Dr Bethany Keenan

Research Associate

Research group:
029 206 87650
CUBRIC, Maindy Road

Research summary

I work with industrial and clinical collaborators, and researchers from other Schools around the University (Biosciences, Mathematics, Dentistry, Psychology and CUBRIC) to gain experience in multi-disciplinary fields. My research interests focus on medical imaging and soft tissue mechanics of the brain and heel. My current work aims to better understand the biomechanical behaviour of soft tissues in the heel in order to improve pressure ulcer treatment and prevention. Novel MRI techniques have been developed to clearly identify the anatomical geometry of the Achilles tendon, calcaneus, tibia and plantar fascia in both the healthy and deformed foot. These MRI scans are then used to create 3D subject-specific finite element (FE) models to investigate the internal stresses that occur when the weight of the foot is resting on a mattress or ulcer dressing. This study is part of an ongoing project that will lead to guidelines and/or a test method that can determine which products are effective in preventing ulcers. This will potentially aid clinicians and carers to ensure that patients receive the best possible care. At the School of Engineering, novel brain phantoms have been made to mimic the complex non-linear elastic mechanical responses in the brain. Neurological catheters are then inserted in to the brain phantom and infused with an MR tracer. This work aims to advance neurological catheter development and is in collaboration with Renishaw PLC.

Teaching summary

2018 – Present
Principal Supervisor for 3rd Year Erasmus students, Institut supérieur d'ingénieurs de Franche-Comté (ISIF), Besancon, France.

2017 – Present
Co-supervisor for 3rd Year Undergraduate and 4th Year Postgraduate Engineering Projects, MSc Orthopaedic Engineering Projects, Cardiff University.

2016 – Present

Guest lecturer for 2nd Year and 3rd Year Biomechanics modules, Cardiff University

Selected publications (2014 onwards)


Full list of publications



My research at Cardiff University (2016-2021) is currently supported by the School of Engineering, Cardiff University.

Research group


Research collaborators

Professor Sam Evans (Cardiff University)

Mr Peter Hobden (Cardiff University)

Mr Owen Lewis - ‎Senior Research, Design and Development Engineer, Renishaw PLC

Undergraduate education

2011 BEng (Hons) Medical Engineering, Cardiff University.

Postgraduate education

2011 – 2015: Ph.D in Medical Imaging and Biomechanical Analysis of Scoliosis Progression in the Growing Adolescent Spine at Queensland University of Technology, Australia.
2013-2014: Ten month internship at Laboratoire de Biomécanique, Arts et Métiers ParisTech, France.

Awards/external committees

2017 - Image-Based Biomedical Modelling Fellowship, University of Utah, USA.
2015 - Scoliosis and Spinal Disorders ‘Most Influential Articles of 2015’ for the paper entitled ‘Gravity-Induced Coronal Plane Joint Moments in Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis’.
2011 - Queensland University of Technology Supervisor Scholarship - a 3 year PhD project at QUT as part of the Florence Wilson Bequest, Brisbane.

External Committees
Member of Cardiff Institute of Tissue Engineering and Repair (CITER) Research
Early Career Research Network (ECRN) Committee member
University of Portsmouth Ageing Network
School of Engineering Athena Swan Network


2016 - Present: Post-doctoral Research Associate, School of Engineering, Cardiff University
February - September 2015: Clinical Research Associate, Queensland University of Technology (QUT) and Lady Cilento Hospital, Australia