Summer Research Experience Program

Biomedical Engineering

2018–2019 applications are now closed.

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 2019.

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 2019.
  • 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 projects in order of preference
      • Why you are interested in undertaking the program and what your plans for further studies are
      • Attach Statement of Results to date
    2. Email this letter to from your student email account.


  • Tissue engineering strategies for eyelid reconstruction

    Supervisor: 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.

  • Image processing of computed tomography data for quantitative assessment of joint health

    Supervisor: Dr Kathryn Stok

    Integrative Cartilage Research Group

    Joints are a primary target of destructive processes like arthritis, which can cause damage to bone and loss of function. Data captured with micro-computed tomography is used to understand disease and develop clinical solutions.

    A large data collection of 3D microstructural images of human and animal joints is available for analysis using custom morphometric imaging processing. The image processing scripts need to be adapted for the data, the data needs to be pre- and post-processed in preparation for analysis, and then systematically evaluated for a range of metrics that define joint changes due to arthritis disease. Statistical analysis and reporting of the data will then be performed.

  • Mechanical testing rig for mouse knee joints

    Supervisor: Dr Kathryn Stok

    Integrative Cartilage Research Group

    Image-guided mechanical evaluation (IGME) is the combination of mechanical testing with microCT imaging to predict bone loading mechanisms at the microstructural level. It operates on the principal of combining matrix (tissue-level) imaging with functional measurement in order to link the role of material composition to biomechanical functionality. The first uses of this approach used discrete mechanical testing combined with microstructural imaging to describe the failure of cellular solids under compressive loads.

    This project will involve design of a mechanical testing device to integrate stress-relaxation compression and microCECT imaging at low strains to get IGME of cartilage properties and stress profiles over time. The goal is to design a mechanical testing device for in vivo mechanical evaluation of mouse knee joints that is compatible with in vivo micro-computed tomography imaging devices.

Further information