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Associate Professor Paul Grimshaw

Telephone +61 8 8313 4805
Position Associate Professor
Fax +61 8 8313 4367
Building Engineering South
Floor/Room 2 35
Campus North Terrace
Org Unit School of Mechanical Engineering

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Biography/ Background

Since completing my Ph.D. in biomedical engineering in 1987 in the UK, I have been lecturing in the areas of biomechanics, anatomy and research methods for the last 25 years. In this context I have worked at three Universities in the United Kingdom (Brunel, Edinburgh and Exeter) and two here in Australia (School of Health Sciences, University of South Australia and currently School of Mechanical Engineering at Adelaide University) since 1999. My main area of research has been the topic of injury prevention and mechanism of injury in a number of different areas (golf, low back pain, gait analysis in children and adults and quantitative assessment of human knee instability) and I have published several international refereed articles, proceedings and abstracts on these subjects. However, I have also worked and published in the area of teaching and pedagogy (total n=99 refereed pieces of work).

At the University of Adelaide I am the School's Director of Research and the Program Coordinator for the bachelor of engineering (mechanical and sports) 4-year undergraduate professional degree, which is the first of its kind within Australia. This coordination role has involved considerable work on the accreditation of the course through the professional society, Engineers Australia. The course is currently recruiting approximately 35 students each year into its program and it is in its sixth year of operation. The course is particularly attractive as it appeals to many students, especially females, who would not normally consider an engineering career.

Teaching Interests

In my teaching responsibilities at Adelaide University I currently teach on the Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical and Sports) degree (established in 2008), which is part of the 4-year professional Mechanical Engineering degree program accredited by Engineers Australia. In this context I teach the courses Sports Engineering I and II, which are concerned with Instrumenting the athlete and equipment and Engineering Biomechanics (muscle and joint loads). In addition, I also supervise a number of final 4th year Engineering honours projects in the areas of Engineering and Biomechanics for example: the mechanical properties of fibrous and fibro-cartilaginous anterior cruciate ligaments and energy return characteristics in running shoes. 

In 2006, along with three colleagues from the UK, I published an undergraduate textbook for sport and exercise biomechanics. The book entitled: Instant Notes for Sport and Exercise Biomechanics (ISBN 185996284X, 392 pages), was published by Taylor & Francis and is designed as a series of Instant Notes, which are considered as expansions of the lecture notes from 1st and 2nd year core undergraduate teaching. This series entitled: Instant Notes has already proven to be particularly successful in areas such as molecular biology, psychology, and chemistry for biologists. These innovative books provide a structured approach to learning by covering all the important topics in a uniform, systematic format. The text book Instant Notes for Sport and Exercise Biomechanics has already sold over 6000 copies, been reprinted in 2008, translated into two languages in 2010 and is proving a very useful and popular textbook both across Australia, USA and the United Kingdom.

Finally in December 2011, May 2012 and April 2013 (through both physically being in Sweden and through the Adobe Connect system while I am in Australia) I had the opportunity to teach biomechanics and ergonomics to engineering students at the University of Halmstad in Sweden. This produced a new learning experience for both me as lecturer, and the Swedish students as undergraduates. For them, they had a native English speaking teacher who could relate complicated concepts in a way used commonly by the majority of the western world and for me, although the students could speak almost perfect English, it was clear that they needed much more time in lectures to respond to my questions, prompting and directions. Once I had realized (and it was a Swedish female engineering student who told me this) that the students needed the time to translate my questions in their mind into Swedish and then re-translate their answers back into English I knew that the passion I have for teaching could now effectively transpire across non-native English speaking countries.



MacKenzie, J.F., Grimshaw, P. N. & Jones C.D.S. (2013) Muscle activity during lifting: effect of core conditioning on the external oblique abdominal. Work - in press (accepted February).

Tsiros, M. D., Coates, A. M., Howe, P. R. C., Grimshaw, P. N., Walkley, J., Shields, A., Mallows, R., Hills, A., Kagawa, M., Shultz, S. & Buckley, J.  (2012) Knee extensor strength differences in obese and healthy-weight 10 to 13 year olds. European Journal of Apllied Physiology. Published initially online 12 December 2012.

Tsiros, M. D., Grimshaw, P. N., Shield, A. J. & Buckley, J. D. (2011) Test-retest reliability of the biodex system 4 isokinetic dynamometer for knee strength assessment in paediatric populationsJournal of Allied Health 40 (3), pp. 115-119.

Tsiros, M. D., Grimshaw, P. N., Shield, A. J. & Buckley, J. D. (2011) The biodex isokinetic dynamometer for knee strength assessment in children: Advantages and limitationsWork 39 (2), pp. 161-167.

Marqués-Bruna, P. & Grimshaw, P. N. (2011) Design of the grand touring sports car wingProceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part P: Journal of Sports Engineering and Technology 225 (1), pp. 22-31.

Tsiros, M.D.Coates, A.M.Howe, P.R.C.Grimshaw, P. N. & Buckley, J.D. (2011) Obesity: The new childhood disability? Obesity Reviews 12 (1), pp. 26-36. (IF 5.872).

Professional Interests

Between 2000 and 2012, I have acted as a consultant to the following companies and organisations: Davies Lavery Solicitors UK; Scholl footwear UK; Dunlop footwear UK; National Coaching Foundation UK; The Sports Council UK; Ultrafit magazine; Running Magazine; Piper Alderman Solicitors AUS; Lawson Smith Lawyers AUS; Griffin Hilditch Lawyers AUS; Expert Opinion Australia; Workplace Services or SafeWork SA (SA government), Australian Refugee Association; Department of Public Prosecution AUS, SAPOL Adelaide; Tindall, Gask and Bentley Lawyers AUS.

Community Engagement

Throughout my career I have conducted many promotional exercises for the Universities in which I have worked. For example I developed a course of study for the ASSETS program for aboriginal school children showing an interest in studying health science at University (analysis of different types of running shoes). Furthermore, I have given several laboratory classes to various groups of year 12 students from a number of different high schools who are gifted in the areas of science and mathematics. In addition, I have provided many expert witness reports for solicitors in court cases of injury and disability claims. In 2007/2008 I worked with the company Sports Knowledge Australia on developing a module entitled F=ma. This was completed in February of that year and is a module designed for high school students (year 10-12) learning basic science through sporting applications. The book/module has interactive online learning tools and was distributed across the UK and Australia. Finally, I have done a number of television (primarily ABC – behind the news programme) and radio interviews for injury and sport related issues (performance and injury prevention).

Between 2009 and 2011, I was the School of Mechanical Engineering outreach officer, which involved external liaison with local Schools and Communities. In this capacity I have been involved with several innovative and knowledge transfer activities. For example: organising the mechanical engineering open day in 2009 and 2010; giving talks to school teachers on real world engineering applications of mathematics and physics; helping at the Engineers Australia Science and Engineering Challenge for all Schools in South Australia 2009 and finally organising and planning the Design and Build Competition 2010 for the School of Mechanical Engineering. This competition involves organising over 400, 1st and 3rd year engineering students into completing a design and build challenge during orientation week. It has extensive involvement with industry (sponsorship) and the local community (local engineering companies) and is an excellent example of innovation and application of knowledge. Furthermore, it is an excellent way to integrate new first years straight from School into the University and into the School of Mechanical Engineering.


Entry last updated: Friday, 4 Sep 2015

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