Cohort 1

Zain Shahid

Abstract: Development of an Industrial Test Platform for Foot Health Device and Footwear Testing

Supervisors: Dr Dan Parker, Chris Nester and Guowu Wei. 

Medical devices for the foot encompass therapeutic inserts available over-the-counter such as insoles and protective pads, as well as devices prescribed by professionals, such as orthotics. The development of these devices involves new products being conceived, designed, samples being tested and validated against well-defined regulatory requirements,
before moving into production and consumer/patient use. With a large number of product development processes involving marketing, design, innovation and product delivery professionals, there exists a risk of inefficiencies. The specific risk that this project relates to is how product design decisions are made and informed by the testing of prototypes and
how results of this testing relate to regulatory and marketing requirements.
This industry-linked project aims to develop a physical test platform that can identify the initial and long-term performance of an orthotic and footwear product and the key effects of these products on the internal behaviour of the foot, so that product design decisions and regulatory and marketing concepts can be informed prior to more expensive, risker
clinical testing involving human participants.

The test platform comprises a phantom-foot and means of loading the foot similar to in-vivo. Two typical use contexts have been devised:

  1. At an early innovation stage, the platform will enable new orthotic and footwear product designs to be tested efficiently with standardised methodology, using realistic loading conditions to evaluate the initial and long-term performance of the product (with regards to its purpose).
  2. To assess the effects of orthotic materials or product designs on internal foot structures by measuring simulated tissue compression and stiffness under realistic in-vivo loading conditions.
Cohort 1

Victoria Patricks

My name is Victoria Patricks. I am a Nigerian . I did my undergraduate in Biomedical Engineering @ Bells University of Technology, Ota, Ogun State, Nigeria. And my final year project was on Development of Mobile Android Haemodialysis Calculator App(MAHCA) because the most common means of calculating haemodialysis quantities in a health organisation in Nigeria was the use of pen to manually calculate and obtain results. This approach was outdated and time-consuming. It was also seen to be Prone to error in a time-pressured clinic  environment and resulted to poor clinical decision-making outcomes. I developed the app to calculate creatinine clearance, dialysis clearance and make predictions on the stages of chronic kidney disease and also basic clinical renal recommendations. I recently worked in an equipment calibration firm were I got basic knowledge of calibration . and here I am doing a PHD in Prosthetics and

Title: Improving clinical rehabilitation process for lower limb using body-worn monitoring sensors.

Project Aim: To develop a system that visualises and analyses clinical information from monitoring device that would aid clinical decision-making process.

Project Objectives: 1) To develop relevant clinical outcomes from complex physical activity data and provide feedback to Prosthetists.

                                   2) To understand what information is relevant from body-worn sensors and optimally display this information

                                   3) To test that the visual system informs effective clinical decisions to aid rehabilitation and support process.

Current Problem: Did you know that an estimate of 40 million people requires prosthetic and orthotic services? Meanwhile, the current methods used to deliver these services prove to be inadequate and leads to non-compliance with devices. These existing methods are known to be subjective in nature and lack good evidence-based system. The lifecycle for the provision of prostheses services includes fitting of prosthesis, training, rehabilitation, support and repair which, are challenging to measure because clinicians lack the right tools to do it.

My research focuses on developing a system that analyses and visualises measurements from body-worn sensors which would be used to improve clinical decisions on rehabilitation and continuous support for lower-limb prosthetic users.

Monitoring technologies like body-worn sensors provide us with big data on physical behaviour and demonstrate its ability to be a Clinical Outcome Measurement Tool.

To achieve this aim, I would explore the need of obtaining information from body-worn sensors with clinicians using a semi-structured interview. The results from the interview would be analysed on NVIVO using thematic analysis.

The interpretation from the thematic analysis would be used to develop a visualisation system that analyses and visualises data obtained from body-worn sensors. I would go on to use body-worn sensors to collect physical activity data from lower-limb prosthetic users in UK and Cambodia and test the activity data on the developed visual system to improve the system further.

I would then carry out a focus group with clinicians to feedback the system features for further remodelling to suit the clinicians need. I would also feedback the activity data collected from prosthetic users to clinicians which would be used to inform effective clinical decisions on rehabilitations and patients support. Finally, I would perform the final test on the visual system by using a controlled study where information is provided to clinicians using the traditional methods versus using the visual system, to see if using the visual system would improve the rehabilitation and support processes given by the clinicians.

Supervisors: Prof. Malcolm Granat, Dr. Peter Worseley

Hobbies: Travelling,

Likes: water sports, Ping Pong (Table Tennis), writing and editing.

Cohort 1

Tiereny McGuire

Supervisor: Prof. Anthony Bull

Institution: ICL

Project: Osseointegrated (OI) prosthetics

Description: Investigating the complex mechanical constraints of OI prosthetics, to understand how they relate to mechanical failure and thus the longevity of these devices. The primary aims of the project are: 

  • To quantify loading on the OI implant and the femoral bone through clinical gait analysis and MSK modelling. 
  • To develop and validate an adaptive FE model that will generate failure analysis by defining the mechanical tolerance of the bone-implant system. 
  • To design, build and test improved designs of a key component that look to mitigate the failure modes/issues identified. 
Cohort 1 Student profile

Jennifer Andrews

Project Title: Foot skin hydration: Quantification, Interpretation, and Opportunities for Modification.

Project details: The foot skin is a common location for dry skin to occur. This can quickly lead to pain and disability, particularly in vulnerable patient groups. Little data is available on the hydration of the foot skin, how this is linked to the physical behaviour of the skin, and how this may be modified by topical applicants. The purpose of my work is to contribute to this knowledge base by collecting data on the composition of foot skin and how this relates to skin characteristics, including hydration and physical behaviour.


Professor Chris Nester


Dr Farina Hashmi, Dr Carina Price, Dr Dan Parker

External Co-supervisor:

Dr Marc Masen (ICL)

Hobbies and interests:

Outside of my work, I like to keep myself very busy. I work at a local pub, I volunteer with Manchester Village Angels,  I indulge in long-distance running, and I play rugby for Trafford MV. I have also recently joined the local chess club, at which I am yet to win a single game!

Cohort 1 Student profile

Rhona Campbell

University of Strathclyde

Supervisor – Dr Andrew Kerr

Interest area – Stroke Rehabilitation

Working project title – “Observable gait patterns in acute post-Stroke as indicators of future rehabilitation potential.”

Bio – I graduated from the University of Strathclyde in 2013 with a BSc(Hons) in Prosthetics and Orthotics. Since graduating I have worked with Peacocks Medical Group as an Orthotist, first on the south coast and more recently in West Yorkshire. Clinical involvement and interaction with the service users is of great importance to me and I try my best to keep the user at the centre of all I do. Alongside my own research I have been involved in helping to facilitate the running of the new Strathclyde Stroke Rehabilitation gym which has been quite a success so far.

Outside of Uni I enjoy a range of activities including sewing, costume making (cosplay), hiking, camping and musical theatre. I am very much enjoying the local dry ski slope in Glasgow and being a member of the Strathclyde ski society has helped me add (very beginner) snowboarding to my activity list.

Cohort 1 Student profile

Devi Devanand

Title: Monitoring of Orthosis Use for Hand Osteoarthritis

Supervisor: Dr Angela Kedgely

Devi is a PhD student in the Department of Bioengineering at Imperial College London enrolled in the EPSRC CDT in Prosthetics and Orthotics programme. Hand osteoarthritis (OA) is a degenerative joint condition that leads to progressive pain and reduced mobility. Consequently, those living with hand OA often find it difficult to perform activities of daily living. Affecting the majority of over 80s and a third of postmenopausal women, this condition is a burden to many in society. There’s currently no known cure, but orthoses are a non-invasive and inexpensive treatment option often used for symptom relief. When investigating the effectiveness of orthotic treatment, patient compliance is usually monitored using patient diaries. This can be subjective as it’s been found that patients can overestimate their levels of compliance. If patients do not wear an orthosis as instructed, the desired anatomical impact will not be achieved, and the orthosis will simply not work as intended. Therefore, Devi’s PhD project is on the monitoring of orthosis use for hand osteoarthritis. Prior to joining Imperial College London, Devi completed her MEng (Hons) degree in Biomedical Engineering at King’s College London. Devi’s hobbies and interests include art, music and reading.

Cohort 1 Student profile

Kirstie Devin

Name: Kirstie M. Devin

University: University of Southampton

Year of Study: Year 3

Background: Masters in Mechanical Engineering (MEng)

Hobbies/Interests: Reading, gaming, Sharks, MCU

Project Title: Intelligent Body Interface for Lower-Limb Prosthetics

Project Description: This project involves computational and experimental research to assess the dynamic interactions at the residuum/socket interface, upon which a novel body interface will be designed and evaluated.

Supervisors: Professor Liudi Jiang (Primary), Dr. Andrew R. Hamilton (Secondary), Clinical Advisors: Dr. Maggie Kate Donovan-Hall (Internal), Dr. Dan Parker (External)

Cohort 1 Student profile

Sisary Kheng

Title: Exploring Social Enterprise for Sustainability of Prosthetic and Orthotic Service in Cambodia

Supervisory Team: Prof. Malcolm Granat,Dr. Cathy Ure, Dr. Cheryl Metcalf, Mr. Carson Harte

Sisary Kheng has been involved in the education of prosthetists/orthotists, CBR and clinical service management since 2001. Sisary has obtained the following qualifications: Diploma in Health Personnel Education from the University of Health Science, Cambodia; Diploma in Prosthetics and Orthotics from CSPO, Cambodia; Degree in Prosthetics and Orthotics from La Trobe University, Australia; MSc in Rehabilitation Studies from the University of Strathclyde, UK.​

She has travelled and visited more than 20 countries for her professional interaction in the field of prosthetic and orthotic for both education and clinical service.​

Areas of special interest to Sisary are education, inclusive development, and research.

My hobbies are cooking, traveling, and adventure.

Cohort 1 Student profile

Emma Lubel

My PhD title: Human-machine interfacing using ultrasound for upper limb prosthetic control. 

State-of-the-art upper limb prosthetic control methods measure the electrical signals propagating through the muscle using sensors on the surface of the skin, and translate these into motion. This has issues due to the low spatial resolution, low penetration, and complicated relationship between signal and intended hand motion. Given the high spatial resolution and high penetration of ultrasound, my project focusses on how we can use ultrasound to analyse the mechanics of residuum limb muscle and directly infer motion that way. 

Institute: Imperial College London

Supervisors: Professor Dario Farina, Professor Mengxing Tang

Hobbies: My main hobby (and the main way I spend my time) is cooking – I’m vegan and a huge lover of food/cooking/making up recipes. I’m getting a kitten in December and calling her Miso as a testament to my love for miso, it definitely features in over 80% of things I cook. I also like lino printing and spend a lot of time on that!