AMMD Welcomes Postdoctoral Researchers

Two Postdoctoral Researchers have joined the AMMD, working on multiple collaborative research projects including Lean Manufacturing, Design & Materials, and Adaptive Automation Systems.

Dr Casey Jowers is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of the Sunshine Coast, working with Cook Medical Australia. Casey works with the Continuous Improvement Team to improve efficiency through advanced manufacturing techniques. His work focuses on Industry 4.0-inspired projects in automation and robotics, including automated data collection and sharing, which establish smart manufacturing methods that cater to the global mass-customization movement within the medical device industry.

Xiaoying Wang is a computer vision and machine learning Postdoctoral Research Officer at Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) University, with research focusing on automatic digital image/video processing and analysis. Xiaoying is working together with the Continuous Improvement and Research Team at Cook Medical Australia to implement research activities for advanced manufacturing of medical devices, specifically undertaking research and development in automation and vision-based quality inspection, with the purpose of making quality inspection more efficient and easier.

The AMMD is excited for the growth of our team.

AMMD Research Hub to transform Australia’s medical technology sector

Researchers from The University of Queensland, industry partners, government and academia gathered to officially launch the Australian Research Council Research Hub for Advanced Manufacturing of Medical Devices (AMMD Hub) at Cook Medical Australia in Brisbane.

The new research hub is set to transform Australia’s medical technology sector by developing competitive technologies for the rapid production of medical devices.

One of the key goals for the AMMD Hub is to create better health outcomes for patients in Australia, and around the globe, by improving the time it takes to design, manufacture and supply customised medical devices such as endovascular stent grafts for patients with aortic aneurysm — a condition that currently has post-rupture survival rates of only 10 to 20 per cent.

AMMD Hub Director and University of Queensland Professor Matthew Dargusch said the AMMD Hub scheme fosters collaborative research activity between the Australian higher education sector and industry with a focus on strategic outcomes that are not independently realisable.

“Effective collaboration between interdisciplinary teams from industry and university is key to making a significant impact in terms of both research outcomes and quality that will address challenges in the advanced manufacturing of medical devices,” said Professor Dargusch.

With researchers based at Cook Medical Australia, the AMMD Hub has already begun work in the areas of lean manufacturing for the improvement of production times, adaptive automation systems, metallic biomaterials and collaborative robotics.

Cook Medical Australia General Manager Dr Samih Nabulsi said the AMMD Hub would deliver outcomes for patients by fostering growth in the medical technology sector in Australia.

“Our primary goal is to improve patient health outcomes, but we are also growing workforce capability in the medical device industry and increasing the translation of new technology,” Dr Nabulsi said.

“Research and industry partnerships like the AMMD Hub are vital to increasing and accelerating the translation of new technology in the medical device industry.”

In 2016, the AMMD Hub was awarded $2.8 million in ARC funding for five years. This investment was matched by industry partners, with a total value of more than $10 million of cash and in-kind funding.

ARC Chief Executive Officer Professor Sue Thomas acknowledged the importance of advanced manufacturing to Australia’s economic future.

“This Research Hub’s industry-focused research collaboration will develop new, advanced materials and processes that will not only lead to tangible health outcomes for Australians, but also drive new technologies and skills that are vital for the competitiveness of Australia’s medical devices industry,” Professor Thomas said.

The AMMD Hub brings together researchers from The University of Queensland, The University of Sydney, RMIT University; and University of the Sunshine Coast; and with partner organisations Cook Medical Australia Pty Ltd; Robert Bosch (Australia) Pty Ltd; Heat Treatment (QLD) Pty Ltd; and QMI Solutions Limited.

CI Julie Cairney interviewed by Materials Today

AMMD's CI Julie Cairney was interviewed by Materials Today as part of their series Materials Down Under. 

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AMMD Welcomes New Engineers

Two Engineers and one Postdoctoral Research Associate have joined the AMMD, working on multiple collaborative research projects including Lean Manufacturing and Design & Materials. 

Mr David Creagh is a Mechatronics/Automation Engineer at the University of Queensland with experience in robotics, project management and research. David is working to implement advanced automation technologies to improve the value stream in the manufacturing of custom medical devices, addressing the challenge associated with reliable delivery of patient specific medical devices at Cook Medical Australia.

Mr Vikram Sharma is an Industrial/Production Engineer at the University of Queensland with experience in manufacturing, automotive, and technical engineering in industry. Vikram is optimising the value stream of customised medical devices, working closely with the continuous improvement and research teams at Cook Medical Australia to develop and integrate new manufacturing systems.

Dr Ben Pace is a Postdoctoral Research Associate at The University of Sydney, working with the Australian Centre for Microscopy & Microanalysis. Ben works with the R&D team to find materials and manufacturing solutions to the design challenges of medical devices, and analysing these solutions with microscopy and corrosion analysis to improve the design and performance.

Our engineers work closely with their respective organisations as well as the resources of our partner organisations for the establishment of advanced technological outcomes.

AMMD attends Centres of Excellence Professional Staff Workshop

AMMD attended a workshop held for professional staff from research institutions including The University of Queensland, The University of Melbourne, The University of Western Australia, The University of Adelaide, The University of Sydney, Australian National University, Monash University, Queensland University of Technology, and James Cook University. The workshop was held on the 15th of May at The Ship Inn, Brisbane.

The program included a presentation from Ms Liz Visher from the Australian Research Council on Creating excellent Centres. Strengths of the Centres in attendance, working in virtual teams, reporting and rebids were among the topics discussed. 

AMMD is grateful to Lisa Walker and the team at Centre for Engineered Quantum Systems for organising the event and the opportunity to develop professional skills.