The MDRI is pleased to welcome Dr Amanda Fleury – Visiting Endeavour Research Fellow.
Dr Fleury recently completed her PhD in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Toronto, Canada, investigating the use of electronic textiles in rehabilitation.
Over the next four months, Dr Fleury will work with Professor Reynolds and other researchers in the Medical Device Research Institute, to investigate new wearable sensing technologies for the treatment of positional sleep apnoea and for the kinematic analysis of gait.
We caught up with Amanda for a quick Q&A …
Why did you choose to study/complete your PhD in Biomedical Engineering?
I’ve always been interested in fashion and sewing, and after completing an MASc in Biomedical Engineering, I became really interested in the field of electronic textiles. I saw it as an opportunity to merge my two biggest interests: fashion and engineering. While there were so many potential applications for textile-based sensors in rehabilitation, there weren’t many companies working in this area in 2012, so a PhD seemed like a good opportunity to get my feet wet and explore. I was lucky to get to work on several case studies during my PhD, where I got to build new devices and work with clients to test them in the real world.
What attracted you to Flinders University/MDRI?
My PhD institution, Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital, has an excellent relationship with Flinders and the Medical Device Research Institute, and we’ve hosted many excellent students from Flinders on internships in the past 5 years. Our research interests are well aligned and overall it seemed like a really good fit. Plus, I’ll take any opportunity to get away from Toronto in the winter.
What do you hope to achieve during your time here?
Four months is fairly short for a post-doctoral fellowship, so I’m focussing on building my skills in software and hardware while adding value on ongoing projects. I’d like to leave with a working prototype of a wearable device for the detection of supine postures during sleep for individuals with positional sleep apnoea. I’m working on a few other projects with an overall theme of wearable sensing.
Biggest surprise about Australia so far?
It’s been colder than I expected! I’ve been told it’s been an unusual few months, but I was definitely hoping for a few more beach days before the autumn set in. That said, I’d rather be here than in Toronto during this time of year.
Who are you most inspired by and why?
I feel really privileged to have had Dr Tom Chau as a supervisor and mentor. His commitment to his students and his focus on the real impact of the technologies we build is a motivation and an inspiration.
Do you have any travel plans whilst in SA? (local or interstate)?
I’ve done a bit of local travel (to Middleton for surfing, to the Barossa Valley for wine-tasting), and have a big trip planned to Port Douglas before I leave — the Great Barrier Reef is one place I would be kicking myself if I didn’t see while I was here. For now, I’m really enjoying getting to know Adelaide and exploring all the events and festivals going on in my own backyard.