MEET THE TEAM
Research: The main aim of my research project is to develop a comprehensive concussion management protocol that incorporates objective computerised assessment tools in the monitoring and management of concussion.
About: I love romcoms. My favourite is probably Love Actually. Or 10 things I hate about you.
Research: Severe oxygen deficiency, irrespective of the cause, requires interventions such as extra-corporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) that is expensive and involves a complex system of mechanics such as anti-coagulants, mechanical pumping and blood oxygenation as well as 24 hour intensive supervision. The aim of this research is to develop a unique, inexpensive in vivo method of oxygen delivery that will supply a minimum of 50% of the oxygen requirements.
Andreas Werle van der Merwe
Research: My project explores the evolution of modularity in multilayer feedforward neural networks with the aim of assessing whether such modularity benefits interpretability. The work touches on the emergence of complexity, the representation problem of evolutionary algorithms, multi-objective optimization and the fundamental theory of neural networks.
Research: My project entails the development of a gene signature identification process and classification model, which together are capable of predicting Tuberculosis progression from its latent to active form.
About: I am currently a first-year master’s student in the Biomedical Engineering Research group. I have a passion for learning, discovering and applying new concepts and methods to problems. My greatest interests are in the application of Machine Learning and AI.
Research: An in vivo measurement and analysis of the Achilles and patella tendon loading during treadmill running. The dynamic loading of tendons in different treadmill running conditions will be analysed by simultaneously measuring in vivo loads with a fiber optic sensor, muscle activity, kinematics, kinetics, oxygen consumption and heart rate of participants.
About: My studies and hobbies somehow relate back to running.
Research: My project is concerned with the development of a musculoskeletal model, using an open source software platform (OpenSim 4.0), that can be utilized to accurately predict the tendon loading profiles of the Achilles and Patellar tendons during treadmill running. The model will utilize experimental datasets captured using a Vicon motion capture system, force-instrumented treadmill, and wireless electromyography (EMG) sensors.
About: I was born and raised in Cape Town, South Africa. During high school I discovered my passion for Engineering and Human Biology. In 2018 I graduated from Stellenbosch University with a Bachelor of Engineering (Mechatronic) degree, cum laude.
My passions include health and fitness, learning, travelling, and spending time outdoors.
Research: Investigating the brain during human locomotion (with a cognitive load). The most innovative challenge in human movement, such as locomotion, is to observe and understand how distributed brain processes support this natural every day behaviour and how these are affected due to musculoskeletal and neurological disorders. This is the key focus point of my project.
About: I am an adventurous person and like the outdoors. I really want to make a difference and impact on other people's lives, hence biomedical engineering.
Research: My current project is determining a new way to quantify cilia in the lungs that is safe, affordable and not time consuming.
About: My name is Michéle, I grew up in Johannesburg and moved down to Stellenbosch when starting my university career. I would love to start my own Bio-medical Engineering company in either Stellenbosch or overseas. I love being active and playing with dogs in my spare time.
Research: My research topic is "Image Classification from EEG brain signals using machine learning techniques". The goal of my research project is to decode brain activity of the visual system and to build a computational model that can accurately predict the geometrical shape observed by the subject by decoding their brain waves.
About: I'm currently a second year master’s student at Stellenbosch University doing Biomedical engineering.
Research: Design and development of a sutureless bioprosthetic heart valve: The aim is to develop a longer lasting, cost-effective heart valve prosthesis to increase accessibility to treatment for the younger population, suffering from rheumatic heart disease, in developing countries.
About: I enjoy jumping from heights and making inappropriate jokes. There really isn't much more to me than that, except for the sentient, adroitly arranged bag of meat barely grasping at the inexplicable illusion/divine revelation that is consciousness.
Research: I'm developing and validating a squatting simulator for the knee, based on the Oxford Knee Rig. It is basically 'n rig that makes a knee flex and extend by applying force to the quadriceps muscle. In the bigger picture, this will help to test the performance of knee implants and help develop new and better ones.
About: I like being in nature, doing things like fishing, hiking or camping - there where life seems simpler! Give me a tennis or rugby ball, and you'll keep me busy for days!
Research: ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) is becoming one of the number one conditions diagnosed in children as well as adults. This study aims to find an adjunct therapy method in the form of music therapy to assist with the management of ADHD. Brain imaging and cognitive tests would be used in order to investigate the effect of music.
Research: Research and development of a device that monitors the effects of fatigue conditions on vital signs and EEG data.
About: Likes wine, loves dogs
Research: I am working on developing an in-vitro prosthesis for canine stifles, making use of open-source software, as well as developing the surgical procedure to be used.
About: I enjoy the outdoors, playing music, online gaming and playing any & all racquet sports. I'm never too busy to spend time with my family and friends.
Jaco van Niekerk
Research: Development of a computational model of the human knee joint to predict ligament kinetics (forces), joint kinetics and joint kinematics (motions). The project uses freely available experimental data from the OpenKnee project to model the knee and to provide boundary conditions to simulate a variety of motions and loading conditions. The aim of the project is to develop a model of the knee that can predict the force in the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) when subjected to dynamic movement. This is very useful to clinicians as ACL injury is very common in sports such as rugby, hockey and soccer, and understanding the mechanisms of injury will help with treatment and injury prevention.
About: I was born, raised and educated in Stellenbosch and I completed my BEng (Mechanical) at Stellenbosch University in 2017. When I'm not working on knee models you'll find me running somewhere in the mountains around Stellenbosch and Cape Town. I also like coffee.
Research: My project aims to better understand a possible cause for anterior knee pain, post total knee arthroplasty. This will be done by directly measuring the patellofemoral forces in-vitro using a passive force sensor specifically designed to fit the patellar button.
Research: My current project aims to prove the concept for a method of imaging enhancement with the use of marker-less tracking and Laplacian mesh deformation tracking combined with mixed reality technology to overlay a model of an object onto real-time imaging of a moving and deforming object. Should the method be proven, the system could be used in conjunction with real-time fluoroscopy imaging during intra-operative surgery.
About: I love design work and would like to be involved in the design of medical systems that makes the process of surgeries easier, safer and less frightening to patients, as well as reducing recovery times of surgeries so that people can get back to the things in their lives to that matter to them. My hobbies include painting, leather work and archery.
Research: My thesis relates to using the architecture of human/primate consciousness as inspiration to design better Artificial Intelligence architectures and models, similar to how artificial neural networks were inspired by neurobiology. One of the consequences of this is models that can generalise across different tasks, similar to how humans can use knowledge from previous tasks to aid them in new tasks.
About: I'm a South African engineer interested in the mysteries of the human brain, and find the connection between biological life and technology fascinating. I enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking or kayaking.
Research: Design of a nucleic acid capture and release electrode. The device will aid in nucleic acid (specifically genomic DNA from Mycobacterium Tuberculosis cells) extraction protocols that isolate genomic DNA for genome sequencing.
M Physiotherapy candidate
Research: My work is centred around the questioning the nature of free will. My research aims to use deep neural networks to predict actions using only subconscious electroencephalographic (EEG) data; as well as the mark the moment of conscious awareness of a decision using eye tracking.