Latest news

Congratulations to Fulbright Scholarship recipient Eamonn McKenna | 22 February 2022

Eamonn McKennaAs a Fulbright Future Scholar, Eamonn McKenna (pictured) will undertake a project at the University of Arizona that compares breakthrough treatments for Diabetic Foot Ulcer repair. The Fulbright Future Scholarship will allow Eamonn to access world-class expertise, networks, and infrastructure, as well as formally establish a partnership for ongoing collaboration.

Eamonn is a tissue engineering PhD candidate at the Queensland University of Technology developing an exciting breakthrough treatment to heal Diabetic Foot Ulcers. In addition to his research, Eamonn works as a business analyst for a MedTech venture capital fund where he evaluates emerging medical technologies for heart and lung diseases.

Eamonn thanks his supervisors Dr Kathryn Futrega, PhD, Associate Professor Michael Doran and Professor Travis Klein for their support. You can see the current Australian Fulbright Scholars on the Fulbright Australia website.

Eamonn discusses what the Fulbright Scholarship means for him and his research in the video below:

Bionics Challenge 2021 – Early-Stage Bionics Innovation Award Winner | 3 September 2021

Graham Kerr

Team: Andrew Peterson, Professor Graham Kerr (pictured), David Peterson, Glenda Peterson, Aaron Shanahan

Project: Gyrite – A haptic wearable with somatosensory stimuli that gives people with severe balance dysfunction feedback to stay upright

The Gyrite wearable aims to provides tactile input as a surrogate for the vestibular system. By providing live, continuous physical feedback based on the user’s own motion, their subconscious learns to improve their posture automatically.

At least 20,000 Australians and over 6 million people around the world suffer severe Bilateral Vestibular Loss (BVL). The team hopes to create an affordable, intuitive product that will help people improve their balance across the day, wherever they find themselves, helping them to reclaim some of the freedom and quality of life they have lost, and reduce the burden on the healthcare system overall.

For more information on this and other award winners visit the Bionics Queensland website.

Bionics Challenge 2021 – $50,000 Major Category Prize Winner – Challenge 1 – Bionic Mobility | 3 September 2021

Michael Schuetz

Team: Professor Laurent Frossard Dr David Saxby, Professor Michael Schuetz (pictured), Ross Powrie, Caroline Graydon

Project: How bionic limbs can pull more than their weight?

When a bionic limb is surgically implanted, both the recipient of the limb and their clinician wants to ensure that the implant is stable within the bone to avoid pain, implant loosening and infection. Dr Frossard and his team are working towards proof-of-concept of a medical device called Thomax 2.0 which integrates state-of-the-art wearable loading sensors and personalised computational neuromusculoskeletal models to test a digital twin of the residual limb during load bearing exercises.

Greater safety, mobility and less infection is expected with Thomax 2.0 being the first-ever, non-invasive and easy-to-use diagnostic device designed to achieve bionic implant integration that enables pain-free and efficient rehabilitation exercises.

For more information on this and other award winners visit the Bionics Queensland website.

Designed-led advanced manufacturing of smart orthotics for remote Australia successfully secured over $2M in Cooperative Research Centres Projects funding | 3 September 2021

Marie Luise WilleQUT Team: Associate Professor Marianella Chamorro-Koc, Dr Marie-Luise Wille (pictured), Associate Professor Amanda Beatson and Dr Natalie Haskell

Partners: iOrthotics Pty Ltd, My FootDr (Aust) Ltd, The University of Queensland, North West Hospital and Health Service

The partnership is creating a new generation of smart orthotic devices to increase patient compliance and expedite lead times to patient and reduce overall healthcare costs. The project will test an enhanced workflow to supply patients in remote Australia custom smart orthotics to address diabetic foot disease complications prevalent in remote Australian communities. The partners apply advancements in human-centred design, generative design, advanced manufacturing, and wearable technologies to provide quantitative clinical data to monitor treatment effectiveness and improve patient compliance and outcomes.

For more information on this and other successful CRC projects read the Federal Government announcement from the Minister for Industry, Science and Technology.

Novel insights towards non-invasive predictors of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis: A comprehensive examination of musculoskeletal asymmetry using EMG and MRI | 30 August 2021

Peter PivonkaThe Biomechanics and Spine Research Group (BSRG) were successful in receiving a USD$50,000 Scoliosis Research Society Cotrel Research Grant for their project entitled, “Novel insights towards non-invasive predictors of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis: A comprehensive examination of musculoskeletal asymmetry using EMG and MRI”. This project is a collaborative project between the QUT BSRG team and UQ Laboratory for Motor Control and Pain Research.

The BSRG investigators are Professor Peter Pivonka (pictured), Maree Izatt, Adjunct Assoc. Professor Robert Labrom, and the UQ team of Assoc. Professor Kylie Tucker, Dr Andrew Claus and UQ Ph student Phoebe Ng. Grants from the US based Scoliosis Research Society are highly competitive and sought-after internationally, so the team are rightly thrilled to have their work acknowledged and rewarded in this way. Grant applications are judged on their significance, approach, feasibility and team expertise.

Discovering the link between epilepsy and language | 25 August 2021

Katie McMahonResearchers from QUT in collaboration with the Mater Hospital Advanced Epilepsy Unit and the University of Queensland are embarking on a joint study to investigate the link between epilepsy and language.

Deputy Director of Herston Imaging Research Facility and QUT Professor Katie McMahon (pictured) believes patients with epilepsy already have different function in the speech region of the brain due to the impact of their ongoing seizures, she is interested to test this theory against people who have never had a seizure.

We are hoping to identify how MRI can be best used to assess language function in people with epilepsy when planning for surgery.

This research could result in improved treatment for people with epilepsy, and lead to clearer information about the risks and benefits of surgery for people with epilepsy and their families.

You can read the full article at

Congratulations Dr Laura Bray | August 2021

Deputy Director of the ARC Training Centre for Cell and Tissue Engineering Technologies (CTET), Dr Laura Bray, was successful through the Australian Research Council (ARC) 2021 Future Fellowship Scheme.

Minister for Education and Youth, Hon Alan Tudge announced funding for the projects, which focussed on areas of national priority.

A biologist and bioengineer, Dr Laura Bray from the QUT School of Mechanical, Medical and Process Engineering received $934,478 to help improve our understanding of blood vessels.

Dr Bray’s project aims to study the endothelial cells that make up the blood vessels in different organs using bioengineered three-dimensional culture models. The research will improve our knowledge of how the cells within blood vessels form and function within different tissue microenvironments, so this information could be used in the future to understand how these vessels may malfunction in various diseases and improve drug efficacy and safety testing.

Dr Bray’s four-year project is due to commence early next year and will complement our work in CBT and CTET.

Women in Technology Awards | August 2021

Congratulations to Associate Professor Chamindie Punyadeera and Maureen Ross finalists in the coveted annual WiT Awards which recognises outstanding talent and achievement giving women the recognition they deserve, building support for their work, and inspiring the next generation of leaders by showing what is possible.

The WiT Awards are a celebration that brings our diverse community together to champion the successes of the many incredible women working in all fields of science and technology, particularly our innovators, our unsung heroes and the rural, remote and regional women.

They were selected from a field of nearly 300 nominees.

More info


Outstanding Achiever Science Award                                                                         Emerging Achiever Science Award

Associate Professor Chamindie Punyadeera                                                       Maureen Ross








3D printers that can see and learn to advance manufacture of precision body implants | 9th June 2021

3D printerA 3D printer with “eyes and brains” is being developed to print implants for regenerative medicine to repair damaged and/or lost body tissue. QUT biomedical engineers, in collaboration with Professor Paul Dalton from Oregon University, are working to bring the benefits of 3D printing to a range of biodegradable medical device designs that have never been printed before such as heart valves, bone scaffolds, membranes for dental tissue engineering, and soft actuators (soft robotics) for minimal invasive surgery.

Distinguished Professor Dietmar W. Hutmacher said implants and medical devices such as scaffolds made with 3D printing could be custom made and patient specific.

“In contrast, implants and devices produced through traditional manufacturing methods are usually in standard sizes,” Professor Hutmacher said. More info.

Mia WoodruffPitch Your PhD Podcast: Medical Implants with Dr Mia Woodruff | 24th May 2021

Professor Mia Woodruff speaks to Dr Catherine Ball about her PhD journey in Bioengineering.  They discuss her PhD journey of looking into medical implants, specifically how bone cells interact with different surfaces, and how this has led her into 3D printing and creating some exciting technology in the hospitals of the future, today. Listen now.

If I’m not developing something that could ultimately end up changing someone’s quality of life… then what’s the point in doing that research?


Chamindie PunyadeeraNew saliva oral and throat cancer diagnosis test receives FDA approval | 7th May 2021

A QUT researcher’s identification of saliva as an early detection liquid biopsy for oral and throat cancer has been realised by the development and commercialisation of a diagnostic device by US-based biotech company Viome.

Viome’s early detection device has been designated a Breakthrough Device by The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the US.

QUT Associate Professor Chamindie Punyadeera (pictured) has spent a decade researching the possibility of saliva being the optimum diagnostic liquid for the early detection of oral and throat cancer. More info.


Trent Brooks-RichardsQUT researchers using ‘soft robots’ to toughen up artery implants | 10th March 2021

Researchers at QUT, led by Trent Brooks-Richards (pictured) are using so-called “soft robots” to train artificially grown arteries for the stresses of the human body. Scientists from the Queensland University of Technology are working on the evidence, or a proof-of-concept, for their project to grow replacement arteries made from a patient’s own cells.

Using 3D printing and cultivating cells from the patient to grow implants made of their own tissue is both a cutting-edge medical field and also almost routine in 2021, with multiple projects active in the space in Australia and around the world. More info.


Professor Prasad Yarlagadda

QUT awarded grant for COVID-19 surface research | 3rd February 2021

Leading researchers from QUT and Metro North Hospital and Health Service have been awarded more than $500,000 from the Australia-India Strategic Research Fund to assist with their work into virus reduction from surfaces.

The grant will fund research into ways of killing viruses such as COVID-19 on surfaces with a wet-etching technique, and was awarded to QUT’s Professor Prasad Yarlagadda (pictured) in partnership with Metro North Hospital and Health Service’s Professor Michael Schuetz and Associate Prof Kaushik Chatterjee from the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. More info.