Auckland Bioengineering Institute


Professor Nicolas Smith

Portrait of Nicolas Smith.

Alumnus profile

BE(Hons), PhD

Nic Smith is a former doctoral student of Professor Peter Hunter and Professor Andrew Pullan. After completing his doctoral research Nic went to become a postdoctoral research fellow and academic in the Department of Engineering Science at The University of Auckland. During this time Nic worked closely with the Auckland Bioengineering Institute where he was a principal investigator.

After a visiting Professorship of Computational Physiology at Oxford University, Nic went on to become the Head of Department, Biomedical Engineering, at Kings College, University of London. His research group focused on the development of computational models of the heart with the capacity to integrate multiple measurement types. The goal of this work was to use these tools to develop new ways to assess patients and personalize treatments based on information about the individual. Research applications include the imaging of coronary blood flow, embedding pacemakers and understanding flow in the heart.

In August of 2013, Nic returned to us to take up the position of Dean of Engineering.

Research interests

Professor Smith’s research is focused on the development of integrated multi-scale and multi-physics models primarily of the heart, which provide the ability to link biophysically detailed experimental and clinical data to integrated function from sub-cellular to whole organ level. Within the scope of this work, developed computational techniques to enable model development and specific models to provide insight into cardiac physiology. This work is focused on cardiac electrophysiology and contraction at the cellular level and the multi-scale translation of these models to simulate blood flow and cardiac electro-mechanics at the tissue level. The application of these models to understand the mechanisms of coronary artery disease and heart failure and to assist the development of new treatments and guide existing therapies is the ultimate goal of this work.

Professor Smith is a central contributor to the Virtual Physiological Human (VPH) Project sponsored by the European Commission working to develop integrated multi-scale computational models of organ systems, Professor Smith is also Scientific Coordinator of euHeart, an FP7 Integrated Project focused on developing multi-scale, multi-physics cardiac models which involves academic, clinical and industrial partners across Europe. He also holds grants from the EPSRC, BBSRC, MRC as Principle Investigator and is an EPSRC leadership fellow.