Dominic Thewlis

Associate Professor Dominic Thewlis

NHMRC RD Wright Fellow

Adelaide Medical School

Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences

Eligible to supervise Masters and PhD, but is currently at capacity - email supervisor to discuss availability.


I work in the field of biomechanics (the application of mechanics to understand biological phenomena), specifically orthopaedic (our bones, muscles, tendons and ligaments) biomechanics. I am a NHMRC R.D Wright Fellow (2017-2021). I am recognised as an emerging leader in the field with awards from the International Society of Biomechanics (footwear biomechanics group), International Foot and Ankle Biomechanics community, Australian and New Zealand Orthopaedic Research Society, and the ORS (USA). I am the immediate Past-President of the Australian and New Zealand Orthopaedic Research Society, and editorial board member for the Journal of Biomechanics and Gait and Posture.

I have made significant contributions in to our understanding of how mechanical loading can influence the out come of complex orthopaedic surgeries (e.g. fracture repair, knee replacement and hip replacement) using a novel combination of experimental and computational methods to model the human musculoskeletal system.

Research experience and track record

My primary research focus is the biomechanics of orthopaedic disease and injury. This includes articular fracture management, which is known to be associated with osteoarthritis onset, and joint arthroplasty – the end point for most people with degenerative joint disease. I use an exciting combination of biomechanical modelling methods, medial imaging, physical activity monitoring and patient reported outcome measures to explore these conditions. I have a secondary interest in movement disorders and the neurological control of movement.

I have the following projects available for new students in 2020-2021.

 
Title Description Level Start Special Reqs.
Using machine learning models for gait analysis Our goal is to take the next technology leap in gait analysis. We aim to use pose estimation machine learning models to predict human motion and integrate these data with industry standard biomechanical modelling software. Honours and HDR Semester 1 and 2 None
Understanding the importance of variations of tip-apex distance following surgical repair of neck of femur fracture Neck of femur fracture is typically treated surgically with an intramedullary nail. The final position or change in position of the tip of the device in the femoral head is often used as a measure of surgical success. However, this is typically considered in 2D and therefore fails to account for the possible 3D variations that can result in similar 2D positions. This project will model the possible variations in position and explore how these are associated with clinical outcomes Honours and HDR Semester 1 and 2 None
Pilot RCT for weight bearing after tibial plateau fractur We have established strong data to show that immediate weight bearing as tolerated by pain after surgical repair of tibial plateau fracture is safe. We are now looking to establish if there is evidence for better patient reported and clinical outcomes through a pilot RCT. We will use outcomes measures such as gait analysis and radiostereometric analysis. HDR Semester 1 and 2 None
24-hour activity patterns after hip replacement through the private system We have previously published unique data showing no change in 24-hour activity patterns following hip replacement surgery through the public system. This project will use the same approach (wearable sensors) to quantify 24-hour activity patterns in a  similar group of patients from the private system. Honours and HDR Semester 1 and 2 None
Virtual reality with an omni-directional treadmill Our goal is to combine a novel omni-directional treadmill with Vicon motion capture to study the response of the motor system to perturbations (visual and physical) while walking and negotiating in a complex virtual environment. Honours and HDR Semester 1 and 2 None

 

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  • Appointments

    Date Position Institution name
    2017 Associate Professor University of Adelaide
    2013 - 2017 Senior Lecturer in Biomechanics University of South Australia
    2012 - 2016 Affiliate Lecturer University of Adelaide, Adelaide
    2009 - 2012 Lecturer (Level B) in Biomechanics University of South Australia
    2008 - 2011 Honorary Fellow Wrightington, Wigan & Leigh Hospital Trust
  • Awards and Achievements

    Date Type Title Institution Name Country Amount
    2017 Fellowship R.D Wright Career Development Fellowship
    2015 Award Benno Nigg Award for Applied Research International Society of Biomechanics (footwear group)
    2014 Award Excellence in reviewing for the Journal of Biomechanics
    2013 Award Young Tall Poppy Australian Institute of Policy and Science Australia
    2012 Award Best Poster Prize
    2011 Award Early Career Researcher International Travel Award University of South Australia
    2011 Award Supported Teacher Award for excellence in undergraduate teaching University of South Australia
    2009 Award Supported Researcher Award University of South Australia
  • Education

    Date Institution name Country Title
    2009 University of Central Lancashire UK PhD
    2003 University of Central Lancashire, Preston United Kingdom BSc (Hons)
  • Research Interests

Competitive research funding

I have held research funding from federal agencies (ARC, NHMRC, Department of Defence), NGOs and private industry in Australia and the UK. In total, my research has received approximately (accounting for exchange rate) $5.5M in external funding.

Current external funding
  Project Investigators Funding agency AU$000
2018-2021 Extraction and fusion of soft biometrics for person identification Thewlis, Ng, Robertson, Booth DST Group & The University of Adelaide 176
2017-2021 Improving the functional outcomes of lower limb orthopaedic surgery Thewlis NHMRC 425
2019-2021 Phase 2 trial for a novel therapy for knee osteoarthritis Rickman & Thewlis Xalud Theraputics 1200

 

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  • Current Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2020 Principal Supervisor Development and validation of an integrated gait recognition system with a deep-learning architecture. Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Kayne Andrew Duncanson
    2019 Principal Supervisor Functional Outcomes of Suprapatellar Versus Infrapatellar Approach for Intramedullary Nailing of Tibial Shaft Fractures Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Simon Thwaites
    2019 Principal Supervisor Investigating the Local Mechanical Environment in Surgically Repaired Tibial Plateau Fractures Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Kieran James Bennett
    2018 Principal Supervisor Variations in Hip Biomechanics and Function with Femoral Nail Screw Configuration and Mode of Proximal Fixation in the Treatment of Intertrochanteric Femoral Fractures: A Randomised Controlled Trial Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Arjun Sivakumar
    2018 Principal Supervisor What is the Relationship between Postural Alignment and Mobility after Acquired Brain Injury? Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Part Time Mr Simon James Mills
    2018 Principal Supervisor The Relationship Between Running Related Injuries and Training Intensity Distribution Amongst Recreational Runners: An Observational Study Master of Clinical Science Master Part Time Mr Michael John Nitschke
    2017 Principal Supervisor Development of a Model Combining Gait Analysis, Finite-Element Analysis and Bone Biopsies to better understand Aseptic loosening Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Thomas Michael Grace
  • Past Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2015 - 2019 Co-Supervisor Brace for it: assessing lumbar spinal loads for a braced arm-to-thigh lifting and bending technique using a musculoskeletal modelling approach Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mrs Erica Beaucage-Gauvreau
  • Other Supervision Activities

    Date Role Research Topic Location Program Supervision Type Student Load Student Name
    2015 - ongoing Principal Supervisor Hip replacement biomechnaics University of South Australia Doctorate Full Time Jasvir Bahl
    2014 - ongoing Principal Supervisor Vibration biomechanics with defence University of South Australia Doctorate Full Time Thomas Debenedictis
    2014 - ongoing Co-Supervisor Biophysical model of cycling University of South Australia Doctorate Part Time Jason Bartram
    2014 - ongoing Principal Supervisor Fracture biomechanics University of South Australia Doctorate Full Time Stuart Millar
    2013 - 2017 External Supervisor Bone biomechanics Flinders University Doctorate Full Time Bryant Roberts
    2012 - 2016 Principal Supervisor Running biomechanics University of South Australia Doctorate Full Time Joel Fuller
    2012 - 2017 Principal Supervisor Plantar Heel pain biomechanics University of South Australia Doctorate Full Time Chris Bishop
    2011 - 2016 Co-Supervisor Flat foot management University of South Australia Doctorate Part Time Helen Banwell
    2011 - 2014 Principal Supervisor Knee replacement biomechanics University of South Australia Doctorate Full Time John Arnold
    2010 - 2015 Principal Supervisor Finite Element model of the pelvis University of South Australia Doctorate Full Time Rami Mohamad Ameer Al-Dirini
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  • Committee Memberships

    Date Role Committee Institution Country
    2015 - 2018 President Australian & New Zealand Orthopaedic Research Society
    2014 - 2016 Member Division Research Management Committee University of South Australia
    2013 - 2015 Member School Research Management Committee University of South Australia
    2012 - 2015 Secretary Australian & New Zealand Orthopaedic Research Society
    2012 - 2013 Member Research Training Group University of South Australia
    2011 - ongoing Member Program Advisory Committee University of South Australia
    2009 - ongoing Member Program Management Team (Human Movement) University of South Australia
    2009 - 2011 Member School Research Management Committee University of South Australia
  • Memberships

    Date Role Membership Country
    2015 - ongoing President Australian & New Zealand Orthopaedic Research Society Australia
    2005 - ongoing Member International Society of Biomechanics
  • Editorial Boards

    Date Role Editorial Board Name Institution Country
    2016 - ongoing Board Member Journal of Biomechanics
    2016 - ongoing Board Member Journal of Biomechanics
    2014 - ongoing Board Member Gait and Posture
    2013 - ongoing Board Member Gait and Posture
  • Position: NHMRC RD Wright Fellow
  • Phone: 83137096
  • Email: dominic.thewlis@adelaide.edu.au
  • Campus: North Terrace
  • Building: Adelaide Health and Medical Sciences, floor 7
  • Room: WS7060
  • Org Unit: Adelaide Medical School

Connect With Me
External Profiles