Dominic Thewlis

Associate Professor Dominic Thewlis

Associate Professor

Adelaide Medical School

Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences

Eligible to supervise Masters and PhD - 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, wearable sensors 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 2022-2023.

 
Title Description Level Start Special Reqs.
Multi-modal, multi-scale model of end-stage hip osteoarthritis We have established a internationally unique set of data on end-stage hip osteoarthritis which includes ex vivo and in vivo MRI and CT and MicroCT, locomotor biomechanics (gait lab), bone biopsies for gene expression studies, and clinical measures. Our goal is to better understand the interaction between mechanics, shape and structure and biology to shed new light on the disease process. The long term goal of this work is to translate these techniques in to early-stage osteoarthritis. HDR and Honours Semester 1 and 2 None
Functional outcomes for orthopaedic surgery using a state of the art instrumented gait analysis system We have established the only gait analysis facility located in an outpatient department in Australia. The facility includes a state of the art instrumented treadmill and inertial measurement units. Projects will establish new cohorts and follow them longitudinally. This is an exciting opportunity to be at the cutting edge of functional analysis for musculoskeletal conditions. Honours and HDR Semester 1 and 2 None
Pilot RCT for weight bearing after tibial plateau fracture 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
Optimal 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

 

  • Appointments

    Date Position Institution name
    2017 - ongoing 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) $9.2M 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

 

I currently coordinate Fundamentals of Biomechanics and Human Movement (ORT&TRAU 2016). I also contribute to the teaching in Musculoskeletal Biomechanics and Health (ORT&TRAU 3000).

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

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2022 Co-Supervisor Improving outcomes of diabetic foot disease following surgical management Master of Philosophy (Surgery) Master Part Time Dr Kaye Hon
    2021 Co-Supervisor How do we use visual information while walking? Implications for the use of virtual
    and augmented reality devices for training and deployment.
    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 Part Time Mr Christopher Kurrin Whalley
    2021 Principal Supervisor Biomechanical Predictors of Fatigue in Runners using Inertial Measurement Units Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Grace Eva McConnochie
    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
    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 Part Time Mr Arjun Sivakumar
  • Past Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2019 - 2022 Principal Supervisor In Silico, Ex Vivo, and In Vivo approaches for Modelling Tibial Plateau Fractures Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Part Time Dr Kieran James Bennett
    2018 - 2020 Principal Supervisor Postural alignment and recovery of mobility after acquired brain injury Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Part Time Mr Simon James Mills
    2017 - 2022 Principal Supervisor Investigating the biomechanics and genetics of acetabular peri-prosthetic osteolysis Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Thomas Michael Grace
    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 - 2020 Principal Supervisor Hip replacement biomechnaics University of South Australia Doctorate Full Time Jasvir Bahl
    2014 - 2018 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 - 2020 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
  • 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
    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
  • Offices Held

    Date Office Name Institution Country
    2015 - ongoing Australian & New Zealand Orthopaedic Research Society Australia
  • Position: Associate Professor
  • Phone: 83137096
  • Email: dominic.thewlis@adelaide.edu.au
  • Campus: North Terrace
  • Building: Adelaide Health and Medical Sciences, floor 7
  • Org Unit: Surgical Specialities

Connect With Me
External Profiles