Kiara graduated from UWA last year with a Master of Professional Engineering (Mechanical) with Distinction (she was one of two females in her cohort to receive this honour). Kiara was also recently awarded the William and Marlene Schrader Prize in Biomedical Engineering from UWA. This prize acknowledges the student who achieves the highest mark for their final year Thesis in the field of biomedical engineering. Unfortunately, there will be no award ceremony due to current COVID restrictions.

Kiara’s thesis was titled: Towards Visualising and Understanding Patient-Specific Biomechanics of Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms. Her research investigated the feasibility of using engineering techniques to better assess the risk of an Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm rupturing. Ruptured Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms are a top 10 cause of death with approximately 200 000 deaths worldwide each year. Her proof-of-concept study demonstrated the feasibility of assessing the integrity of an aneurysm using advanced CT imaging to calculate the stresses and stretches of the vessel wall.

Kiara’s paper was presented at the Medical Image Computing & Computer Assisted Intervention (MICCAI) Workshop held alongside the Computational Biomechanics for Medicine (CBM) Conference at the Intercontinental Hotel in Shenzhen, China in 2019.  

Kiara declined the offer to extend her studies towards a doctorate in favour of gaining industry experience in Melbourne. She was however hired by UWA to set up a larger study at Fiona Stanley Hospital for an incoming international doctoral student to further develop her work.

This article originally appeared in the Maccabean of 26 June 2020 and is republished here with permission