Skip to main navigationSkip to main content
The University of Southampton
(023) 8059 5394

Dr Alex Dickinson MEng, PhD, CEng, FIMechE

Associate Professor in Mechanical Engineering

Dr Alex Dickinson's photo

Dr Alex Dickinson is an Associate Professor at the University of Southampton, researching the biomechanics and design of prosthetic limbs, and teaching engineering design and structural analysis. He co-founded the People Powered Prosthetics group, works in the Bioengineering Science Research Group, and he is a Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers and the Higher Education Academy.

The needs of the user should be at the core of any new health technology.

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 whilst working in industry, in the Research and Development team at Finsbury Orthopaedics Ltd. He then completed postdoctoral research positions at the University of Southampton supported by the EPSRC Doctoral Prize scheme and a Fraunhofer Institute Fellowship with the Biomechatronic Systems group at Fraunhofer IPA, Stuttgart.

Since 2013 Alex has set up a research team investigating the biomechanics and design of prosthetic limbs, thanks to a prestigious Royal Academy of Engineering Research Fellowship from 2015-20 (RF/130). This led to several research projects including EPSRC/NIHR Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) project “A Step Change in LMIC Prosthetics Provision through Computer Aided Design, Actimetry and Database Technologies” (EP/R014213/1) (2018-2021), for which he is Principal Investigator. In this project he leads a multidisciplinary team of researchers across the University of Southampton, University of Salford, the Cambodian School of Prosthetics and Orthotics, and global NGO Exceed Worldwide. This team set up the People Powered Prosthetics research group, for which Alex is the Technology Lead.

Alex’s teaching activities include undergraduate courses relating to Engineering Design and Computing, Biomaterials, and Biomedical Implants and Devices. An enthusiastic communicator of his research, he runs frequent outreach activities and is a STEM Ambassador.


MEng Mechanical Engineering, University of Southampton, 2006

PhD, University of Southampton, 2010

Research interests


Alex’s research focuses on applied biomechanical engineering research, developing tools to enhance design and pre-clinical analysis of medical devices, motivated by an aim to achieve clinical impact and socioeconomic benefits for patients, healthcare providers and industry. He is particularly motivated to work with medical device users, clinicians and industry, to make sure that this research answers real-world needs


Plaster casting the lower leg for ankle-foot-orthosis design
Understanding how expert clinicians design prostheses and orthoses
Research on prosthetics and orthotics
Research on prosthetics and orthotics in low resource settings
Residual limb model inside MicroCT scanner
Full-field strain measurement inside a model amputated leg
Evidence-based prosthetic socket design can take advantage of 3D scanning, computational modelling to predict limb-prosthesis load transfer, and population-based analysis to understand what works for
3D scanning a plaster cast of prosthetic socket design

Research group

Bioengineering Science

Affiliate research groups

People Powered Prosthetics, Institute for Life Sciences, Medical Devices and Vulnerable Skin Network, muVIS, Southampton Shadow Musculoskeletal Biomedical Research Unit (sMBRU)

Research project(s)

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

Anatomically Precise Revolutionary Implant for bone Conserving Osteoarthritis Treatment (APRICOT)

The APRICOT project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 863183.

I am the University of Southampton's Academic Liaison Officer for the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, and I sit on the School of Engineering’s Design Education Panel.

I represent the UK biomechanics community internationally as a member of the Exceed Research Network, and an Associate Editor at journal Medical Engineering & Physics.

Sort via:TypeorYear

Key Publications


Book Chapters




FEEG1001 Design and Computing

FEEG2001 Systems Design and Computing

FEEG3001 Finite Element Analysis in Structural Mechanics

SESM1016 Mechanical Systems Analysis

SESM3028 Biomaterials

SESM6036 Biomedical Implants and Devices

UOSM2031 Engineering Replacement Body Parts

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

Room Number : 7/5004/M7

Share this profile Share this on Facebook Share this on Twitter Share this on Weibo
Privacy Settings