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Dr Alex Dickinson MEng, PhD, CEng MIMechE

Associate Professor

Dr Alex Dickinson's photo

Dr Alex Dickinson is Associate Professor within Engineering and Physical Sciences at the University of Southampton.

Alex Dickinson is a Royal Academy of Engineering (RAEng) Research Fellow and a Lecturer in the Bioengineering Science Research Group. He is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

He graduated in 2006 with an MEng degree in Mechanical Engineering including a semester studying computer aided engineering at ESTACA, Paris. He completed a PhD in 2010 part-time whilst working in industry, in the Research and Development team at Finsbury Orthopaedics Ltd, on a Knowledge Transfer Partnership. This industry-academia collaboration focussed on the development of hip replacement implants employing ceramic bearing materials, and the computational and experimental tests to verify them.

This work contributed to the development and certification of the DeltaMotion® and DeltaSurf® hip implant systems. DeltaMotion entered clinical use in 2008 and is showing good early joint registry results. The team won KTP Awards for Engineering Excellence in 2011, and a summary of the real-world impact from the research can be found here.

Alex completed postdoctoral research projects supported by the EPSRC Doctoral Prize scheme and a Fraunhofer Institute Fellowship with the Biomechatronic Systems group at Fraunhofer IPA, Stuttgart, as lead researcher on EU-funded project 'EnDuRE'.

From 2012-2014 Alex was a New Frontiers Fellow in Southampton’s Faculty of Engineering and the Environment (FEE), developing new directions to apply his bioengineering science research background, motivated by an aim to achieve clinical impact and socioeconomic benefits for patients, healthcare providers and industry.

In 2014 he secured a prestigious Royal Academy of Engineering Research Fellowship, providing funding to conduct research into the Development, Testing and Fitting of Prosthetic Limbs, which runs from 2015-2020.

Alex lectures Engineering Design and Computing, Biomaterials, and Biomedical Implants and Devices. He is the University's Academic Liaison Officer for the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, and is honorary Chair of the IMechE Southampton Area Committee. An enthusiastic communicator of his research, he is involved in frequent outreach activities and is a STEM Ambassador.

Research interests

Alex is interested in the biomechanical interactions between medical devices and the body, relating in particular to joint replacement implants and prosthetics. The main conclusion of his research to date is that we must conduct clinically representative evaluations of novel medical devices before they are given to patients, considering the performance of both the device and the patient, throughout their expected lives. His research involves elements of computational modeling and mechanical testing, and full-field measurement techniques to allow validation of computer models with experiments:

  • Medical Device Design, Development and Pre-Clinical Evaluation
  • Finite Element Analysis and Computational Mechanobiology
  • Mechanical Testing
  • Digital Image Correlation

Alex is keen to generate real-world impact from his research, involving international collaborations with other research institutions, industry and end-user surgeons. A summary of impact to date can be found here.

Testing Implant-Bone Constructs
Experimental Techniques
Computational Biomechanics
Computational Biomechanics
Digital Image Correlation
Comparing Models and Experiments
Pre-Clinical Tests of New Implant Concepts
Cadaver Trial Surgery
DePuy Intl’s DeltaSurf Head
Novel Ceramic Hip Replacements

Research group

Bioengineering Science

Affiliate research groups

Institute for Life Sciences, Southampton Shadow Musculoskeletal Biomedical Research Unit (sMBRU)

Research project(s)

A New Generation of Prosthetic Limbs

3D printing small implants

The project will develop the technology to produce rapid manufactured prostheses, for small joint and dental implant applications.

Developing Hip Replacements: Simulations and Experimental Methods

EnDuRE: Hip Resurfacing Implants for Durability and Biocompatibility

A Joint Effort: Understanding Kneecaps Past and Present

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Key Publications


Book Chapters



I am on the lecturing teams on:
FEEG1001 Engineering Design and Computing
FEEG2001 Systems Design and Computing
SESM6015 Biomaterials
SESM 6025 Introduction to Advanced Mechanical Engineering Science (MSc)

Dr Alex Dickinson
Engineering, University of Southampton, Highfield, Southampton. SO17 1BJ United Kingdom

Room Number: 7/5004/M7

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