top of page



2022 Edition 

Welcome to the May 2022 edition. It has been a little while since the last newsletter, our apologies for that whilst we continue to  get into the groove of more regular production. There has been some great things happening, from our AGM, through awarding of life memberships to some technical site visits that are all reported here.  Feel free to forward suggestions of topics that you would like us to cover, presentations you would like to hear, people you would love to meet.....and of course something that you have written that you would like us to consider for publication.  Enjoy !!!

Adrian Richards
Vice President and Editor


Life membership is your Society's most prestigious award and we felt privileged to honour two long standing members, Robin Woolford and Greg Smith, in this manner at our AGM. This award  recognises contribution that is above and beyond any expectation that has a positive and lasting impact on both the Society and membership. 

Both have  a history on the committee that is far to lengthy to recount in detail, but it certainly involves them being in many positions on the committee over decades. Greg fulfilled the role as treasurer for many years and for a very long time the premises of his business, Helicon Technology, was the committee's meeting place. He was involved in the organising of countless national conferences when  held in Adelaide and fostered and encouraged both SMBE membership and overall professional development of countless up and coming Biomedical Engineers, many of which have gone on to have outstanding careers. BME is in the back seat for Greg now as he and Kerry complete their hand built ocean sailing catamaran and prepare for a life of cruising. Greg is really getting back to his roots that lie in the Royal Australian Navy.

Robin Woolford’s name is synonymous with BME in the public sector in SA. He has been a leader in the field for his entire working life having moved between the RAH, the Repatriation General Hospital  and the Flinders Medical Centre in management roles. Within the SMBE he also has held almost every position on the committee, with many terms as president and vice president over an extended period. The Society has much to be thankful for, Robin certainly goes down as one of the most significant players in the history of the SMBE. Everyone at the AGM was delighted to see Robin attend to accept his award as he bravely recovers from a serious cycling accident some months ago, whilst he plans his imminent well earned retirement from his BME working life

Left,  Robin Woolford is congratulated by Vice President, Adrian Richards and right, Greg Smith receives his award from President, Vera Lawless


This most important event on the calendar, as usual, combined the necessary business with some food and drinks, networking and an outstanding speaker. With reports tabled,  the committee and office bearers for the upcoming year duly elected and outgoing individuals thanked for their was on to the exciting part of the evening, a presentation by Brett Hill, Chief Aeronautic Engineer from Adelaide start up company Alauda Aeronautics.

For the last 12 months Brett been leading innovations in flight vehicle race technology. Just as formula 1 automotive racing leads to innovation in motor vehicle design, the aim of Alauda is to realise personal civilian flight transport using an international racing series as a catalyst.  

Air-taxi concepts with Urban Air Mobility (UAM) vehicles exist world-wide. Airspeeder, the race series title of Alauda craft, is taking it further by introducing an all-electric vehicle air race, which is set to to be an exciting and futuristic attraction with the advantage of being much more environmentally friendly than existing racing events. Picture these vehicles as being a lot like a large manned drone!!! It takes what was the Red Bull air race series to the next level of innovation.

Currently Alauda flights are simulated or un-manned, however the program is advancing rapidly. During September 2021 successful two-aircraft flight tests were  conducted in outback South Australia, where pilots used augmented reality to fly virtual tracks. Currently Airspeeder flight training is therefore more aligned with computer gaming than traditional pilot training, but that is just a stepping stone that will be quickly passed.  Manned flights are predicted for 2022 for the Alauda Mk4, with the inaugural Airspeeder series beginning in Italy early 2023.

Alauda currently has a complement of 20 engineers and is enjoying great success attracting and retaining key local university graduates, providing a fascinating oppurtunity for them outside of the defence sector, the major employer in the field. They are challenging the industry norms in terms of the expected time from concept to development for flighted vehicles with this being achieved within 3 months!

The Alauda design strategy incorporates inherent reliability and sustainability. Each propeller contains two bearings, with eight motors in total per vehicle meaning that  16 bearings are the only  moving parts within the whole design. In comparison, a standard passenger aircraft engine comprises of thousands of moving parts. Forward thought is also given to the recyclability of components, with an overall design plan to have a 100% complete recyclable aircraft design.

An important safety design feature is the proprietary integrated collision avoidance system (iCAS), using a combination of radar, lidar, and cameras designed to allow craft to fly within 5m of each other. Pilots will receive warning to act prior to the system taking evasive control of the aircraft. Partnership is also important to the success of Alauda and the Airspeeder series. Strong relationships have already been established with graphic specialists Nvidia, and communication design company Telstra Purple, providing purpose-built network solutions enabling reliable and secure transmission between craft.

No doubt the Airspeeder series in reality will be just as exciting as the concept. The SMBE thank Brett for his time and presentation, giving us a very early insight to such landmark activity. We look forward to closely following developments with proud anticipation of astonishing local achievements. The future of racing is looking up and approaching fast!



For those that have been in the profession for a good long time, one of the founding fathers of BME in Adelaide, Neville Martin, sadly passed away recently. He guided the profession at the Royal Adelaide Hospital from it's very infancy to being a fully fledged BME department. Eulogies delivered at his funeral gathering, including by SMBE member Ray Liddle, told of a life well lived, full of achievements and fun times with his family and friends. Neville was close to a founding member of the SMBE here in SA and a perusal of historic records shows his name recurring continuously over many years in the 1960's and 70's. Many thanks Neville for you contribution to the profession and our Society.



Over 200 years of BME experience gathered to farewell colleague and BME founding father, Neville Martin. Left to right, Robin Woolford, Ray Ash, John Robson, Adrian Richards, Chris Jeffs, Neville's daughter Sarah, Peter Senn and Ray Liddle.


We are extremely fortunate to have the country's only Associate Degree level course in BME, run by TAFE. The SMBE is therefore honored to be able to support it by offering a student project prize, very similar to that offered at Flinders University for degree undergraduate students. At the end of the 2021 academic year, SMBE reps attended the student presentation evening and were happy to award our prize to two students working jointly on the design of a wireless patient monitor. Temperature, spO2 and heart rate are measured with an Arduino based system used to achieve the wireless communications and signal processing.  A working prototype has been produced to demonstrate the potential of their approach. 

This was the Society's inaugural award to TAFE BME students that  marks the beginning of a long, supportive relationship. 


SMBE councilor, and competition judge, Georgie Murgatroyd congratulates joint winners of the inaugural TAFE student prize Hannah Black and Behrad Hajian


It was  fascinating to visit this centre that was established in response to significant disruptive changes in the power industry. The objective was to provide a facility in which  to trial new technologies that were set to impact business and consumers in the future. Some key points of interest:

  • 88% of customers are residential (37% consumption)

  • 1% of customers are large business (49% consumption)

  • Being registered as having a life support device does not protect you from load shedding, but it triggers notification of outages

  • 720,000 stobie poles in use

  • Distribution route length 90,000km

  • 300,000 customers have roof top solar

  • 25,000 homes have battery systems

  • Current interconnector with Vic is considered small, as will be the one with NSW when it is completed

  • Electric vehicles set to become the next major disruptive influence in the power sector

There was lots of questions and answers going to and fro during the course of the visit. It was also interesting to see just about every brand of household solar inverter ever sold under test in preparation for the planned ability for them to be remotely dropped off the grid when domestic solar production is too high.  


Whilst it seems like an age ago, last year's Christmas celebrations were hailed as one of the best in people's memory and are still fresh in their minds. The Republic Hotel in Norwood was the venue and fun was the order of the day. Great food, good company, the traditional ham raffle and whisky coin toss along with fun and laughter made for a great celebration. Covid restrictions worked out well for us and did not get in the way.....or result in it being  a super spreader event !!!! The SBME is extremely grateful for the generous sponsors who made the whole thing possible.

BH Medical Services - Ba Ho 0405 700 822 
Cellmed -
Helicon Technology -
MD Biomedical Enterprise- Maged Shenouda 0411 566 388
Battery Specialties -






This was scheduled to occur during October of 2021, but as with many events at the time it ended up being completely on-line. All of the presentations from the week, and there are a very large number,  are available on line. They are  well worth a look !!!


President - Vera Lawless
Vice President/Editor - Adrian Richards
Secretary - Lachlan Eberhardt
Treasurer - Daniel Fletcher
Membership Officer -  Fateh Khazab
Webmaster - Ehsan Shekofteh
NT Representative -  Andy Lyons
Committee Members - Ferah Kalkan
                                     Maged Shenouda
                                     Shahin Dashti
                                     Georgie Murgatroyd

bottom of page