Summer Research Experience Program

Biomedical Engineering

The BME Summer Research Experience Program is a 10–12 week (nominally December to February) summer research program offered to students studying Engineering, Science, Medicine and related disciplines who will be commencing the final year of their Bachelor or Master’s degree in 2018.

This involves students undertaking research activity in the Department of Biomedical Engineering to gain valuable research and laboratory experience. Successful applicants are expected to commence in early December. Students will be paid a nominal amount upon completion of the program.

This program does not replace or provide academic credit for any subjects.

  • Eligibility criteria
    • High-scoring students (H1 level equivalent)
    • Students who will be commencing the final year of a Bachelor or Master’s degree in Engineering, Science, Medicine or a related discipline in 2018.
  • How to apply

    Applications are now closed.

    If you meet the eligibility criteria, please complete the following steps to apply:

    1. Write a single page application letter including all of the following information:
      • Student number
      • Student email address
      • Current postal address
      • Phone number
      • Your top three project preferences
      • Why you are interested in undertaking the program
    2. Email this letter to from your student email account.


  • Joint lateralisation after reverse total joint replacement surgery: a biomechanics study

    Supervisors: Dr David Ackland (Melbourne School of Engineering), Associate Professor Martin Richardson (Epworth Healthcare), Dr Minoo Patel (Epworth Healthcare).

    Contact: Please contact Dr David Ackland with any queries about this project: .

    Reverse total shoulder joint replacement surgery is a salvage procedure primarily intended to restore shoulder joint mobility and stability in patients with glenohumeral joint arthritis and rotator cuff tears. At present, however, complication rates remain high, and the structure and function of the shoulder after this procedure is not well understood. In particular, lateralisating the glenohumeral joint after surgery is thought to increase the moment arms (leverage) of the prime mover muscles, but create excessively large shear forces on the glenoid-side component. This project aims to evaluate moment arms and lines of action (shear and compression potential) of the shoulder muscles after reverse total shoulder arthroplasty, and assess the influence of progressive joint lateralisation. This will be achieved by using a validated cadaveric testing apparatus and experimental protocol. It is anticipated that this research project will involve close collaboration with orthopaedic surgeons at Epworth Healthcare.

    Requisite knowledge: Prior knowledge of biomechanics is not required; however, a good understanding of shoulder musculoskeletal anatomy and kinematics will be useful.

    Group website: Biomechanics

  • Tissue engineering strategies for eyelid reconstruction

    Supervisor: Assoc Prof Andrea O’Connor

    Tissue engineering remains relatively unexplored in the field of ophthalmic plastic surgery, and has huge potential to advance current reconstructive techniques, such as for reconstruction of the eyelid following tumour excision, trauma or congenital defects. This project will build on preliminary developments we have made in fabricating tailored tissue engineering scaffolds for eyelid reconstruction in collaboration with ophthalmologists at the Royal Adelaide Hospital. Suitable hydrogel materials that can be processed to achieve the desired properties, sterilised and translated to clinical application rapidly will be investigated. The scaffold pore sizes, internal architecture and mechanical properties will be regulated by controlling the processing parameters used in their fabrication. Their physicochemical properties and in vitro performance will be characterised with the aim of proceeding to human trials soon.

Further information