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Dr Peter Theobald BEng(Hons), PGCert, PhD, CEng, MIMechE, MInstLM, FHEA

Dr Peter Theobald

BEng(Hons), PGCert, PhD, CEng, MIMechE, MInstLM, FHEA

Senior Lecturer - Teaching and Research

School of Engineering

Email
theobaldps@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone
+44 (0)29 2087 4726
Campuses
S/2.10, Queen's Buildings - South Building, 5 The Parade, Newport Road, Cardiff, CF24 3AA
Users
Available for postgraduate supervision

Dr Peter Theobald leads a team of engineers focussed on exploiting the potential of polymer-based, additive manufacturing to achieve enhanced industrial outputs.

Dr Theobald and his team are driving forward the adoption of additive manufacturing in the energy-absorption sector, combining the design freedom afforded by additive manufacturing and existing strain-dependant materials.  His main area of interest relates to achieving material-structures that are able to protect against both minor and major head trauma.  He works alongside the National Football League (US) and leading, international equipment manufacturers and have attracted funding from a range of sources including the prestigious Head Health Tech programme.  A summary of his recent work was recently published by BBC Sport, whilst ITV Wales evaluated the potential of his work to be used more widely in other contact sports.

He is also actively involved in more clinically-focussed research, with on-going projects including an EPSRC-funded study investigating cardiac biomechanics and a variety of orthopaedic engineering projects.

Recent (2020) Papers:

  • 3D printed origami honeycombs with tailored out of plane energy absorption behavior, can be accessed in full here

Industrial Collaboration:

Dr Theobald actively engages with a breadth of industries, focussing on researching and developing new, polymer-based material-structures that can be translated to products.  He has secured funding from Innovate UK to progress the adoption of new technologies across a breadth of bio-engineering applications and is always interested in new collaborative opportunities.

Dr Theobald's research focusses on the interface of engineering and medicine.  He aims to identify new and novel solutions to reduce the risk of mortality, morbidity and injury, with a particular interest in application to sports and orthopaedics.  His research is of both a fundamental and applied nature, meaning he works with a range of academic, clinical and industrial collaborators within the UK and overseas.  Internally, he holds memberships in both the High Value Manufacturing, and Medical Engineering, research groups.

Peter's research team are primarily focussing on reducing head injuries in sporting and collision environments.  This comprises ‘blue skies’ work, as they seek to better understand the relationship between impact and head health, whilst also working with industry to create more effective, protective solutions.  He has attracted funding from a range of sources and have experience working alongside sports organisations including the Welsh Rugby Union, English Institute of Sport, World Rugby and the National Football League.

Dr Theobald’s research also includes a wider spectrum of engineering applied to medicine, meaning he works with a range of clinical colleagues and academic collaborators within the UK and overseas.  He is active in orthopaedics - especially looking at how additive manufacturing can improve patient care.  His work investigating how the biomechancial behaviour of cardiac tissue changes with age has also recently been funded by the Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council, alongside the prestigious SoftMECH centre (University of Glasgow) and Swansea University.

Peter's career started in 2003, graduating in Medical Engineering from the University of Bradford (1st Class (Hons)), at the time being one of very few universities to offer such a programme.  He moved to Cardiff School of Engineering to read his PhD in soft tissue biomechanics, focusing on the tendo Achilles insertion site.  He performed a series of biomechanical and anatomical analyses, revealing the complex interaction between adjacent tissues that ensures the interface can withstand such high loads.  He was supervised by Professor Len Nokes (School of Engineering), the late Professor Mike Benjamin (School of Biosciences) and the late Professor Colin Dent (School of Medicine).

Dr Theobald is now a recognised expert in his field and frequently reviews grants and papers, and examines students, across the UK and internationally. 

Honours and awards

 Associate Editor

 Biosurface & Biotribology

2020

 Editorial Board Member

Journal of Medical Engineering & Technology

2020 

Associate Peer Review College membership

EPSRC

2018

Distinguished research series

GIAN (India)

2018

Advisory Board member

Journal of Sports Sciences

2017

International Faculty member

ICJR Middle East

2016

Programme Chair

SDM Conference

2016

Professional memberships

  • Chartered Engineer (IMechE)
  • Member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
  • ASTM (American Society for Testing & Materials) Member for F08: Sports equipment and facilities, including F08.53: Helmets  

Academic positions

2015 - Present: Senior Lecturer, School of Engineering, Cardiff University

2007 - 2015: Lecturer, School of Engineering, Cardiff University

2006 - 2007: Postdoctoral Research Associate, School of Engineering, Cardiff University

Committees and reviewing

  • Peer-reviewer for multiple international journals
  • Peer-reviewer for various UK funding bodies/agencies
  • Associate Panel Member, EPSRC

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

  • Landham, P. R.et al. 2008. A bio-tribological analysis of paratenonitis. Presented at: STLE/ASME 2008 International Joint Tribology Conference (IJTC2008), Miami, FL, USA, 20-22 October 2008Proceedings of the STLE/ASME 2008 International Joint Tribology Conference (IJTC2008), October 20–22, 2008 , Miami, Florida, USA. ASME Conference Proceedings New York, NY: ASME pp. 131-133., (10.1115/IJTC2008-71158)

2007

2006

2005

Dr Theobald teaches a range of subjects that consider musculoskeletal biomechanics, and how the implementation of innovative design can add to this valuable area.  These modules include:

  • EN2451 - Biomechanics 1, focussing on the fundamentals of the musculoskeletal system.
  • EN3450 - Biomechanics 2, considering the implementation of emerging technologies to design and manufacturing patient-specific implants.
  • EN4107 - Biomechanics & Biomedical Engineering, leading a series of group projects that focus on a specific challenge within the sector and that are typically sponsored by a clinician or industry.  Examples may include medical device design, developing novel rehabilitation strategies, or enhanced patient care.  
  • EN4419 - Ergonomics, investigating routes to improve comfort and functionality, evidenced by manufacturing a new product focussed on human-environment interaction, which is then tested on a participant population.

Dr Theobald has also served as Head of the Mechanical, Medical and Manufacturing (2013-17), and is currently Tutor for the Medical Engineering undergraduate degree scheme.

Research theme: Mechanics, Materials and Advanced Manufacturing

Post-doctoral Research Associates

People

Project

Sponsor

Dr Scott Townsend

Viscoelastic helmet liner for improving NFL head health

Football Research Inc

Dr Faizan Ahmad

Growth & Remodelling of cardiac tissue

EPSRC

Contracts

Title

People

Sponsor

Value

Duration

Upgrading the small equipment base for early career researchers in the Engineering and Physical Sciences

Holford K, Whatling G, Lees J, Anderson P I, Brousseau E, Cipcigan L M, Pullin R, Bigot S, Theobald P, Simpson R N, Kawashita L F, Clarke A

EPSRC

498326

01/11/2012 - 31/03/2013

Using 'digital' materials to establish a novel investigation platform for cardiac arrest

Theobald P

Ser Cymru NRN Sweasea

57000

01/07/2014 - 30/06/2017

Validating the use of piezoelectric materials for novel application in bio-mechanical engineering

Theobald P

Royal Society

15000

01/04/2013 - 31/03/2014

Optimising Impact protection through additive manufacturing

Theobald P

EPSRC via Nottingham University

2951

15/08/2014 - 14/03/2015

Putting the 'Spark' Back into Electrical Engineering (Ingenius Public Engagement Grant)

Theobald P

Royal Academy of Engineering

30000

01/04/2014 - 31/07/2015

Increasing the acceptance of safety headwear within the climbing

Theobald P

Welsh European Funding Office

39903

01/03/2013 - 28/02/2014

Can providing 3D printing be used to enhance cardiopulmonary resucitation techniques?

Theobald P, Clarke A

Welsh Crucible

9973

01/12/2013 - 31/08/2014

Biomechanical analysis of dual bridge plating

Theobald P, Jones M

Biomet Manufacturing LLC

24593

01/06/2014 - 15/02/2015

The use of novel materials to enhance motorcyclist safety in developing countries

Theobald P, M. Alves (Fellow)

Royal Society - Newton Fund

11800

01/11/2015 - 31/07/2017

New and novel materials to reduce head injury

Theobald P, Soe S

EPSRC IAA

19936

15/06/2015 - 30/09/2015

Developing novel materials to enhance motorcycle safety

Theobald P, Soe S

KESS II

80000

01/01/2016 - 31/12/2019

To radically improve the performance of protective helmets

Theobald P

KTP

229425

23/01/2017 - 22/01/2020

To radically improve the performance of protective helmets

Theobald P

e-KTP via Welsh Government

24,000

23/01/2017 - 22/01/2020

Quantifying probable region-specific microstructural and biomechanical variations In mature porcine tissue

Theobald P

EPSRC via Glasgow University

6,000

1/10/18 – 30/4/19

Growth and remodelling in the porcine heart – pushing mathematics through experiments

Theobald P, Soe S, Yang X (in collaboration with Glasgow and Swansea Universities)

EPSRC

£341k (£800k total)

01/05/2019-30/04/2022

Novel, rate-dependent material to enhance helmet liner performance

Theobald P, Soe S

Football Research Inc

£80k

01/03/2019-15/07/2020

Novel test device for the standardised measurement of skin friction on synthetic surfaces

Theobald P

World Rugby

£57k

01/07/2019-30/06/2022

Developing advanced protective materials via an enhanced understanding of brain injury

Theobald P

KESS II

£82k

01/10/2019-30/09/2022

Dr Theobald's research group focuses on areas including:

  • Head protection
  • Injury prevention
  • Light-weighting
  • Energy absorption
  • Additive manufacturing for medical application
  • Orthopaedics

Please contact him using the above details should your interests lie within these areas

His research students include:

Title

Student

Status

Degree

3D printing for patient specific cutting jigs in orthopaedics 

ALNEHAYAN, Mansour

Current

PhD

Identifying the isometric point for ACL reconstruction

ELFEKKY, Mohamed

Current

PhD

Developing advanced protective materials via an enhanced understanding of brain injury

MCCLOSKEY, Hugh

Current

PhD

Investigating the wobble-board to improving stability in the diabetic population

ALJAWAEE, Madawi

Current

PhD

Development and implementation of a friction threshold for preventing skin injury in elite rugby

MACFARLANE, Maxwell

Current

PhD

Developing Multi-Material Structures for Enhanced Energy Absorption, for application to Head Protection

HANNA, Ben

Current

PhD

Development of a viscoelastic material for additively manufacture an enhanced helmet liner

ADAMS, Rhoss

Current

PhD

Developing novel materials to enhance motorcyclist safety.

ROBINSON, Michael

Graduate

PhD

Using 'Digital' Materials to Establish a Novel Investigative Platform for Cardiac Arrest

AHMAD Faizan

Graduate

PhD

Can Paediatric CPR Performance Be Improved Through The Provision Of 'Real Time' Feedback?

KANDASAMY Jeyapal

Graduate

PhD

Biomechanics Of Skull Fracture And Intracranial Injury In Young Children As Consequence Of A Low Height Fall

HUGHES Jonathon

Graduate

PhD

Finite Element Modeling of the Femur Bone With Geometry And Material Properties Retreived From CT-Scan Data

GHAIDAA ABDULRAHMAN Khalid

Graduate

PhD

Developing a Methodology to Perform Measurements of the Multi-spinal regions and Lumbar-Hip Complex Kinematics during Dominant Daily Tasks

ALQHTANI Raee

Graduate

PhD

An Investigation to Establish How The Evolution of Rugby Influences The Risk of Spinal Injury During Scrummaging

SWAMINATHAN Ramesh

Graduate

PhD

Developing a computational model to enabe simulation of blood perfusion/circulation during cardiopulmonary resuscitation

SHAABETH Samar Ali Jaber

Graduate

PhD

Engineering an improvement in chest compression quality during simulated infant cardiopulmonary resuscitation

MARTIN Philip

Graduate

PhD

Past projects