Emeritus Professor Julie Steele
Geoffrey Dyson Lecture – Long-term lessons learned in Biomechanics
Julie Steele is an Emeritus Professor in the School of Medicine, at University of Wollongong, Australia. She is also Founder of both the internationally renowned Biomechanics Research Laboratory and Breast Research Australia (BRA). Considered one of Australia’s most eminent biomechanists, Julie’s research over the past ~40 years, has focused on developing innovative strategies, based on rigorous applied biomechanics, to decrease injury potential and optimise quality of life for individuals across the age spectrum. She has investigated lower limb injuries caused by high impact landings; developed innovative wearable technologies for health applications; examined the effects of obesity, ageing and occupational loading on lower limb structure and function with implications for footwear design; and investigated breast health biomechanics to ensure all females can enjoy the health benefits associated with regularly participating in physical activity in comfort. Julie has received numerous awards, including 2005 NSW Telstra Business Woman of the Year, as well as being appointed as a Fellow of the International Society of Biomechanics and Sports Medicine Australia. One of only 44 biomechanists world-wide currently appointed to the World Council of Biomechanics, Julie has served on the Executive Council of several professional associations, including being President of ISB and the Australian & New Zealand Society of Biomechanics. She was also a member of the Board of Directors of ISBS from 1993-2003, holding various positions including Vice President (Publications). In 2019 Julie was awarded a Member (AM) of the Order of Australia for significant service to science in the field of biomechanics, to higher education, and to professional associations.
Dr Gregory Tierney
Hans Gros Emerging Researcher Award Lecture – Concussion biomechanics and head acceleration exposure in sport: Can we develop player protection strategies without compromising the dynamics of the game?
Dr Tierney’s research explores how mechanical impacts to the head translate into biological damage of the brain, from both concussive and sub-concussive impacts in sports such as football, rugby and American football. Dr Tierney’s research aim is to further understand the biomechanical mechanisms of brain injury in order to develop player protection strategies and predictive technologies for concussion in sport. Dr Tierney has extensive experience working with elite-level sports teams, technology companies and governing bodies, both nationally and internationally, to ensure sports are played in the safest possible manner without compromising the dynamics of the game. Dr Tierney graduated from Trinity College Dublin with a PhD in Biomedical Engineering in December 2018 and worked as a lecturer in Biomechanics at the University of Leeds from February 2019. In May 2021, Dr Tierney joined the School of Sport at Ulster University as a lecturer in Biomechanics, teaching on the Sport and Exercise Sciences and Sport and Exercise Medicine programmes.
Associate Professor Clare Minahan
The elite and emerging female athlete
Clare Minahan is an Associate Professor at Griffith University, Queensland Australia, and has led the Griffith Sports Science group since 2002. Clare’s interests are in the advancement of human performance with a key focus on the determinants of performance in female athletes. She has documented unique responses to exercise in female athletes including locomotor movement patterns, muscle damage, thermoregulation, and immune function. Clare has published over 85 peer-reviewed scientific articles, has successfully supervised multiple post-doctoral fellows and PhD students to completion, and is currently supervising numerous post-graduate students embedded in Australian high-performance sport organisations. These context specific partnerships provide the avenue for vigorous academic research and direct applied sports-science translation. Clare’s research continues to influence a new generation of exercise and sport professionals to seriously consider the physiology unique to female athletes. In 2021, Clare was recognised by Exercise & Sports Science Australia as one of three Female Leaders in Exercise & Sports Science. Clare is a member of the ESSA* Sports Science Advisory Group and the AIS* Female Performance and Health Initiative Monitoring Group. She was instrumental in establishing the strategic direction of the Female Performance and Health Initiative and setting and implementing the research agenda. In recent years, Clare has applied her knowledge of female athletes to lead the development, implementation and delivery of ‘GAPS’; an inclusive sports pathway programme for emerging athletes in developing countries of the Pacific. GAPS has been highly successful and is now formally recognized and supported by the Commonwealth Games Federation as the key sports development initiative for women in developing countries of the Commonwealth. GAPS will be delivered in Oceania, Europe, and Africa in 2021 under Clare’s leadership.
Dr Luke Kelly
How a better understanding of the human foot has implications for applied biomechanics
Luke is a Senior Research Fellow within the Centre for Sensorimotor Performance in the School of Human Movement & Nutrition Sciences. His primary area of research is focused on enhancing our understanding of the complex function of the human foot. Despite the importance of our feet in our daily lives, we know little about this complex anatomical structure. He is driven to understand how the foot has evolved, to perform such a diverse array of locomotor tasks with relative effectiveness and efficiency. Specifically, how the brain and spinal cord control foot function, and the role of elastic connective tissues in providing structural support and energy conservation. He is fascinated by the intricate interaction of the many small bones within the foot, and how variations in structure may influence the physical performance of the foot. Beyond fundamental science, his research has broad application across a range of areas. His research program has both direct industry connections (e.g. Australian Sports Commission and Asics Oceania) and potential applications in different areas of health (e.g. chronic musculoskeletal conditions – osteoarthritis), rehabilitation, and robotic/prosthetic design.
Dr Conny Draper
The challenges of delivering applied biomechanical servicing to elite athletes
Dr. Conny Draper is one of the world’s leading Sports Biomechanists focussing on Rowing. Conny has many Olympic teams as her clients and spends her time travelling the world assessing the Biomechanics of crews and individuals. Conny is renowned for being able to translate a vast amount of data from the devices she uses into plain English. Coaches often remark how Conny is able to get athletes and coaches alike to understand what is going on and how to use this information to make meaningful change. Conny completed a Masters in Sports Science in Halle-Wittenberg followed by a PhD at the University of Sydney and has held full time roles at the Australian institute of Sport. Since becoming freelance, Conny has also completed project work for FIFA, and is currently on the FISA Equipment and Technology Commission.
Dr Kat Daniels
How clinical biomechanics can inform applied sports research
Kat Daniels is a Senior Lecturer at Manchester Metropolitan University and previously Head of Biomechanics at Sports Surgery Clinic Dublin, where she oversaw the delivery of biomechanical testing and reporting for both elite and amateur athletes returning from injury. The potential for biomechanical data to inform clinical decision-making and guide interventions in a sports rehabilitation setting offers exciting opportunities to extend the impact of the field and improve patient outcomes. The multitude of possibilities and challenges associated with large-scale biomechanics service provision have thus been a major focus of Kat’s work to date, alongside clinical research on assessment of rehabilitation after musculoskeletal injury. Her other active research interests are in the control and optimisation of locomotor manoeuvres, such as turning, jumping and negotiating obstacles, in both healthy and physically impaired populations.