Current project

Applications now open for VIP 2022 via a wait-list!


Academics will be in touch throughout the year to arrange an interview 

VIP Snapshot

Surgical techniques are often learnt on costly, unrealistic models. In this project you’ll combine engineering technologies, medical expertise and smart design to create a new generation of training tools for surgeons.


VIP ChallENG research goals

You’ll work with our clinical team, including vascular and veterinary surgeons from Sydney and Melbourne Hospitals, to develop customised solutions for surgical trainees to learn complex new techniques more effectively. 

The surgical training tools under development include:

  • A cannulation trainer to enable dialysis nurses to learn cannulation for hemodialysis vascular access, enabling realistic flashback in the needle and proving opportunities for patient realistic geometry and cannulating through stents;
  • A model of equine skull and cranial arterial vasculature as a learning and teaching tool for surgical treatment of guttural pouch mycosis, requiring both geometry and radiographic realism;
  • 3D printed templates to guide fenestrated Physician Modified Stent-grafts for Fenestrated Endovascular Aneurysm Repair (FEVAR).

Research, design or technical ChallENG

We’ll design and build customised surgical trainers, using techniques such as ballistic gel, 3D printing and augmented reality. The aim is to create highly affordable solutions so these effective training techniques are available to all.

Each application will be specified by one of our surgical collaborators and requires a unique solution, which will then be tested and trialled. Finally, your customised solution must be packaged as a user-friendly, functional product.

We will form teams that combine students from Engineering, Medicine and Design, to work on one of the specific training solutions, with the relevant clinical collaborator as your mentor.

Desired Background

All degrees are welcome however, students specialising in the below areas are encouraged to apply.

Desired Research Areas Desired Skills
  • Design
  • 3D printing
  • Materials analysis
  • Medical imaging
  • Surgical techniques
  • Medical education
  • Virtual and augmented reality
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Design
  • Medical Sciences
  • Medicine (surgery)
  • Medical Education
  • Materials Science
  • Image Segmentation
  • Medical Imaging Techniques


Team Academic Lead