Imperial College London

DrRichard Janvan Arkel

Faculty of EngineeringDepartment of Mechanical Engineering

Senior Lecturer



+44 (0)20 7594 6157r.vanarkel




719City and Guilds BuildingSouth Kensington Campus




Research Overview

I use my engineering expertise to understand orthopaedic systems and then apply this knowledge - in collaboration with clinicians and industry - to improve surgical interventions for orthopaedic pain, disease and trauma.

My research aims to relieve the burden of orthopaedic conditions for patients through restoring normal biomechanical function.  I believe that a successful treatment is one that is forgotten; patients are able to return to their daily activities without consideration of their joint. 

My research focuses on the hip and knee joints, though I am interested in all aspects of the musculoskeletal system. 


  • Preclinical test methods
  • Implantable sensors
  • Bone adaptation following trauma/arthroplasty
  • Partial, combined partial & total knee arthroplasty
  • Resurfacing & total hip arthroplasty
  • Ligament repair & reconstructions
  • Joint preserving surgery
  • Additive manufacturing for orthopaedics
  • Shear wave ultrasound for orthopaedics
  • AI for orthopaedics


  • Measuring implant bony ingrowth in the laboratory using bioreactor technology
  • Robotic analysis of hip and knee joint function in the laboratory
  • Use of shear-wave ultrasound to measure soft-tissue function following surgery
  • Developing smart implants to measure implant fixation and infection
  • Additive manufacturing
  • Optical tracking of joint motion in the laboratory
  • Testing orthopaedic systems in materials testing machines
  • Purpose-built rigs to measured joint mechanics: e.g. knee extensor mechanism function
  • Finite element modelling of implanted joints and bones


  • The London Hip Unit
  • Guy's & St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust
  • St George's University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Freeman Hospital
  • DePuy Synthes
  • Zimmer Biomet
  • Renishaw
  • Rush University Medical Center, Chicago
  • Institute of Orthopedic Research & Education, Texas
  • Southampton University
  • Cardiff University


I am actively engaged with researchers across the MSk MEC at Imperial College London


I am grateful for my current/past research support from:

  • Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
  • The Wellcome Trust
  • Arthritis Research UK
  • The Institution of Mechanical Engineers
  • DePuy Synthes
  • Zimmer Biomet
  • Corin Group
  • Renishaw
  • Sir Michael Uren Foundation
  • Peter Stormonth-Darling
  • The Sackler Trust