Best foot forward for new Honorary Professor

​Professor Jim Woodburn, GCU Assistant Vice Principal, Research Excellence, is delighted to announce the appointment of leading orthopaedic surgeon Ros Miller as Honorary Professor at GCU.

Professor Miller is the Consultant Foot and Ankle Surgeon at GCU’s partner health board NHS Lanarkshire and heads the Foot and Ankle Service in NHS Lanarkshire University Hospitals Trust. She is a leading authority on minimally invasive surgeries and complex diabetic foot reconstruction.

In a joint statement, the professors explained how the partnership and Ros’s new role is enhancing patient health: “Over the last 12 months we have quickly established a niche and highly productive clinical-academic ecosystem with the ultimate aim to continually improve patient and health and well-being.

“We are mobilising staff across both organisations, opening clinical and research facilities to co-produce and find collaborative ways of working and thinking deeply about the opportunities for education and continued professional development.”

Professor Woodburn said it was “exciting to receive NHS Lanarkshire patients in our Human Performance Laboratory”.

He added: “Working with PhD and undergraduate podiatry students, we have integrated clinical assessment, cutting-edge research and patient care whilst establishing an exciting and authentic learning experience.”

Professor Miller said: “Having Jim and PhD student Nichola Renwick join our clinical team, inputting their lab services into shared decision making, surgical planning and post-surgical evaluation is truly ground breaking.

“My multidisciplinary team of surgeons, podiatrists, and orthotics have benefitted enormously and we have a platform to start to transform services through research and training.”

Both professors are now exploring wider cross-organisational opportunities which includes partnering up with Dr Esther Smith, Programme Leader for the MEng/BEng(Hons) Mechanical Electronic Systems Engineering, to explore surgical implants and custom orthotics for complex diabetic foot problems through BEng and MEng projects.

Professor Miller was on campus recently delivering an entertaining talk on orthopaedic foot surgery to Mechanical Engineering students.

BEng and MEng Mechanical Engineering students are working on projects in podiatry with Professor Woodburn and Dr Smith.

Professor Miller talked about her world leading work on minimal invasive foot surgery using Minstrel and Crunchie bar analogies to describe the state of the bones she is dealing with. The students are currently modelling the human foot using finite element stress analysis to understand the loads that the internal bones and tissues are under and the effect that surgery and orthoses can have on loads in the diabetic foot.

Through these joint projects in healthcare and engineering, GCU is developing engineering graduates with the potential and multidisciplinary awareness to enable Scotland and UK to maintain our leading role in health and life sciences.

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