Associate Professor John Costi

Associate Professor

College of Science and Engineering

Research expertise

Major research interests are to understand the mechanisms of spine disc degeneration/tissue injury, and bone/soft tissue mechanics across their hierarchical scales, and to develop strategies to treat these problems.

Research expertise

Major research interests are to understand the mechanisms of spine disc degeneration/tissue injury, and bone/soft tissue mechanics across their hierarchical scales, and to develop strategies to treat these problems.

place Tonsley (5.12)
GPO Box 2100, Adelaide 5001, South Australia

John completed his Mechanical Engineering degree in 1991 and his first employment was in Orthopaedic Biomechanical Engineering, where he found his passion and is still working in today. He was awarded his PhD in biomechanics of the intervertebral disc in 2004 at Flinders University. In mid-2005, he undertook an 18 month postdoctoral fellowship at the Departments of Orthopaedics & Rehabilitation and Mechanical Engineering at the University of Vermont in Burlington, Vermont, USA, one of the most prestigious spine research groups in the world. In 2009, John joined Flinders University as an Academic staff member/Biomechanical Engineer. He spent three years building his biomechanics research laboratory and program of research, and led a collaborative team to design and develop an award-winning novel, six degree of freedom hexapod robot. In 2015, he was elected to the grade of Fellow of the Institution of Engineers Australia in both the Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering Colleges.

He has expertise in bone, joint and soft tissue mechanics and the development of novel, experimental techniques to facilitate his research. He has conducted research on the hip, knee, shoulder, spine, elbow, hand and wrist as well as in fracture repair and reconstruction of soft tissue structures. He is actively involved with research collaborations both nationally and internationally. He has authored two book chapters, 51 articles, and presented over 150 papers both nationally/internationally on a wide range of biomechanical topics.

John is Director of The Flinders Surgical Lab, which has been established to enable medical device companies to provide advanced training for surgeons. He is Course Coordinator for Mechanical Engineering, and leads the experimental team of the Biomechanics and Implants Research group, Medical Device Research Institute, at Flinders University. He also sits on the Board of Directors for the Spine Society of Australia.

Qualifications
2004 PhD, Flinders University
1992 BEng (Hons), The University of Adelaide
Honours, awards and grants

2019 FIOR - Recognised with the honorary status of Fellow of International Orthopaedic Research (FIOR) at the International Combined Orthopaedic Research Society (ICORS) meeting in Montreal, Canada

2019 Spinal Research Award. 30th Annual Scientific Meeting of the Spine Society of Australia, Gold Coast, Australia

2018 Best Poster Award. 29th Annual Scientific Meeting of the Spine Society of Australia, Adelaide, Australia

2017 Spinal Research Award. 28th Annual Scientific Meeting of the Spine Society of Australia, Hobart, Australia

2016 Finalist - National Instruments Engineering Impact Award, Houston, Texas, USA.

2015 FIEAust - Elected to the grade of Fellow of Engineers Australia (FIEAust) (Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering).

2014 Mace Bearer, Faculty of Science and Engineering Graduation Ceremony, Flinders University of South Australia.

2013 Best Paper Award. 24th Annual Scientific Meeting of the Spine Society of Australia, Perth, Australia.

2012 Finalist - National Engineering Excellence Award, Engineers Australia, Canberra.

2012 Malcolm Kinnaird Engineering Excellence Award, Engineers Australia, South Australia Division.

2012 Innovation, Research and Development Engineering Excellence Award, Engineers Australia, South Australia Division.

2007 Finalist - International Society of Biomechanics (ISB) - Clinical Biomechanics Award, Tapei, Taiwan.

2007 Orthotech Best Poster Award. 18th Annual Scientific Meeting of the Spine Society of Australia, Hobart, Australia.

2007 New Investigator Award - Australian and New Zealand Society of Biomechanics, Auckland, New Zealand.

2006 McClure Musculoskeletal Research Award, Department of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation, The University of Vermont, USA.

2002 Best Postgraduate Presentation. Joint South Australian meeting of the Institution of Engineers (IEAust) Biomedical branch, the SMBE (Society for Medical and Biological Engineering) and ACPSEM (Australasian College of Physical Sciences and Engineers in Medicine).

2002 Best Poster Award. European Society of Sports Traumatology Knee Surgery and Arthroscopy, Rome, Italy.

1999 Young Investigator Award. Australian and New Zealand Orthopaedic Research Society, Brisbane, Australia.

Key responsibilities

Chair - Greenhouse Taskforce Committee (Medical Device Research Institute)

Course Coordinator - Mechanical Engineering

Associate Editor - Journal of Biomechanical Engineering

Research expertise
Biomedical engineering
Research interests

John Costi is a Biomechanical Engineer with substantial experience in the conduct of experimental research into Orthopaedic Biomechanics of joints, soft tissue/bone, implants and medical devices. Expertise in the area of the spine and intervertebral disc biomechanics.

His major research interests are to understand the multiscale, complex mechanical behaviour and failure mechanisms of the discs and mechanisms of spine disc degeneration, disc tissue injury and biomechanics, knee ligament reconstruction, soft tissue mechanics and hip implant micromotion.

Multiscale characterisation of soft tissue mechanics

Established materials testing systems exist for medium to large scale determination of the mechanical function for whole biological tissues, implants and medical devices. However, in order to fully quantify the behaviour of tissue structures, an understanding of their structural and mechanical behaviour is required at the nano- and micro-scales. This information, together with macroscopic material behaviour, can be used to develop multi-scale models of tissues that will allow more complex and realistic simulations to be undertaken.

Programs of research are currently being developed at both nano and micro-scales and novel techniques are being developed to measure the micromechanical properties of soft tissue in multiple degrees of freedom.

Hexapod Robot for Biomechanics Testing

An award-winning, novel design of a Hexapod Robot has been developed within the School in collaboration with the School of Mechanical Engineering, University of Adelaide, to enable complex 6 DOF testing of bones, joints, soft tissues, artificial joints and other medical/surgical devices.

Funding has been obtained by John from The Repat Foundation, the Health and Medical Research Fund, Department of Health, SA Government, as well as the School and the Faculty of Science and Engineering. The current hexapod is based heavily on the very successful Hexapod developed at the University of Vermont by Ian Stokes et al.

Teaching interests
Biomechanics and Mechanical Engineering related topics
Topic coordinator
ENGR2732 Biomechanics
ENGR3751 Solid Mechanics
ENGR4752 Advanced Solid Mechanics
Supervisory interests
Biomechanics
Biomechanics, bones, soft tissues and joints
Biomedical engineering
Bone biomechanics
Multiscale testing
Orthopaedics
Robotic and biomedical engineering
Higher degree by research supervision
Current
Principal supervisor: Biomechanics (2)
Associate supervisor: Biomechanics (2)
Completion
Principal supervisor: Tissue Mechanics (1)
Associate supervisor: Tissue mechanics (1), Biomechanics (2), Robotics (1)
Higher degree by research student achievements
Dhara Amin

Winner - National final of the IET Present Around the World (PATW) competition - APR 2018

Dhara Amin

Best Scientific Presentation Award.13th Adelaide Centre for Spinal Research (ACSR) Spinal Research Symposium - AUG 2015

Dhara Amin

Best Poster Award at the 29th Annual Scientific Meeting of the Spine Society of Australia - APR 2018

Javad Tavakoli

Clayton Adam Award for Best ECR Scientific Presentation at the 29th Annual Scientific Meeting of the Spine Society of Australia - APR 2018

Javad Tavakoli

Best Higher Degree by Research Publication - College of Science and Engineering - DEC 2017

Dhara Amin

Winner - SA and NT final of the IET Present Around the World (PATW) competition - OCT 2017

Publications
Expert for media contact
Engineering - Biomedical
Biomechanics
Available for contact via
Or contact the media team
+61 8 82012092
0427 398 713
Media expertise
  • Engineering - Biomedical
Interests
  • Biomechanics

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