Dr David Hobbs

Senior Lecturer

College of Science and Engineering

place Tonsley Building (5.14)
GPO Box 2100, Adelaide 5001, South Australia

David has bachelor degrees in Physics (1992-1994) and Biomedical Engineering (1996-2000), with First Class Honours, and a PhD (2010-2018, in Rehabilitation Engineering) from Flinders University. He has extensive experience as a Rehabilitation Engineer in the field of disability, rehabilitation engineering and assistive technologies, and is currently a Senior Lecturer and academic staff member within the College of Science and Engineering and a researcher within the Medical Device Research Institute (MDRI) at Flinders University.

David’s professional honours to date include being awarded a Churchill Fellowship in the field of rehabilitation engineering and Universal Design (2003); Engineers Australia’s Young Professional Engineer of the Year (2004); Engineers Australia's Top 100 Most Influential Engineers (2005); and a Fulbright Professional Scholarship in the field of paediatric rehabilitation engineering (2008). David is also a Fellow of Engineers Australia (FIEAust), the Professional Association for all Engineers in Australia.

David has experience working in rehabilitation engineering research and industry institutions in Australia, England, Canada and the United States, holds a patent for his PhD work, and has twice won first prize in the College of Biomedical Engineers’ Better Technology Awards for novel assistive technologies. He is an invited TEDx speaker, has delivered numerous invited and keynote presentations, and he has represented Australia at two Global Research, Innovation, and Education in Assistive Technology Summit events at the WHO in Geneva.

David is also the Course Coordinator for the Biomedical Engineering and Engineering Science Degree Programs.

View my ORCID ID, LinkedIn, ResearchGate and Google Scholar profiles via the above links on the right hand side. Connect with me via Twitter via the above link as well!


PhD (Rehabilitation Engineering), part-time, Flinders University, 2010 - 2018

Accredited National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA) Test Engineer (signatory status), 2002 - 2010

Executive Diploma in Business Planning, Enterprise Development Institute, 2001

Bachelor of Science (Life Sciences) / Bachelor of Engineering (Biomedical) (Hons I), Flinders University, 1996 - 2000

Bachelor of Science (Physics), Flinders University, 1992-1994

Honours, awards and grants

Life Membership, ARATA, the Australian Rehabilitation and Assistive Technology Association (2023)

Student-Led Teaching Award, Most Supportive Supervisor, Flinders University (2023)

Fellow, Engineers Australia (2021)

PhD Platform Award Winner, Australasian Academy of Developmental Medicine and Cerebral Palsy (2020)

Dean (Education) Award for Excellence in Teaching and Innovation (2018)

Distinguished Alumni Award, Flinders University (2016)

Finalist, 10th National Disability Awards, Excellence in Technology category (2016)

National Finalist, Inaugural Design Entrepreneur Awards, CtechBA and Good Design Australia (2016)

'Better Technology Award' (prototype category, 2014)

iAward (SA State Award and National Merit) Community Category (2014)

1st Prize, The Soft Technology Award, awarded by ARATA for 'developments, improvements and innovations in service delivery to Assistive Technology users' (2012)

Finalist, Science Excellence Awards SA, Early Career STEM Educator of the Year, Tertiary Teaching (2012)

3 Minute Thesis (3MT), Flinders University Winner (2011)

Fulbright Professional Scholarship in FES (Functional Electrical Stimulation) and cerebral palsy (2008)

South Australian "Top 50 Rising Stars" list (2007)

ABC-Australian Academy of Science Media Fellowship (2005)

Engineers Australia's "Top 100 Most Influential Engineers", in the 'Young Engineers Top 10 Newcomers' category (2005)

Engineers Australia's "Young Professional Engineer of the Year" Award (2004)

Churchill Fellowship in Rehabilitation Engineering (2003)

The Entrepreneurial Award, a Scholarship to undertake the "South Australian Enterprise Workshop" (2001)

Engineer Australia's "Flinders University" Medal (2000)

Current Research Grants:

Hobbs, D., Hillier, S., Pope, K. and Beltrame, T., 2022 Flinders Foundation Health Seed Grant: “Investigating the effects of a novel music and mirror virtual reality polytherapy on upper limb motor function and visuospatial neglect in chronic stroke” (2023-2024: $23,036)

Hillier, S., Kleinig, T., Reynolds, K., Hobbs, D., Trott, R., Hordacre, B., Fox, A. & Jenkinson, M., NHMRC 2021 MRFF Cardiovascular Health Mission Application, “The feasibility and potential of a novel robotic gait bioprosthesis for people with severe gait impairment post-stroke” (2022-2024: $513,103).

Key responsibilities

Course Coordinator, all Biomedical Engineering Degree Programs; Engineering Science Degree;

Conducting and supervising projects relating to disability, Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology within the College;

Teaching Engineering Design and Rehabilitation Engineering, Disability and Assistive Technology;

Coordinating International and Domestic Engineering Work Integrated Learning Placements.

Teaching interests

Design, Rehabilitation Engineering, Assistive Technology, Disability, Cerebral Palsy, Impairment, Medical Devices, Commercialisation.

Topic coordinator
ENGR1711 Engineering Design
ENGR3710 International Engineering Practicum (BME)
ENGR3700 Engineering Practicum (BME)
ENGR7771 Rehabilitation and Assistive Technology
ENGR8711 Engineering Design GE
ENGR3750 Workplace Preparation
ENGR1211 Digital Design
Topic lecturer
ENGR1711 Engineering Design
ENGR8711 Engineering Design GE
ENGR7771 Rehabilitation and Assistive Technology
ENGR3750 Workplace Preparation
Supervisory interests
Rehabilitation engineering and assistive technology
Technology and disability
Higher degree by research supervision
Associate supervisor: Rehabilitation Engineering (2)
Expert for media contact
Engineering - Biomedical
Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology
Available for contact via
Or contact the media team
+61 8 82012092
0427 398 713
Media expertise
  • Engineering - Biomedical
  • Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology
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