Inaugural Lecture of Prof Pankaj Pankaj, Chair of Computational Biomechanics


Alder Lecture Theatre, Nucleus Building, King’s Buildings, University of Edinburgh


Wednesday, November 22, 2023 - 17:30 to 19:00

The principle of parsimony in computational biomechanics

Computational modelling is being extensively employed to assess the biomechanical properties and response of bone and bone-implant systems. Recent years have seen increasing emphasis on the development of personalised or patient-specific models, to address clinical problems. Routine use of personalised models, which require numerous patient-specific features, remains a challenge. Using my group’s research, I will demonstrate that the principle of parsimony or the Occam’s razor, which advocates searching for answers using the smallest set of parameters, provides solutions to many real clinical problems. The talk will use examples of novel approaches we have developed for bone quality prediction and for optimising fracture fixation and joint replacements (e.g. hip and knee). I will illustrate that generic models are not only simple but can also be effectively exploited to evaluate the outcomes and recommend the best treatment option(s) if key subject-specific parameters are incorporated.


Professor Pankaj Pankaj obtained his undergraduate degree from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi, master’s degree in Earthquake Engineering from University of Roorkee (now IIT Roorkee) and PhD in Numerical Methods from University of Wales, Swansea. His principal expertise is in the area of nonlinear computational solid mechanics. In his early career, his research focused on earthquake resistant design of structures and he provided extensive consultancy in the area of seismic design and qualification of structures such as nuclear power plants, dams and buildings. At the University of Edinburgh, he established the interdisciplinary computational biomechanics group, which comprises of researchers with backgrounds in physical sciences, engineering and medical sciences. His group has been extremely successful in exploiting numerical methods and mechanics in the solution of clinical problems. For research supervised by him, Pankaj’s students have received prestigious awards from VPHi (Virtual Physiological Human Institute, Belgium), Institution of Mechanical Engineers, British Orthopaedic Research Society, British Orthipaedic Association and Carnegie Trust for Universities in Scotland in the form of prizes and fellowships. He has delivered keynote talks at clinical conferences in North America, Europe and Asia. In 2022, he was awarded the prestigious KT Dholakia gold medal and delivered the Plenary Dholakia Eponymous Lecture to orthopaedic surgeons in Mumbai at WIROC Global.

Lecture recording

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Pankaj Pankaj
Pankaj Pankaj

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Louise Farquharson

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