Cohort 4

Toru Sueyoshi

Toru Sueyoshi, BSc(OT), MSc 

Research area: Paediatric Prosthetic hands Use and Developmental prehension patterns 

Based at University of Southampton  

Supervisors: Prof. Cheryl Metcalf and Dr Donovan-Hall 

I completed pre-registered Occupational therapy degree and worked clinically as an OT in hand therapy and paediatrics in Japan.  After some years of clinical experience, I travelled in Canada and New Zealand for 2 years and a half and explored OT practice outside my country. I returned to Japan in 2018 and went back to my clinical practice at orthopaedic clinics and did research at the University of Tokyo.  After I had the opportunity to work with a considerable number of children with prosthetics in Japan and Canada, it reassured me that this is the field I want to pursue my career. However, it was also at this time that I realised the true breadth and complexity of the field. On top of the psychological challenges that patients undergo, I am acutely aware of the difficulties of providing well-trailered, prosthetic hand treatment and training, based on children and their parents’ true needs. To deepen my knowledge in this field, I decided to pursue my master’s in Amputation and Prosthetic Rehabilitation at the University of Southampton and complete it in 2022.  

My eventual goal in my doctoral training is to develop an outcome measure for children using prosthetic hands. Growing up with prosthetic hands in childhood is a unique experience. Unfortunately, many children abandon their prosthetic hands because they often have difficulty performing meaningful child occupations with their prescribed prosthetic hands (e.g., play). In my doctoral project, I am developing a new upper limb prosthetic outcome measure, co-designed with children and their parents throughout the development process, to ensure that actual child occupational needs are at the core of the new outcome measure.   

Cohort 4

Hannelore Williams-Reid

Host Institution: University of Strathclyde

Project Topic: Wound management and early prosthetic rehabilitation.

Project Driver: Wound healing, soft tissue health and its management after amputation (specifically transtibial) are essential to speed up the rehabilitation process and increase the prosthetic user’s outcome potential.

Supervisor: Dr. Arjan Buis

Background: I studied Mechanical/Biomedical Engineering at the University of Southampton driven by a need to help others (as cliché as it may sound) as well as a love for mathematics and the sciences. Experiencing the psychological and physical challenges, a loss or a change in mobility has had on people I care deeply about, along with my desire to independently research meant a PhD in the prosthetics field, where novel technologies are helping improve quality of life, was the right fit.

Interests: I love to cook and bake (but not as much as my housemates love free cookies), read and try my hand at anything artistic. I rely on gym classes and any exercises where I can be out in nature to destress and will take any opportunity I can find to travel and experience different cultures.

Cohort 4

Emily Pearson

Host Institution: University of Salford

Background: BSc in Prosthetics and Orthotics (from Strathcylde) with 3+ years clinical practice over both disciplines. Previously completed MChem with Maths (University of St Andrews)

Project title: Understanding factors impacting Prosthetic outcomes using clinical, prosthetic device and health care service data from world first Limb Loss Registry (USA).  

Supervisors: Dr Alex Clarke-Cornwell and Prof Malcolm Granat

Hobbies: I currently enjoy dog agility with my border collie Luna as well as canicross, orienteering, reading and crocheting.

Cohort 4

Pouyan Jafarian

Project Title: Towards digitally designed, 3D printed spinal orthoses for adolescents with scoliosis

Supervisory Team: Dr Nicolas Newell, Prof. Alison McGregor, Dr Alex Dickinson
Interest areas: Spinal Braces, Additive Manufacturing

I graduated from the University of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation Sciences and the Isfahan University of Medical Sciences with a BSc and an MSc in Prosthetics and Orthotics. I am a PhD student of the EPSRC CDT in Prosthetics and Orthotics, and my host institution is the Imperial
College London. The PhD project aims to lay the foundations for a step change in brace treatment for adolescents with scoliosis by making way for the digital design of 3D-printed modular scoliosis braces. These
braces will be lighter, more comfortable, and more cosmetically attractive than traditional designs. These improvements could significantly impact a patient’s quality of life and increase compliance and treatment success.
Specific objectives of the PhD include:
• Understand clinician/patient needs. Identify what is needed for stakeholder buy-in.
• Develop a digital rectification process to provide smart templates of patient’s torsos.
• Assess the performance of CAD/CAM orthoses compared to traditional brace designs.

My hobbies include Sports, Meditation and various genres of Books, Movies and Music.

Cohort 4

Lesley Davidson

Project title: Access to prosthesis repairs and impacts on activity, psychological wellbeing and embodiment

Project details: The impact that prosthetic device failures may have on the wellbeing of the user is very poorly documented. For users for whom device breakdowns are a frequent occurrence, just giving up on the device altogether may be their long-term solution. This is relevant in the UK but also in low income settings where difficulties accessing reliable devices and adequate repair services may exacerbate the issues above. The purpose of my work is to gather data to demonstrate the importance of repairs in relation to user experience and utilise this to inform service design.

Supervisors: Prof Laurence Kenney & Dr Adam Galpin (University of Salford)

Hobbies and interests: I am an OT by background and have worked in quite a few different clinical areas including hand therapy/plastics, wheelchairs and paediatrics. Outside of work, I spend most of my time hiking, swimming outdoors, playing piano, learning how to sail, write books and go running.

Cohort 4

Harry Thompson

My project title is ‘The development of a high-performance, durable, low-cost, modular recycled Carbon fibre composite prosthetic foot system for Low- and middle-income countries.’

I will be based at the University of Strathclyde; my supervisor is Dr Arjan Buis.

I have a Master of Mechanical Engineering degree from The University of Birmingham, I joined to CDT as prosthetics is a great blend of helping people and engineering both being extremely interesting to me. The first part of my project is focusing on categorising how different design aspects effect the gait cycle of prosthetic feet, using an industrial robot to reproduce motion. I plan to then go on to design a prosthetic foot taking the knowledge I have learnt from testing current devices. To use recycled carbon fibre in my design I will need to conduct material testing to understand if it would be suitable for prosthetic feet. Alongside my PhD studies I’m a very keen rower currently rowing with Agecroft rowing club and hope to continue this when I move up to Strathclyde, along with exploring the amazing Scottish scenery.

Cohort 4

Lois Galletly

I did an MEng in Biomedical Engineering at Imperial before the CDT, where my final year project was looking at hip forces and muscle recruitments in musculoskeletal modelling of bilateral transfemoral amputee gait, which drove my interest in biomechanics and lower-limb prostheses. 

My PhD project is going to be looking to design an adjustable prosthetic socket for lower limb amputees to address variations in comfort and fit. This will be based at Imperial College, supervised by Professor Anthony Bull.

Recently my hobbies include running, hill-walking and a bit of indoor climbing. I also find cooking relaxing, and enjoy listening to music. 

Cohort 4

Ruth Brown

Host Institution: University of Strathclyde

Project Topic: Micro-engineered devices for assessing cellular responses to mechanical stimulation of ex-vivo tissues.

I studied Biomedical Engineering at Glasgow University (although, before this, I did strongly consider the P&O clinical degree). My main interests were Rehabilitation Engineering, 3D Printing Micro Devices, and Entrepreneurship.

After completing the BEng, I joined a start-up providing Orthodontic support and highlighting the need for more clinical evidence in the medical field, the disconnect between manufacturers, clinics and clinicians and the impact this has on those seeking treatment. 

I still hadn’t lost my interest in P&O and finally committed to the clinical undergrad. I was surprised by the lack of clinical evidence and excited about how the field could develop. I completed the first year but was inspired by the CDT and the issues it aims to address.

Hobbies: All things artistic and musical! Sports used to be involved there, but sudoku took its place during Covid. I do still love travelling, adventures and the great outdoors, though!

Cohort 4

Elana Nerwich

Host Institution: University of Southampton

Background: MEng Mechatronics and Robotics Engineering

PHD topic: Wearable Technologies to Assist Gait Biomechanical Analysis in Daily Living

Project Description: The project will look at gait analysis, using wearable technology to monitor gait, and improve understanding of gait in daily living.

Supervisor: Liudi Jiang Hobbies and Interests: Reading, painting, photography, ballet

Cohort 4

Emma Curati-Alasonatti

Host Institution: University of Strathclyde

Background: MEng Electronic Engineering with Computer Systems

PhD Project: Continuous regional oxygen saturation monitoring in prosthetic sockets 

Hobbies: crafting, cooking and learning Italian