James Lee (Director, NT Director)

Dr Lee leads SABEL initiatives through Charles Darwin University in Northern Australia, in particular workplace and more recently, developing programs for school kids to capture their own movement patterns to learn STEM subjects. The concept is known as STEMfit – go and check it out! This research has an interesting origin that goes back to 2015. Jim, Dr Mark Mckean and then Honours student Ms Yasmin Osbourne looked at physical literacy and functional capacity of Northern Territory school children. What stood out – in observations and in the data was the capacity of the kids in the very remote community: Kalkaringi (itself with a significant history for not only Indigenous Australians but all Australians). From these beginnings, other research followed which culminated in the concept of having the children take the movement data and use it in their maths class. STEMfit grew from there. Quite an evolution (which is apt with it occurring in the university that takes the name of Charles Darwin….).

Previously he was based with  QSTC partner, Prof OHGI, at Keio University Japan.  The visit to Japan came about through winning a Research Fellowship funded by The Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS).  These Fellowships are highly regarded within the international scientific jim-leeresearch community.  The aim of the Fellowship is multifaceted.  Primarily, for collaborative research between Japanese and international institutes, with an objective of building long-term research and commercial relationships.  Secondary aims include: gaining experience and proficiency in the Japanese language; and gain an understanding and appreciation of Japanese culture. Not only is Jim a JSPS recipient, his former PhD student, Sam Gleadhill has now won the fellowship too and is at the National Institute of Fitness and Sport (NIFS), so the long lasting ties with our Japanese friends continue to grow stronger.

Jim’s research while in Japan includes performance assessment of anatomical and prosthetic limbs of amputee athletes.  Additionally, he is monitoring progression through rehabilitation of recent amputee patients.  The aim was to assist in providing information that will ultimately benefit amputees in regards to their motion.  Additionally, feedback to prosthetic manufacturers will assist in design improvements of prosthetics.  He has also investigated micro sensor performance against an infrared 3D camera system capable of data capture both in and out of the water simultaneously.  This system is unique and only recently installed at the Japan Institute of Sport Science.

In late 2011, Dr Lee won the inaugural ICT Geelong, CSIRO-AIS Prize for Best Sports Technology at the “Technology Entrepreneurship Forum” invention competition.  The main criterion was to present technology that would assist in aiding Australian Athlete success in the 2012 London Olympic and Paralympic Games.  The work put forward was part of a greater research focus.  The submission was aimed at assisting swimming performance analysis using newly developed micro sensor technology.

1110 SWIM RESEARCH-MM438535-044104A former boiler-maker/welder who in 2001 moved from Tasmania to Queensland and decided to study Sport and Exercise Science at the University of the Sunshine Coast. After the three year undergraduate degree and Honours degree he was offered a competitively funded PhD scholarship. His PhD centered around research using micro-technology to assess walking and running patterns in athletes for performance enhancement and the general population and it’s practical applications for people who may have been injured or suffered a disease which requires rehabilitation. Supervisors For his PhD were Associate Professor Brendan Burkett, Dr Rebecca Mellifont, and Dr Daniel James. He recently completed a one year post doc with cluster founder Dr. James.  During 2011 Dr Lee gained a wealth of experience in the role of Research Fellow at Griffith University and this is continuing in Japan.  From these experiences, his research capabilities are being enhanced.  Therefore providing him with an excellent blend of research experience, international collaborative ties, and exposure to commercial partners

Dr Lee’s PhD research was to develop a simple method of gait assessment by using a single inertial sensor to measure kinematics during walking. Therefore longitudinal capture of gait data is possible. Athletes tested include triathletes and race walkers. Stride, step and stance durations were detected from the triathlete data. The ability to identify symmetry/asymmetry in running was also shown to be possible using a single sensor. Race walking has controversial exposure in regards to judging and the ability to detect illegal step, mainly flight or loss of ground contact. The sensors were shown to be able to detect illegal steps more accurately and consistently than the naked eye. 

The image just above is of Jim and his Triathlete daughter, Tobie Evens-Lee.  It was taken as part of a photo shoot and story by The Courier MailHis interest in sports science developed from a diverse competitive sporting background including coaching rowing, soccer, and swimming. Jim was a former rower, AFL (Australian football) player – (a proud Richmond tragic), and observed section motorcycle trials competitor. A swimming official, along with various positions held within sporting club committees. He currently enjoys a love mountain running and climbed Mount Fuji while in Japan.  The other item on Jim’s Japanese “bucket list” was to run a marathon and completed the 7th Shonan International Marathon being held on 3 November 2012 (to date, his one and onlymarathon).



Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s