Safe and comfortable exercise

Julie Steele’s biomechanics research over the past 30+ years has enabled countless individuals to participate comfortably and safely in their daily activities. 

Professor Steele, from the School of Medicine, is founder and director of the internationally renowned Biomechanics Research Laboratory and Breast Research Australia. 

Her research has focused on developing innovative strategies to decrease injury potential and optimise quality of life for individuals across the age spectrum. 

She has been actively involved in researching the effects of obesity and ageing on lower limb structure and function with implications for footwear design to promote physical activity and reduce falls in the elderly; the biomechanics of landing safely; developing wearable technologies to enhance quality of life; and breast health biomechanics. 

The ultimate aim of her breast health biomechanics research is to ensure that any female, irrespective of age, health status or breast size, can enjoy the health benefits associated with regular exercise without suffering breast discomfort. 

Steele’s ability to foster excellence in research supervision was recognised in her being awarded the inaugural UOW Postgraduate Supervisor of the Year Award. She has also received the UOW Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Teaching Excellence and a Carrick University Teaching Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning.  

In addition to her sustained research and teaching contribution, Steele has had a substantial impact on the biomechanics profession through national and international leadership roles including being the first ever Australian elected as President of the International Society of Biomechanics. She is currently one of only 44 biomechanists world-wide to be appointed to the World Council of Biomechanics. 

Steele’s impact has extended beyond academia and biomechanics. Since being awarded the 2005 NSW Telstra Business Woman of the Year, she has participated extensively in community-based seminars and mentoring schemes. 

Her research programs have garnered enormous national and international interest from all forms of media, attracting arguably some of the most sustained exposure of any research program at UOW.