Associate Professor Justin Wade Fernandez

BE(Hons) PhD

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Associate Professor
Associate Professor


Justin is an Associate Professor in the Department of Engineering Science and Auckland Bioengineering Institute, University of Auckland. He graduated with a Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) in Engineering Science (1999) and a PhD in Bioengineering from the University of Auckland (2004). Between 2005 and 2010 he completed an ARC postdoctoral fellowship at Melbourne University in Mechanical Engineering and was a research scientist at the CSIRO (Monash University). From 2011 to 2013 he was an Aotearoa Fellow funded by the Robertson Foundation in the Auckland Bioengineering Institute.

He is a Principal Investigator in the musculoskeletal modelling group where he leads research into computational biomechanics, orthopaedics, sports science and forensics. His work integrates gait analysis, wearable sensors, large population data, statistical models and computational mechanics. His research strongly focuses on clinician engagement.

Research | Current

Justin's current research includes:

  • Assessing wearable technology to monitor rehabilitation following orthopaedic surgery:  Evaluation of digital monitoring, reducing patient visits, and improving equity for rural patients.
  • Understanding form and function in the developing infant through gait and 3D ultrasound: Improved prognosis for infants with Cerebral Palsy, and early functional intervention. We are developing a Digital Infant.
  • Vibration therapy for Cerebral Palsy: Evaluation and development of a mobile device to improve muscle spasticity in Cerebral Palsy.
  • Foot biomechanics in barefoot running using population-based modelling: Evaluation of minimalist shoe running, bone remodelling in the foot and reduced injury risk.
  • Orthopaedic biomechanics: Evaluation of implant design and surgical planning connected with company Formus Labs (
  • Understanding the effects of fidgeting on cognition in ADHD: Evaluation of structural and functional MRI to understand the effects of fine motor skills on concentration and potential benefits in ADHD.

   Funders over the last 10 years include HRC, Marsden, MBIE, AMRF, Lottery Health

Teaching | Current

  • BIOMENG 221: Mechanics of Engineered and Biological Materials (Semester 1)
  • ENGSCI 740: Advanced Mechanics in Research and Technology (Semester 1)
  • ENGSCI 753: Computational Techniques in Mechanics and Bioengineering (Semester 1, coordinator)
  • BIOMENG 771: Musculoskeletal and Orthopaedic Biomechanics (Semester 2, coordinator)


Postgraduate supervision

Below are students current and past who I have supervised to Masters or PhD level. Shown are the year completed, topic and supervisors with main supervisor listed first.

Masters Completed

  • Keith Woo (2020), Modelling patellofemoral implant design (Paul Monk, Justin Fernandez, Thor Besier)
  • Bahavathy Kathirgamanathan (2019), Development of a customised protocol for diagnosis and treatment of obesity specific foot biomechanics (Puji Silva, Justin Fernandez)
  • Andrew Lowry (2019), Infant biomechanics (Justin Fernandez, Qichang Mei)
  • Katie Adamson (2019), Volleyball jumping biomechanics (Justin Fernandez, Qichang Mei)
  • Alexandra Tits (2018), Modelling the tendon-bone interface at the calcaneus (Davide Ruffoni, Justin Fernandez)
  • Sanjayan Surendran (2017), Optimisation and FE validation of implantable scaffolds (Justin Fernandez, Tim Woodfield)
  • Alex Wilson (2016), Evaluating inertial sensors in biomechanics (Justin Fernandez, Thor Besier)
  • Shasha Yeung (2015), Lower lumbar imaging and modelling (Justin Fernandez, Thor Besier, Ju Zhang)
  • Andi Lui (2015), FE modelling of spine biomechanics (Justin Fernandez, Vickie Shim)
  • Wilson Fok (2015), Statistical modelling in bone scaffold diffusion (Justin Fernandez, Jill Cornish)
  • Eryn Kwon (2014), Using SPH to study cranial backspatter (Raj Das, Justin Fernandez)
  • Melika Stephen (2014), 3-D bone models to improve treatment initiation among patients with osteoporosis (Keith Petrie, Andrew Grey, Justin Fernandez)

PhD Completed

  • Qichang Mei (2021), Biomechanics of foot morphology (Justin Fernandez, Vickie Shim, Yaodong Gu)
  • Wilson Fok (2020), Towards machine learning in orthopaedics (Justin Fernandez, Tim Woodfield, Jill Cornish)
  • Anthony FitzPatrick (2019) Development and validation of an acoustic emission device to measure wear in total hip replacements in-vitro and in-vivo (Geoff Rodgers, Justin Fernandez, Gary Hooper)
  • Xiaoming Wang (2019), FE multiscale cortical bone remodelling (Justin Fernandez, Raj Das)
  • Hyun Kim (2019), Barefoot running biomechanics (Ali Mirjalili, Justin Fernandez)
  • Shasha Yeung (2019), Population based modelling in clinical biomechanics (Justin Fernandez, Thor Besier, Ju Zhang)
  • Mohd Sabri Hussin (2019), Modelling wear in a novel implant design (Piaras Kelly, Justin Fernandez, Maziar Ramezani)
  • Annie Jones (2019), Visualizing the effect of medical treatment to improve adherence (Keith Petrie, Justin Fernandez)
  • Eryn Kwon (2019), SPH and physical modelling of cranial backspatter in forensics (Simon Bickerton, Justin Fernandez)
  • Helen Liley (2018), FE modelling of equine bone mechanics (Thor Besier, Justin Fernandez, Elwyn Firth)
  • Katie Ewing (2015), Prophylactic knee bracing alters lower-limb muscle forces during a double-leg drop landing (Peter Lee, Justin Fernandez)
  • Dharshini Sreenivasan (2015), Micro CT and FE modelling to evaluate bone treatments (Justin Fernandez, Jill Cornish)
  • Massoud Alipour (2015), Gastrocnemius mechanics using DTI and ultrasound (Justin Fernandez, Kumar Mithraratne)

PhD Current

  • Susan Zhao (2021-), Effects of fidgeting on ADHD cognition using MRI (Justin Fernandez, Alan Wang, Vickie Shim, Karen Waldie)
  • Ricardo Florez (2018-), Infant biomechanics in first 2 years of life (Justin Fernandez, Ali Mirjalili, Thor Besier)
  • Julie Kim (2019-), Foot bone remodelling in forefoot strike runners (Justin Fernandez, Piaras Kelly, Thor Besier)
  • Andrew Lowry (2020-), Vibration therapy for Cerebral Palsy (Justin Fernandez, Massoud Alipour, Thor Besier)
  • Liangliang Xiang (2020-), Intergrating wearables and machine learning to predicting foot mechanics (Justin Fernandez, Alan Wang, Yaodong Gu)
  • Stephanie Khuu (2018-), Agent based modelling in muscle with CP (Geoff Handsfield, Justin Fernandez)
  • Maryam Tayebi (2018- ), Machine learning and DTI in traumatic brain injury (Vickie Shim, Justin Fernandez, Alan Wang)
  • Nikita Ghosh (2018-), Machine learning in spine biomechanics for surgery planning (Julie Choisne, Justin Fernandez, Ju Zhang)
  • Alex Swee (2015-), Population based modelling in spine mechanics (Justin Fernandez, Tim Woodfield, Vickie Shim)

Masters Current

  • Iris Meredith (2020-), Evaluting fracture mechanics using SPH and XFEM (Justin Fernandez, Piaras Kelly)
  • Sabina Yang (2021-), A new functional PROM for orthopaedics using wearables (Ted Yeung, Justin Fernandez, Paul Monk)


  • Vice Chancellors prize for best doctoral thesis (2004, University of Auckland)
  • Aotearoa Bioengineering Fellowship (2011-2013, University of Auckland)
  • ARC Postdoctoral Fellowship (2006-2008, University of Melbourne)
  • Winner of the 2017 Healthtech Care Award (MedTech CoRE) - best translational project.
  • Associate Editor of Computer Methods in Biomechanics and Biomedical Engineering
  • Guest Editor of Biomechanics and Modelling in Mechanobiology
  • Editorial board of Medical Engineering and Physics
  • Adjunct Professor at Ningbo University, Institute of Health, China
  • Co-founder of Formus Labs (


  • Department Graduate Advisor (DGA) in Engineering Science
  • Member of Postgraduate committee in ABI
  • Member of University international committee


Committees/Professional groups/Services

  • ANZORS committee member
  • Faculty Postgraduate Committee
  • WIE33 committee member

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

As of 29 October 2020 there will be no automatic updating of 'selected publications and creative works' from Research Outputs. Please continue to keep your Research Outputs profile up to date.
  • Lee, S., Fernandez, J. W., Mahadevan, M., Tarr, G., & Mirjalili, A. (2020). Using 3D-reconstruction to analyse typical growth trends of the maxillary sinus in children. International journal of pediatric otorhinolaryngology, 13810.1016/j.ijporl.2020.110334
  • Fernandez, J., Dickinson, A., & Hunter, P. (2020). Population based approaches to computational musculoskeletal modelling. Biomechanics and modeling in mechanobiology, 19 (4), 1165-1168. 10.1007/s10237-020-01364-x
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Peter Hunter
  • Saxby, D. J., Killen, B. A., Pizzolato, C., Carty, C. P., Diamond, L. E., Modenese, L., ... Lenton, G. (2020). Machine learning methods to support personalized neuromusculoskeletal modelling. Biomechanics and modeling in mechanobiology, 19 (4), 1169-1185. 10.1007/s10237-020-01367-8
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Thor Besier
  • Tse, K. M., Lee Robinson, D., Franklyn, M., Zhang, J. Y., Spratley, E. M., Salzar, R. S., ... Lee, P. V. S. (2020). Effect of sitting posture on pelvic injury risk under vertical loading. Journal of the mechanical behavior of biomedical materials, 10810.1016/j.jmbbm.2020.103780
  • Mei, Q., Gu, Y., Xiang, L., Yu, P., Gao, Z., Shim, V., & Fernandez, J. (2020). Foot shape and plantar pressure relationships in shod and barefoot populations. Biomechanics and modeling in mechanobiology, 19 (4), 1211-1224. 10.1007/s10237-019-01255-w
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Vickie Shim
  • Yeung, S., Fernandez, J. W., Handsfield, G. G., Walker, C., Besier, T. F., & Zhang, J. (2020). Rapid muscle volume prediction using anthropometric measurements and population-derived statistical models. Biomechanics and modeling in mechanobiology, 19 (4), 1239-1249. 10.1007/s10237-019-01243-0
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Ju Zhang, Geoffrey Handsfield, Cameron Walker, Thor Besier
  • Vallabh, R., Zhang, J., Fernandez, J., Dimitroulis, G., & Ackland, D. C. (2020). The morphology of the human mandible: A computational modelling study. Biomechanics and modeling in mechanobiology, 19 (4), 1187-1202. 10.1007/s10237-019-01133-5
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Ju Zhang
  • Mei, Q., Gu, Y., Sun, D., Li, J., & Fernandez, J. (2020). Progress on Biomechanical Research of Image-Based Subject-Specific OpenSim Lower Extremity Musculoskeletal Model. Yiyong Shengwu Lixue/Journal of Medical Biomechanics, 35 (2), 259-264. 10.16156/j.1004-7220-2020-02-021


Contact details

Primary office location

Level 8, Room 801
New Zealand

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