School of Engineering

Staff Profile

Dr Simon Smith

Lecturer in Design



Simon is a biomedical engineer specializing in spinal implants, the design of simulators to test artificial joints and the associated testing, analysis and evaluation of those joints. Current exciting research includes investigating the failure of MAGEC spinal implants in children which can lead to metallosis, wear of shoulder implants subject to activities of daily living, and taper wear in hip implants. Previous work designing hip simulators and testing protocol, led to international standards for hip testing. He designs world leading, novel simulators to set the standard for other researchers to follow. He designed the Newcastle University Shoulder Simulator, the first multi-station shoulder simulator with the capability to apply physiological motion and load patterns, and is part of an international committee working towards the first shoulder wear standards.

As a Lecturer in Design, Simon teaches first year undergraduate mechanical engineering students on design and manufacture. The subject chosen for this is wind turbines and the students design, build and test multiple wind turbines during the course. He is module leader for three third year BEng modules and also supervises third year, fourth year and MSc student projects on a wide variety of subjects including non-invasive fluid flow detection, electric vehicles, motorcycles, wind turbines, implants and artificial joints, and insect biomechanics.

Qualifications, Honours and Awards
  • Ph.D. Biomedical Engineering, Durham University, UK
  • B.Eng. (Hons) Mechanical Engineering, Brunel University, UK
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
  • Newcastle Teaching Award
  • Qualified Mentor
  • DTI Smart Award
  • DTI Research & Development Award
Work Experience
  • 2011 – current    Lecturer in Design, Newcastle University
  • 2006 – 2016       Professional Helicopter Pilot
  • 2001 – current    Self-Employed Consultant & Business Owner
  • 2001 - 2003        Medical Innovations Manager – Northumbria University
  • 2000 - 2001        DePuy International Research Fellow – University of Leeds
  • 1995 – 2000       Student and eventually Senior Research Assistant, University of Durham
  • 1986 – 1995       Various including Sponsored Student and Graduate Trainee
Other Interests

Investments, property rental and refurbishment. Walking the dog, riding motorbikes and reading.

Google scholar: Click here.

SCOPUS: Click here.


Research Interests
  • Wear of MAGEC spinal implants leading to metallosis
  • Simulator design for the friction and wear testing of artificial joints
  • Design, testing and evaluation of artificial joints
  • Metal-on-metal hip prostheses 
  • Hip, spine and shoulder implants
  • Wear testing of biomaterials
  • Biotribology
  • Insect biomechanics and biomimicry
  • Wind turbines
  • Electic-powered vehicles
  • Motorcycle design and modifications
  • Non-invasive fluid flow detection and measurement
  • Care of the elderly & disabled in the home

Google Scholar Profile


Module Leader

MEC 3098 - Stage 3 Individual Projects

MEC3018 - Design For Industry

MEC3017 - Managing Engineering Operations

Undergraduate Teaching

MEC 1010 - Integrated Design and Manufacturing

MEC 3098 - Stage 3 BEng Individual projects

MEC 8099 - Stage 4 MEng Group projects


Postgraduate Teaching

MEC8095 - MSc Individual projects

Postgraduate Research Supervision

Currently, I have four PhD students that I co-supervise investigating the biotribology of hip, shoulder and spinal implants.