Shaokoon Cheng


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Personal profile


Shaokoon's research expertise is in the area of Biomechanics and he has experience in MR imaging, laser diagnostic techniques, computational modelling (Finite element analysis and computational fluid dynamics), microfludics and soft tissue rheological properties. He has experience in both humans and animals research and this includes research that involves human patients and disease animal models. Shaokoon has written more than 80 publications which include peer-reviewed journal articles, invited book chapters and conference proceedings. He has also received invitations to chair major symposiums and as symposium keynote speakers in several prestigious international conferences (E.g.World Congress of Biomechanics). To date, Shaokoon's research has attracted several competitive national merit-based research fundings (~ $ 3 million)  and they include several national (e.g. ARC, NHMRC) and one international grant (Food Drug Administration). Shaokoon is currently leading a research team of 6 PhD students to synthesise discoveries obtained from MRI imaging, microfluidics, particles fluidisation experiments and computational modelling.

Research interests

We are looking for bright and enthusiastic Masters or PhD students with a strong passion to find solutions to improve the quality of lives through engineering. 

BIOMECHANICS and PART (Particles And Respiratory Technology) research group

Current projects:

1. Inhaled drug delivery.  Our group aims to improve the efficacy of pulmonary drug delivery. We have extensive work in this area- from fundamental studies to characterize particles fluidization properties, computational modeling of turbulent and multiphase flows in airways to complex experimental techniques to the determination of drug delivery in physiologically realistic airways. 
2. Novel organ-on-chip devices. Our group designs and develops novel organ-on-chip devices to mimic the physiology and in-vivo cells environment using state-of-art microfabrication and microfluidic techniques. We currently focus on creating platforms for testing drug delivery and efficacies. 
3. Fluid-structure flow interactions in biological systems.  Our group aims to understand the effects of active or passive moving soft tissue walls on biological fluid flow. The goal is to produce accurate computational models that take into account physiologically realistic boundary conditions. Our expertise in this area includes characterizing both the in-vitro and in-vivo soft tissue rheological properties. 
4. Biomedical devices. With a background in Mechanical Engineering and product development, we have a strong passion in developing devices to improve drug delivery and disease diagnosis. Current work includes the development of an OCT device (patent awarded).
5. MRI imaging. Our group uses MRI to investigate upper airway physiology in health and respiratory diseases. 
6. 3D printing for biological applications. Our work in this area includes optimizing the process and quality of 3D prints by computational modeling. 


1.  Stereoscopic PIV system for velocity measurement including a micro-PIV system.
2.  High Speed (10KHz) and high resolution (2um) Particle Visualization and Sizing System.
3.  High-Speed Data Acquisition (1-2MHz) and Instrument Control Capabilities.
4.  Tabletop tensile machine (MTS, exceed testing system, E42.503).
5.  Micro-tensile testing machine - SEM (Scanning Electron Microscope) compatible. 
6. Advanced Additive Manufacturing Capabilities to develop optically accessible and highly-complex geometries for any biological organs. 
7.  In house capabilities and facilities to develop organ-on-chip devices.
8.  MR Elastography system. 
9. Optical coherence tomography system (multiple channels) with extended capabilities in flow and elastography measurements. 


1. Design and development of microfluidic devices.
2. Development of optically accessible complex geometries including geometrical realistic
biological organs 
3. MR Imaging - Phase Contrast MRI, MR Elastography, MR Tagging.
4. Ethics applications for human and animal MR studies. 
5. Computational modeling - turbulent and multi-phase flows. 
6. Characterization of soft tissue rheological properties. 


My current teaching research interests are in the area of understanding students career information literacy and the development of teaching pedagogies and tools to help improve students' employability and entrepreneurship capabilities. 

Current projects:

1. Enhancing HDR students employability. This research aims to understand employers expectations on HDR graduates, refine HDR students assessments and to improve HDR students skills in engaging with the industries with the ultimate goal to enhance HDR graduates employability. 

2. Innovative learning tools to enhance product development skills. Mechanical Engineering design is an important skill to enhance Australian technological industries. This project aims to study students' experience in mechanical product design and to refine an innovative learning tool (MQ IDEA) designed specifically to improve the quality of students product design work. 

3. Embedding effective project-based learning in an engineering curriculum. While project-based learning has generated significant interest in engineering education in recent years due to its potential to enhance students engagement, it is coaching intensive and can be unsustainable given that the student cohort in engineering is typically large (> 100 students). In addition, students learning experience and outcome can be highly dependent on individual academic competency and enthusiasm in learning. The successful integration of project-based learning into an engineering curriculum requires research, analysis and iteration and work is in progress to determine a suitable project-based learning model to enhance students learning and engagement. 


I have a background and a strong passion in product design and development. Product design and development as a teaching unit is useful to train and assess students abilities in critical, innovative and integrative thinking, communication skills and research capabilities. 

I have developed and convened the following units and the units mark with an asterisk are the units which I am currently teaching and convening. 
1. ENGG150 - Fundamentals of Mechanical and Electronics Engineering
2. MECH203 - Engineering Design 1. (*)
Computer-aided design, a framework for decision-based engineering design, machine design and analysis. (Shigley's Mechanical Engineering Design)
3. MECH204 - Mechanics of Solids. (*)
Modes and mechanics of failure, structural analysis (Hibbeler Mechanics of Materials)
4. MECH303 - Engineering Design 2
5. MECH401 - Product Design and development - Capstone unit. (*)
Product design and development process (Ulrich and Eppinger Product Design and Development)

Community engagement

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Education/Academic qualification

Biomedical Engineering, PhD, The University of New South Wales

Mechanical Engineering, BEng, Honours Class 1, University of Sydney

External positions

Member, Australian Rheological Society

Member, Australian and New Zealand Society of Biomechanics

Member, Australian and New Zealand Society of Respiratory Science

Board of Directors, Cerebrospinal Fluid Hydrodynamics

Member, Society of Rheology

Fingerprint Fingerprint is based on mining the text of the person's scientific documents to create an index of weighted terms, which defines the key subjects of each individual researcher.

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Projects 2014 2022

Research Output 2005 2018

Airway geometry, airway flow, and particle measurement methods: implications on pulmonary drug delivery

Kourmatzis, A., Cheng, S. & Chan, H-K., 2018, In : Expert Opinion on Drug Delivery. 15, 3, p. 271-282 12 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleResearchpeer-review

Pharmaceutical Preparations
Equipment Design
Nebulizers and Vaporizers

Development and characterization of smart chitosan-based hydrogel for direct nose-to-brain drug delivery

Gholizadeh, H., Pozzoli, M., Traini, D., Young, P., Kourmatzis, A., Cheng, S. & Ong, H. X., 2018, Sydney Surfaces And Soft Stuff meeting 2018: program. p. 14 1 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference abstractResearch

Human abdomen path-loss modeling and location estimation of wireless capsule endoscope using round-trip propagation loss

Ara, P., Yu, K., Cheng, S., Dutkiewicz, E. & Heimlich, M. C., 15 Apr 2018, In : IEEE Sensors Journal. 18, 8, p. 3266-3277 12 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Measurement of large strain properties in calf muscles in vivo using magnetic resonance elastography and spatial modulation of magnetization

Tan, K., Jugé, L., Hatt, A., Cheng, S. & Bilston, L. E., Oct 2018, In : NMR in Biomedicine. 31, 10, p. 1-9 9 p., e3925.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Elasticity Imaging Techniques
Magnetic resonance

Multi-channel Optical Coherence Tomography (MC-OCT): a daisy-chained sensing approach

Mekonnen, T., Cheng, S., Kourmatzis, A. & Amatoury, J., 2018, 2018 the Optoelectronics Global Conference (OGC 2018): conference program. p. 99-100 2 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference abstractResearch

Open Access


Travel Award

Shaokoon Cheng (Recipient), Oct 2011