Automated orthotic design software is already helping Australian patients put their best feet forward.
Developed by Melbourne-based technology and industry specific engineering company, MEMKO, the software was made possible thanks to specialist input from RMIT PhD student Jeffery Young.
With the process already underway, and with a local podiatric laboratory and a critical skill gap, the company were linked to Mr Young through AMSIIntern.
“Jeffery’s knowledge and problem solving skills were just what we needed to bolster our development team and identify new solutions to outstanding complex issues,” said MEMKO Managing Director, Miro Miletic.
With university led research partnerships transforming commercial research and development capacity, AMSIIntern works across all disciplines to match industry with the skills needed to take innovation to the next level.
“AMSIIntern provides access to the technical skillsets valued by research and development companies like MEMKO. Customised, our projects are ‘firsts of its kind’ for the platforms used. With no back-ups to fall back on innovative solutions are critical,” said Mr Miletic.
For Jeffery, who has been developing an algorithm to measure gait parameters as part of his PhD, putting theory into practice provided understanding of industry needs and processes.
“I participated in every stage from initial brainstorming, analysis and development to application. As well as vital industry skills, I have more confidence communicating my knowledge and research with broad audiences and stakeholders,” he says.
On hand to help to provide support as academic mentor, Dr Milan Simic proved a valuable sounding board as Jeffery developed a critical function of the software to allow improved design accuracy. The project also paved avenues to extend his research horizons.
“My research engagement with MEMKO will be ongoing. In particular, this experience has highlighted the synergy between academia, industry and AMSIIntern,” he says.
Connections not lost on Mr Militec who is keen to use the program for research and development solutions in the future.
“Researchers provide a good perspective into recent technological advances and are invaluable in their contributions to industry,” he said.
Just the beginning of his industry journey, its a perspective Jeffery hopes to bring to industry into the future.
“I hope to continue working with MEMKO or laboratories using this design system, so I can apply my research to improve their product’s performance.”
Co-funded by the Defence Science Institute (DSI) under its ongoing collaboration with AMSI Intern, this project demonstrates the value and impact of innovation within the small enterprise environment.
As well as empowering postgraduate students to contribute to real-world defence related industry solutions, the program is an important platform for industry partners such as MEMKO to rapidly access expertise not typically available in-house. The experience in this case proved so positive, they plan to recruit a PhD graduate of similar expertise into a permanent engineering position.
“Through our partnership with AMSI Intern and industry innovators such as MEMKO, DSI is proud to open avenues for postgraduate researchers to directly apply their knowledge and specialist skills to solve real-world innovation challenges and strengthen Australia’s defence industry capability,” Dr Regina Crameri – DSI Associate Director.