear simulation approach towards a deeper understanding of human ears. 

What do you hope your research will achieve?

My research will be based on finite-element simulations to investigate the acoustic streaming in the inner ear fluid and to make the distribution of the therapeutic compounds along the length of the cochlea beyond passive diffusion. Therefore, a novel inner ear drug delivery method will be proposed. 

What does your RNID studentship mean to you?

The RNID studentship is helping me continue my academic journey and explore human hearing, which I am interested field, in more depth. It also provides a chance to communicate and learn with the world-class hearing research group. 


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