Dr Kumar Mithraratne

BSc(Eng) Moratuwa, MSc Dist. Lond., PhD NU Singapore

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Senior Research Fellow


Kumar graduated with a Bachelor of Science of Engineeering in Chemical Engineering from the University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka. He received a Master of Science with Distinction from the University of London (King's College London) and a PhD from the National University of Singapore, both in Mechanical Engineering.

Kumar is a recipient of the British Government Technical Corporation fellowship and a University of Auckland Postdoctoral Fellowship.

Kumar joined the Auckland Bioengineering Institute in 2000 is now a Principal Investigator.

Research | Current

Kumar is currently working on musculoskeletal system biomechanics and facial animation using biophysically-based models.

His primary research interests are:

  • soft tissue continuum mechanics,

  • joint mechanics,

  • finite element analysis,

  • gait analysis and flow mechanics.

Research Group

Musculoskeletal Modelling

Grants and Consultancy work

  • 2013 - 2017 "Architectured Material"
    Role: UoA Consultant/PI and Collaborator 
    Value: NZD 178,856 (Total grant value NZD 3,000,000 to Callaghan Innovation NZ from Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, New Zealand
    Funding agency: Callaghan Innovation NZ/inistry of Business, Innovation and Employment, New Zealand. 
  • 2013 - 2014 "Biomechanical Modelling to Explain Tophus Formation and Bone Erosion in Gout"
    Role: Co-investigator
    Grant value: NZD 117,300
    Funding agency: Auckland Medical Research Foundation, New Zealand.
  • 2013 - 2014 "Bi-planar Fluroscopic Imaging of the Shoulder Complex"
    Role: Principal Investigator
    Grant value: NZD 12,500
    Funding agency: Faculty Research Development Fund, University of Auckland, New Zealand.
  • 2013 - 2014 "Fast Fracture"
    Role: Co-investigator
    Grant value: NZD 1,000,000
    Funding agency: Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, New Zealand.
  • 2011 - 2014 "Expressive Heads and Hands"
    Role: Principal Investigator
    Grant value: NZD 1,500,000
    Funding agency: Ministry of Science and Innovation, New Zealand.
  • 2007 - 2010 "Biomechanics for Animation"
    Role: Principal Investigator
    Grant value: NZD 1,000,000
    Funding agency: Foundation for Research, Science and Technology, New Zealand.

Teaching | Current

ENGSCI772 Whole Organ Modelling (2005 - 2013)

Postgraduate supervision



  • Hooman ZarrehFracture Mechanics 

  • Nalaka SamaraweeraPhonon-Governed Heat Conduction in Nanostructures

  • Elias Soltani, Modelling Thermoregulation of the Human Body

  • Yunru Ma (with Dr Yanxin Zhang ,Department of Exercise Sciences), Using Biomechanical simulation to predict treatment outcomes of cerebral palsy patients with equinus gait



  • Ted Yeung (2016), Inverse Kinematics of the Shoulder Complex

  • Massoud Alipour (2015), An Anatomically accurate Finite Element of Skeletal Muscle for Improved Characterisation of Muscle Deformation

  • Desney Greybe (2015), Forearm Mechanics and Its Implication on the Distal Radioulnar Joint

  • Tim Wu (2013), A Computational Framework for Modelling the Biomechanics of Human Facial Expressions

  • Alice Hung (2012), An Anatomically-based Biomechanics Model of the Face for Simulating Facial Expressions

  • Katja Oberhofer (2010), Anatomically-based, Subject-specific modelling of Lower Limb Motion During Gait


  • Wencke Hansen (2011), Three-dimensional Model of Tibio-Femoral Articulation                                 
  • Jongeun Son (2010), Blood Flow Modelling in Deforming Skeletal Muscle

  • Sarah Cox (2007), Computational Ergonomics: An Anatomically-based Finite Element Model of the Lower Limbs in the Seated Posture


  • Top 100 Research Revenue Earner of the University of Auckland 2015
  • Top 100 Research Revenue Earner of the University of Auckland 2014


Principal Investigator

Areas of expertise

  • Joint mechanics (upper limb kinematics involving shoulder complex, forearm and hand and lower limb involving gait analysis, foot and knee),
  • Finite and linear deformation analysis of biological and engineering structures,
  • Application of engineering principles to predict facial expressions using anatomically realistic and physically accurate mathematical models,
  • Computational fluid mechanics (dynamic flow modelling in circulatory system including cutaneous blood flow),
  • Finite element analysis
  • Finite difference methods
  • Mesh based particle methods (arbitrary Lagrangian-Eulerian)
  • Heat Transfer, thermal modelling of buildings and refrigeration and air-conditioning
  • Computational software development (CMISS and OpenCMISS)

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Samaraweera, N., Larkin, J. M., Chan, K. L., & Mithraratne, K. (2018). Reduced thermal conductivity of Si/Ge random layer nanowires: A comparative study against superlattice counterparts. Journal of Applied Physics, 123 (24), 244303-244303. 10.1063/1.5030711
  • Alipour, M., Mithraratne, K., Herbert, R. D., & Fernandez, J. (2018). A finite element muscle building block derived from 3D ultrasound: application to the human gastrocnemius. Computer Methods in Biomechanics and Biomedical Engineering: Imaging& Visualization, 1-8. 10.1080/21681163.2018.1488222
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Justin Fernandez
  • Samaraweera, N., Larkin, J. M., Chan, K. L., & Mithraratne, K. (2018). Modal analysis of the thermal conductivity of nanowires: examining unique thermal transport features. Journal of physics. Condensed matter : an Institute of Physics journal, 30 (22)10.1088/1361-648x/aabe54
  • Samaraweera, N., Chan, K. L., & Mithraratne, K. (2018). Reduced thermal conductivity of nanotwinned random layer structures: a promising nanostructuring towards efficient Si and Si/Ge thermoelectric materials. Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics, 51 (20), 204006-204006. 10.1088/1361-6463/aaba9d
  • Ho, L. C. Y., Klaassen, M. F., & Mithraratne, K. (2017). The Congruent Facelift A Three-dimensional View. Springer. Pages: 131.
  • Schneider, M. T., Zhang, J., Crisco, J. J., Weiss, A.-P. C., Ladd, A. L., Mithraratne, K., ... Besier, T. (2017). Trapeziometacarpal joint contact varies between men and women during three isometric functional tasks. Medical Engineering and Physics, 50, 43-49. 10.1016/j.medengphy.2017.09.002
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Poul Nielsen, Thor Besier, Marco Schneider, Ju Zhang
  • Alipour, M., Mithraratne, K., & Fernandez, J. (2017). A diffusion-weighted imaging informed continuum model of the rabbit triceps surae complex. Biomechanics and modeling in mechanobiology, 16 (5), 1729-1741. 10.1007/s10237-017-0916-4
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Justin Fernandez
  • Greybe, D., Boland, M. R., Wu, T., & Mithraratne, K. (2017). A finite element model to investigate the effect of ulnar variance on distal radioulnar joint mechanics. International Journal for Numerical Methods in Biomedical Engineering, 33 (2)10.1002/cnm.2790
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/33692
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Desney Greybe


Contact details

Primary office location

Level 1, Room 127
New Zealand

Web links