Current Projects

I am a Research Fellow in the Institute for Science and Technology in Medicine at Keele University
and a Data Scientist in healthcare technology startup Aparito.
In both roles, I develop and use computational tools with the aim to improve human health.

Tech for Paralysis

This project aims to design personalised systems to restore arm movement in people with high-level spinal cord injury.
When someone is paralysed, most of their muscles still work, as the injury has affected their spinal cord, not their muscles. But the damage to the neck means that muscles are not receiving electrical signals from the brain, and this is why they are not producing movement. If we could electrically stimulate the muscles, we could restore movement.
In this project, we use a combination of electrical stimulation to elicit forces in paralysed muscles, and mobile arm supports to compensate for insufficient muscle force where necessary.
My role is to develop computational models specific to an individual's functional limitations, to produce patient-specific interventions.
I am also leading the public engagement work, in collaboration with New Vic Borderlines, the outreach department of our local theatre.
Our project follows the principles of Open Science.

Mobile Health for Remote Monitoring of Epilepsy in South African Children

Aparito is a digital health company, that uses mobile phone applications and wearables to monitor patients outside the hospital setting.
The study I am working on at the moment involves testing the technology on a cohort of 40 South African children with refractory epilepsy.
There is little data on quality of life for South African children with epilepsy and their families, and limited resources for management of epilepsy. So there is a need to gather more data and develop strategies for personalised care.
This study aims to investigate the feasibility and acceptability of wearable devices, and provide insight into the challenges of using this technology to monitor epilepsy in Africa.
I will be giving an update on this work at the BioMedEng19 conference in London, 5-6 September 2019.

CMAS Open Code

With support from CMAS and Mozilla, I am developing a free online platform for sharing code and resources among clinical movement analysis laboratories.
Why? Using code can save time and reduce errors by automating routine tasks, and produce new insights by enabling complex calculations. However, not everyone has the skills or time to learn how to develop their own code. So the aim of this project is to bring everyone interested in movement analysis together, to share code and the expertise that exists in the community.
By taking part in the Mozilla Open Leaders program I learned a huge amount about working openly, and developing projects that are useful, inviting and inclusive. Please click below and let me know what you think.

Soapbox Science Stoke-on-Trent

Soapbox Science involves female scientists standing on soapboxes in busy city streets, talking with passers-by about their research.
I think it is a brilliant outreach platform, for two reasons. First, instead of inviting people to a dedicated science event, it takes science to the streets, so it reaches people who might not consider attending a science event. And second, by focusing on female scientists, is raises the visibility of women in STEM, and hopefully encourages more girls to study science and engineering.
On Saturday July 6th 2019, we will host our first ever Soapbox Science event in the centre of Stoke-on-Trent. It will be a unique opportunity to learn about scientific research done locally, straight from the scientists themselves. So if you are in the area, please come and support our speakers.

Recent Projects

Hand prosthesis control using computer modelling

The aim of this project was to enable natural control of prosthetic hands using computational modelling.
Even though prosthetic hands have the potential for complex movements, it is difficult to interpet the user's desired action.
Here we used a computer model of the hand to translate muscle activity from the residual limb into prosthetic hand movement.
I described this work in a series of blog posts.

Progressive Prosthetics

In 2018, I led the development of an exhibit about prosthetic hands at the Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition. It was a unique experience, that involved designing hands-on activities for people of all ages, and managing a large group of volunteers. The exhibition had more than 11000 visitors!
I documented the preparation for the exhibit on a blog: The quest for a life-like prosthetic hand.

Code Up Stoke-on-Trent

I love coding, and I think that everyone should give it a go.
While children learn coding at school, I wanted to give adults the same opportunity: to learn coding at no cost, in a friendly environment.
So I joined Code Up, an organisation based in Manchester, which aims to provide free coding tuition to adults, and started our own branch, Code Up Stoke-on-Trent.

Make Keele

I set up a makerspace for the local community called Make Keele.
Its aim was to get people of all ages and backgrounds tinkering with technology, and give them the opportunity to meet, learn from each other and get creative.
Through this project I met the team behind Wavemaker, digital engagement specialists, who have become good friends and collaborators.

Visitors at our exhibit at the Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition
Making music with Makey-Makey during a Make Keele event
Human hand, model, Leap and robotic hand
Teaching code at Code Up Stoke-on-Trent
Human and robotic hand
Soapbox Science event in Leeds 2017