David Hill


David is a Biomedical Engineer and currently completing his PhD at RMIT University, researching “Automated surgical planning and elaborate resection methods for bone tumours”.


Industry partner
Stryker Australia


Research organisation
RMIT University


Academic Mentor
Prof Milan Brandt

Project description

Medical technology company Stryker has set out, in collaboration with researchers from RMIT University, the University of Technology Sydney (UTS), University of Sydney, University of Melbourne and St Vincent’s Hospital, to transform the development and delivery of implants to musculoskeletal tumour patients. The five-year research project combines 3D printing, robotic surgery, and advanced manufacturing to create just in time tailored implants for those patients.

As part of his PhD, David creates elaborate toolpaths for a surgical robot. By fitting complex shapes to 3D scans of bone tumours, he develops the cutting tools required to remove these tumors whilst at the same time minimising the amount of healthy bone structure that needs to be removed during surgery.


What is your background, and what led you to take up a PhD position for this project?

I initially did an apprenticeship in aircraft maintenance. Unfortunately, the airline industry suffered a massive employment downturn at that time. So, I decided to re-skill and enrolled in a Biomedical Engineering course at RMIT University. I enjoyed the degree, where the focus was not just on human anatomy, but also electronics and biomechanics. …


How do you feel about an industry-led research project?

As my PhD is industry-focused, I understand that my research in one way or another will help the industry partner to achieve their objectives. Stryker is leading the “Just in Time Implants” project and it is very satisfying for me to say that I’ve made a small contribution to their project, knowing that my work may have some impact in the operating theatre in the future. …