Acclaimed Australian biomedical engineer – Flinders University Professor Karen Reynolds – has received the Medical Technology Association of Australia’s coveted Outstanding Achievement Award.
Announced at the MedTech 2014 dinner in Sydney last night (November 13), the prestigious award acknowledges Professor Reynolds’ significant and outstanding contributions to the Australian medical technology industry.
Judged by a panel of industry experts, Professor Reynolds was recognised for her pioneering achievements in medical device innovation and industry development, particularly through her roles as Director of the Medical Device Research Institute (MDRI) and Founding Director of the Medical Device Partnering Program (MDPP) at Flinders University.
Professor Reynolds said it was a privilege to be recognised by her industry peers.
“Receiving this award shows that the vision shared by myself and others at Flinders University to encourage collaboration between industry and research institutions is valued by the industry,” Professor Reynolds, the Matthew Flinders Distinguished Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Deputy Dean of the School of Computer Science, Engineering and Mathematics, said.
Bridging the gap between research and industry, Professor Reynolds has a proven passion for fostering collaboration between researchers, industry and end-users to ensure clinical relevance and improved patient outcomes for industry-based projects.
This is exemplified through the MDPP model which brings clinical input and relevance to industry-based projects through facilitated workshops with healthcare experts.
Under Professor Reynolds’ leadership, the MDPP has assisted more than 150 companies and inventors since its creation in 2008, developing novel medical devices that improve diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of patients as well as technologies that enable those living with disabilities and the ageing community to live with greater independence.
Turning to the future, Professor Reynolds said Flinders’ new footprint at Tonsley – including the relocation of the School of Computer Science, Engineering and Mathematics in 2015 – will provide an integrated hub for the University’s centres of expertise in medical devices and assistive technologies.
“It’s an exciting time to work within the medical device and assisted living space, particularly in South Australia with the development of Tonsley as a health innovation precinct,” she said.
“I am privileged to be surrounded by talented and inspirational researchers who are making significant contributions to society, from developing new methods for breast cancer detection to creating assistive living devices to enable people to live in their own homes for longer.
“Tonsley provides real opportunity for Flinders to develop, harness and direct these technologies, supporting the University’s teaching and research strengths in engineering, clinical science, allied health, disabilities and device development, to bring widespread benefits in terms of community wellbeing – locally, nationally and beyond.”
Considered one of Australia’s top engineers, Professor Reynolds’ leading role in advancing biomedical engineering and health technologies have been recognised with a string of awards and appointments in recent years.
Such feats include being named South Australian Scientist of the Year in 2012, being elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences in 2011 and being awarded Australian Professional Engineer of the Year in 2012.
She was also named one of Australia’s ‘Top 100 Most Influential Engineers’ by Engineers Australia in 2012 and 2013.