MDRI Director wins nation’s top biomedical engineering award

karen-reynolds-david-dewhurst-award-300x225Flinders University’s Professor Karen Reynolds has been awarded Engineers Australia’s top award for biomedical engineering at a gala awards ceremony in Brisbane.

Professor Reynolds received the David Dewhurst award in recognition of her internationally significant contribution to Australian biomedical research, through a range of projects including Flinders’ Medical Device Partnering Program, which is preparing for a national roll-out.

One of South Australia’s brightest scientific minds, having been named South Australian Scientist of the Year in 2012 and Australian Professional Engineer of the Year in 2010, Professor Reynolds regularly features in the Top 100 Most Influential Engineers in Australia.

In 2008, she established the Medical Device Partnering Program (MDPP), an innovative and highly-successful initiative which harnesses university expertise to help companies or inventors looking to develop cutting-edge medical devices and bring their products to market.

The program has energised the medical technology industry in South Australia by encouraging and facilitating partnerships between medical researchers and South Australian manufacturers.

Professor Reynolds is also Director of Flinders’ Medical Device Research Institute (MDRI) and Deputy Dean of the university’s School of Computer Science, Engineering and Mathematics.

The David Dewhurst award is given by Engineers Australia (Australia’s peak body for engineers, representing over 100,000 members) to a biomedical engineer who has made exceptional, sustained and significant contributions to the field.

“Past recipients of the David Dewhurst award really are a ‘who’s who’ of biomedical engineering, so I’m deeply honoured to be recognised by my peers in this way,” said Professor Reynolds.

“It’s been a great privilege to be able to contribute to biomedical research, and to have the opportunity to collaborate with inspiring colleagues and champion new and improved ways of doing things, while mentoring aspiring researchers along the way.

“This award is a great vote of confidence that my work is having positive impacts throughout Australia – and hopefully beyond.

“I’m also proud to be the first woman to receive this award, and hope I will be the first of many.”

Chair of Engineers Australia’s College of Biomedical Engineers, Paul Junor, said Professor Reynolds shared many traits with David Dewhurst, who was known for his easy communication style, gift for teaching, and ability to inspire and organise others.

“Professor Reynolds embodies these same qualities,” he said. “Her suitability for this award is evident from her prominence in the Australian biomedical engineering community over the past two decades.

“This includes her major and tireless contribution over many years to Engineers Australia’s College of Biomedical Engineers as a past board chair who spearheaded many initiatives.

“We have great pleasure in congratulating her on this well-deserved acknowledgement of her ongoing major contribution to the biomedical engineering community, both industrial and academic.”

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