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Emeritus Professor Tim Ackland

School of Human Sciences

"The ride has been, and continues to be, a blast!"

Tim Ackland was Professor of Applied Anatomy and Biomechanics in the School of Human Sciences at The University of Western Australia and is a Fellow of Sports Medicine Australia. He has research interests in the mechanics of human movement with themes spanning exercise rehabilitation, high-performance sport and human performance in industry. Professor Ackland has published over 140 peer-reviewed papers as well as six academic books and 35 book chapters. He has served as a Director of Sports Medicine Australia and was a member of the IOC Medical Commission’s working party on Body Composition, Health and Performance. Tim also chaired the Scientific Program Committee for the 5th IOC World Congress on Sport Sciences for the 2000 Olympics and was Conference Co-chair for Sports Medicine Australia in Perth, 2001.

Most interesting aspect of my career

I have had the freedom to follow my research passions and, by doing so, have engaged with many brilliant colleagues who have become lifelong friends. A mix of interests in sport, rehabilitation, and ergonomics through the lens of biomechanics has given me a unique perspective on matters that I can employ as an expert witness.

Most important experiences at UWA

I have been at UWA since 1976 and despite several opportunities to relocate, I could see no valid reason to do so. My various appointments at UWA have allowed me the freedom and connections to pursue my passions in research, teaching, management, and governance. I maintain that coming to campus and spending time with colleagues has been the most rewarding aspect of my UWA life.

Where did you think you would end up when you began your career?

I completed a PE degree at UWA in the 1970s and was destined to become a secondary school teacher. However, the prospect of following a research career through Honours to PhD was too hard to turn down. I have enjoyed my role as a teacher at UWA and believe it has been more rewarding for me to do so at the tertiary level.

What do you consider to be your most significant achievements?

My mentor, Emeritus Professor Bruce Elliott, advised just to do your job well and the metrics will look after themselves. He was right, of course. Whatever my achievements have been, significant or otherwise, keeping a good balance between work and family life has allowed me to enjoy my academic career over nearly 40 years.

Where to from here?

I have been filling my days since retirement with some ergonomics consulting, volunteering with the Fremantle Marine Rescue group, hiking the Bibbulmun Track, and boating. Not much travel on the immediate horizon but have enjoyed trips to Rottnest and in the South West of Western Australia. I am enjoying the opportunity to spend time with grandchildren and re-learning how to cook.

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