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 2021-2022.
|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.||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.||HDR||Semester 1 and 2||None|
|The relationship between articular shape and biomechanics in the arthritic hip||The project develop statistical shape models of arthritis hip from medical imaging (CT and MRI) and investigate how the modes of variation in shape relate to the biomechanics of the hip during walking.||HDR||Semester 1 and 2||None|
|Real-time force-feedback for monitoring weight bearing after orthopaedic surgery||The RAH has recently acquired a novel treadmill with force sensors mounted under the main belt. The long term goal of this device is to guide clinical decision making through large labelled datasets. In the first instance we will develop push-button programs and establish their reliability and validity in an orthopaedic outpatient setting.||Honours and HDR||Semester 1 and 2||None|
|Model predictive control for simulating the outcome of orthopaedic surgery||The goal of this work is to predict the functional (biomechanical) outcome of surgery where the goal is to change geometry, e.g. moving the hip joint centre medially in hip replacement. We will use model predictive control for these simulations and validate against a large dataset of already captured outcomes with known changes in geometry.||HDR||Semester 1 and 2||None|
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 — —
Date Institution name Country Title 2009 University of Central Lancashire UK PhD 2003 University of Central Lancashire, Preston United Kingdom BSc (Hons)
Year Citation 2019 Bennett, K. J., Millar, S., Fraysse, F., Arnold, J., Solomon, L. B., Martelli, S., & Thewlis, D. (2019). Longitudinal Postoperative Joint Kinematics of Tibial Plateau Fracture Patients. In XXVII Congress of the International Society of Biomechanics Conference Proceedings. Calgary, Canada. 2019 Grace, T. M., O'Rourke, D., Atkins, G., Taylor, M., Solomon, B., & Thewlis, D. (2019). The Development and Reliability of a Semi-Automated Method to Split the Acetabulum into Clinically Relevant Regions of Interest. In ANZORS 25th Annual Scientific Meeting. Canberra. 2019 Grace, T., Atkins, G., Taylor, M., Solomon, B., & Thewlis, D. (2019). The Feasibility of a Workflow for Investigating Peri-Prosthetic Osteolysis. In AOA SA/NT Branch Scientific Meeting. Adelaide. 2012 Al-Dirini, R., Reed, M., Paul, G., & Thewlis, D. (2012). A subject-specific model of human. In Advances in Applied Mechanics Research, Conference Proceedings - 7th Australasian Congress on Applied Mechanics, ACAM 2012 (pp. 191-200). Adelaide, South Australia. 2012 Al-Dirini, R., Thewlis, D., & Paul, G. (2012). A comprehensive literature review of the pelvis and the lower extremity FE human models under quasi-static conditions. In Proceedings for the 18th Triennial International Ergonomics Association’s (IEA) Congress, as published in Work Vol. 41 (pp. 4218-4229). Recife, Brazil: IOS Press.
DOI Scopus1 WoS1 Europe PMC1
2007 Dey, P., Thewlis, D., McCullough, K., Goodacre, L., & Richards, J. (2007). Quality of movement in obesity. In INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF OBESITY Vol. 31 (pp. S211). Budapest, HUNGARY: NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP.
Year Citation 2019 Bennett, K. J., Millar, S., Fraysse, F., Arnold, J., Atkins, G., Solomon, L., . . . Thewlis, D. (2019). Longitudinal Postoperative Joint Kinematics of Tibial Plateau Fracture Patients. Poster session presented at the meeting of ANZORS 25th Annual Scientific Meeting. Canberra, ACT, Australia. 2017 Beaucage-Gauvreau, E., Thewlis, D., Graham, R., Robertson, W. S. P., Fraser, R. D., Freeman, B. J., & Jones, C. F. (2017). Validation of Full Body OpenSim Model With Detailed Lumbar Spine to Evaluate Biomechanics of Lifting Tasks. Poster session presented at the meeting of XXVI Congress of the International Society of Biomechanics. Brisbane, Australia. 2017 Beaucage-Gauvreau, E., Thewlis, D., Robertson, W. S. P., Fraser, R. D., Freeman, B. J. C., & Jones, C. F. (2017). Biomechanical Investigation of a Braced Arm-To-Thigh Lifting Technique for Occupational Tasks, With Kinematic Analysis and Computer Modeling Approaches. Poster session presented at the meeting of XXVI Congress of the International Society of Biomechanics. Brisbane, Australia. 2017 beaucage-gauvreau., thewlis., robertson, W. S. P., fraser, R. D., freeman., & jones, C. F. (2017). Biomechanical investigation of a braced arm-to-thigh lifting technique for occupational tasks, with kinematic analysis and computer modeling approaches. Poster session presented at the meeting of ANZORS-RSA Joint Conference. Adelaide. 2017 Beaucage-Gauvreau, E., Thewlis, D., Graham, R., Robertson, W. S. P., Fraser, R., Freeman, B. J. C., & Jones, C. F. (2017). Validation of full body OpenSim model with detailed lumbar spine to evaluate biomechanics of lifting tasks. Poster session presented at the meeting of ANZORS-RSA Joint Conference. Adelaide.
Year Citation 2019 Beaucage-Gauvreau, É., Jones, C., Thewlis, D., Robertson, W., Freeman, B., Fraser, R., . . . Brandon, S. (2019). Lifting Full-Body (LFB) Model [Online]. https://simtk.org/projects/lfbmodel: SimTK.
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
|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|
Current Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)
Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name 2021 Co-Supervisor Assessing the impact of latency on human perceptual ability and movement Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Marlon Blencowe 2021 Principal Supervisor Developing a computer vision-based machine learning pipeline for the production of standard biomechanical outcome data Master of Philosophy (Surgery) Master Full Time Mr Christopher Kurrin Whalley 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 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 2018 - 2020 Principal Supervisor Postural alignment and recovery of mobility after acquired brain injury Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Part Time Mr Simon James Mills 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
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 —
Date Role Membership Country 2015 - ongoing President Australian & New Zealand Orthopaedic Research Society Australia 2005 - ongoing Member International Society of Biomechanics —
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 — —
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