Prof Elizabeth Tanner
OBE, FREng, FRSE, PhD (Hon Caus), MA, DPhil, FIMMM, FIMechE, FIPEM, CEng, CSci

Prof Elizabeth Tanner

Bonfield Professor of Biomedical Materials
Director of Centre for Sustainable Engineering
Director of the Institute of Bioengineering

+44 (0)20 7882 6785
+44 (0)7914 875629
Engineering 121, Mile End

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support hours:
Friday mornings 10-11, or send me an e-mail to request.
Expertise: My research interests are in the development, testing and use of biomaterials for bone and joint replacement. In particular composites of bioactive ceramics and polymers which can encourage bone ongrowth yet have sufficient mechanical properties to be used for load bearing applications. These are based on either non-degradable or degradable artificial or natural polymers depending on application. In parallel I have interests in the mechanical properties of bone and the effects of pathology on these properties.
Research Centre:
Affiliations: Fellow Royal Academy of Engineering (FREng), Fellow of Royal Society of Edinburgh (FRSE), Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (FIMechE), Fellow of the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (FIMMM), Fellow of the Institution of Physics and Engineering in Medicine (IPEM), Chartered Engineer (CEng), Chartered Scientist (CSci).
I was a member of the Executive Committee of the European Society for Biomaterials 2001-2009 and Secretary 2005-2009. I was a Trustee of the Royal Academy of Engineering 2016-2020.
Lund University, Sweden awarded me an Honorary PhD in Medicine and Veterinary Science in 2017.

Brief Biography

After undergraduate and DPhil degrees in Engineering Science at the University of Oxford I joined Queen Mary College as a post doc researcher. I worked on HAPEX (hydroxyapatite polyethylene the first of the bioactive composites used in patients), bring it through initial testing to its first clinical use in the eye socket for patients with loss of an eye or orbital floor fractures. I then gained a SERC Research Fellowship where I investigated the properties of bone and the effect of osteoarthritis. I became Lecturer, Senior Lecturer, Reader and then Professor of Biomedical Materials into eDepartment of Materials. At the same time I was a core staff member of the IRC in Biomedical Materials becoming an Associate Director and I co-ordinated the Bone and Joint Replacement Programme.
In 2007 I left QMUL to join the University of Glasgow as Professor of Biomedical Materials. During my time in Glasgow I started their Biomedical Engineering degree, the first in Scotland. I continued my research on bioactive composite materials and developed work on the effect of pathologies on the mechanical properties of materials.
In 2018 I returned to QMUL to become the Bonfield Professor of Biomedical Materials. I am also the Head of the Materials Engineering Division and Director of the Institute of Bioengineering.
From 1997 to 2017 I was also a Visiting Professor in the Department of Orthopaedics at Lund University, Sweden, including for some years co-heading their Biomechanics and Biomaterials Laboratory.

I am the Editor of Proceeding of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers Part H: Journal of Engineering in Medicine. I am a member of the Editorial Boards of various other journals, including Journal of Materials Science: Materials in Medicine, Biomedical Materials and Regenerative Biomaterials.
I was Secretary of the 2001 European Society for Biomaterials Conference in London and and one of the three co-chairs of the 2020 virtual World Biomaterials Congress.