DR David Ackland

DR David Ackland


  • Computational modelling (muscle and joint function, motor control of human movement)
  • Experimental biomechanics (applied anatomy, orthopaedics)
  • Implant development and testing (orthopaedics, maxillofacial surgery)



  • Dr Ackland is Deputy Head (Academic) of the Department of Biomedical Engineering, Deputy Director of the ARC Centre for Medical Implant Technologies, and head of the Biomechanics Research group in the Department of Biomedical Engineering, the University of Melbourne. He holds a BSc (Neuroscience), BE (Mechanical), and PhD degrees from the University of Melbourne. Dr Ackland's research focuses on computational modelling and experimentation in human movement biomechanics, with a particular emphasis on upper limb orthopaedics and maxillofacial surgery. His research group employs medical imaging, human motion experiments, musculoskeletal modelling, and in vitro biomechanical experiments in the evaluation of muscle and joint function. Dr Ackland has a particular interest in design and evaluation of implantable devices for the treatment of end-stage bone and joint conditions. Dr Ackland’s was involved in the design of Australia’s first customised jaw-joint replacement prosthesis, which has restored jaw function in over 100 Australians suffering debilitating pain and deformities of the jaw associated with congenital and degenerative abnormalities, as well as trauma and cancer. This prosthesis has resulted in a spin-off company dedicated to design and manufacture of personalised implantable maxillofacial devices (OMX Solution Pty Ltd). Dr Ackland has attracted $7M in research funds from the ARC, NHMRC, government and industry. He works with orthopaedic industry, including multi-national companies such as Lima, Smith & Nephew and Zimmer-Biomet. His collaborations also include Epworth Healthcare, St Vincent’s Hospital, the Avenue Private Hospital, Royal Melbourne Hospital, as well as CSIRO and the Defence Science and Technology Group. His international collaborators include researchers from Stuttgart University (Germany), ETH Zurich (Switzerland), and Auckland Bioengineering Institute (Auckland). Dr Ackland is the treasurer of the Australian and New Zealand Orthopaedic Rese   


Member of

  • Australian Orthopaedic Association. Affiliate Membership 2014 -
  • Australian and New Zealand Orthopaedic Research Society. Member 2014 -
  • Institution of Mechanical Engineers. Member 2009 - 2015
  • Royal Society of Victoria. Member 2009 - 2011


Selected publications


Investigator on

Additional Grant Information

  • (2015) Victorian Orthopaedic Research Trust ($11,500 over one year) “Biomechanical evaluation of the Reverse Shoulder Prosthesis”, Dr Ackland, A/Prof Martin Richardson

    (2015) Development of Injury Criteria, The Defence Science and Technology Organisation of the Department of Defence ($1,194,567 over three years). Prof Peter Lee, Dr David Ackland, Dr Justin Fernandez, Dr Tuan Duc Ngo

    (2015) Development of a Wrist Joint Simulator, O’Brien Institute, St Vincent’s Hospital ($81,730 over four years), Dr David Ackland, Mr Stephen Tham, Mr David McCombe, Mr Eugene Ek

    (2015) A Novel Canine Spine Fixation Device, Advanced Vetcare ($7,332 over one year), Dr David Ackland, Dr David Hall

    (2014) Group of Eight Australia – Germany Joint Research Co-operation Scheme “Evaluation of loading at the human jaw and teeth for the diagnosis and treatment of oral and maxillofacial health conditions” ($9,600 in 2015, and $9,600 in 2016). Dr David Ackland, Prof Peter Lee, Oliver Rohrle, Sook-Yee Chong

    (2014) STRAPA Research Award ($27,000 + $5,000 per year over three years) “Unravelling the complexity of the cephalopod: The use of micro-CT and computational modelling in understanding the origins and applications of the boneless jaw”, Dr David Ackland, Prof Peter Lee, A/Prof Chris Whitton, Dr Julian Finn, Dr Martin Gomon

    (2014) McCoy seed funding ($8,250 over one year) “Unravelling the complexity of small animals: improving museum exhibits with the use of multi scale imaging information”, Dr David Ackland, Prof Peter Lee, A/Prof Chris Whitton, Dr Julian Finn, Dr Martin Gomon

    (2013) Victorian Orthopaedic Research Trust ($7,400 over one year) “Biomechanical evaluation of clavicle fracture plate fixation techniques”, Dr Minoo Patel, Dr Ackland

    (2012) Victorian Orthopaedic Research Trust ($5,700 over one yea



Education and training

  • AMusA, University of Melbourne 2015
  • GCUT, University of Melbourne 2014
  • PhD, University of Melbourne 2008
  • BEng, University of Melbourne 2003
  • BSci, University of Melbourne 2003

Awards and honors

  • Most Commendable Paper in an International Journal, Bending strength and stiffness of Canine cadaver spines after fixation of a lumbar spinal fracture, The Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists, 2015
  • Best paper award, Relationship between knee confidence and physical function in people with knee OA after ACLR, Sports Medicine Australia, 2012
  • Fresch Scientist Award (2010), Federal Government/New Scientist, 2010
  • ‘Speak Out for Engineering’ (Australian final), Institution of Mechanical Engineers, 2009
  • ‘Speak Out for Engineering’ (Victorian final), Institution of Mechanical Engineers, 2008
  • James Herbert Mirams Memorial Scholarship, University of Melbourne, 2007



Available for supervision

  • Y

Supervision Statement

  • I am available to supervise research projects