Perth Biodesign is a 6 month course running from May until November annually, in which multidisciplinary teams identify unmet clinical needs and work towards providing a solution, whilst learning about the medical device development process.

Who should apply?

The typical structure of a Biodesign Australia team includes passionate individuals with a clinical, engineering, business and/or research background. Further we are seeking optimal diversity in teams and cohorts and welcome different age groups, experience levels, gender, and ethnicity. Our participants range from senior students to experienced professionals, however we encourage anyone with a strong passion for medtech and healthcare innovation to make an enquiry.



business professionals


What is the expected time committment?

The 2019 course will run from mid-May until mid-November with class sessions running each Wednesday evening (5.00pm-7.30pm). Outside of class, participants will need to commit extra time to work on deliverables and attend team meetings. On average, participants spend 8 hours per week on course commitments (including the weekly session).

The Team

Dr Matthew Oldakowski

Course Director

Matt is a biomedical engineering researcher and medical device entrepreneur with a mechanical engineering degree from The University of Western Australia. In his PhD studies at Curtin University he co-developed an  expandable orthopaedic screw which spun-out into REX Ortho. He is also a co-inventor and co-founder of Cervical ChinUp. Matt recently returned from Stanford University where he trained as a Global Faculty in Training Fellow at the Stanford Byers Center for Biodesign, as well as being an Endeavour Executive Fellow. He now works across Curtin University and St John of God Hospital to establish bioengineering capability, in addition to being Perth Biodesign’s co-Course Director for Accelerating Australia.

Intan Oldakowska

Course Director

Intan is a biomedical engineer and entrepreneur focused on developing medical devices. A graduate of the University of Western Australia in Mechanical Engineering and Commerce, she is a Research Associate at Curtin University where her PhD studies have focused on developing a novel expandable orthopaedic screw, which has spun-out into REX Ortho.  She is also the co-founder and CEO of Cervical ChinUp. A SPARK Co-Lab Design Course 2016 alumnus, Intan recently returned from Stanford University, where she helped at the Otoinnovation Lab and observed the Stanford Biodesign Innovation classes, before returning to be Perth Biodesign's co-Course Director.

Dr Helga Mikkelsen

Mikkelsen Helga 2 (2)

Business Faculty

Helga is an Investment Analyst at Brandon Capital, which manages the Medical Research Commercialisation Fund (MRCF). Following degrees in Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology, Helga completed her PhD in microbiology at the University of Cambridge and postdoctoral research in bacterial genetics at Imperial College London. She subsequently managed the development of anti-infective medical devices in urology at CamStent Ltd (Cambridge, UK). Since her move to Australia in 2016, Helga has worked with the Telethon Kids Institute to commercialise inhaled drug treatments for respiratory disease and is a co-founder of Respirion Pharmaceuticals, which develops a new treatment for chronic lung infections in patients with cystic fibrosis.

Dr James Chen


Clinical Faculty

James is a Junior doctor at Fiona Stanley Hospital, following completion of Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery at UWA in 2015. He has been working to improve the efficiency of junior doctor’s work with hospital executives. He has also had the opportunity to experience firsthand the devastating consequence of lower socioeconomic areas including in Soweto in Johannesburg, South Africa and remote communities in the Kimberly, which has nurtured a passion for equality and ensuring sustainable holistic solutions; not ‘band-aids for a broken leg’. James took part in the 2017 Perth Biodesign course and returned in 2018 as an alumni mentor.

Kristen Houston

Course Coordinator

Kristen Houston is the Operations Manager for Accelerating Australia, a national consortium supporting biomedical entrepreneurs and innovators on their path to viable commercial outcomes. Kristen received her Bachelor of Science in Pharmacology from the University of Western Australia and most recently worked for John Beech and The Executive Connection where she created the website for consulting company Guided Innovation. Kristen is involved in the general coordination and support of the Perth Biodesign course as well as the marketing, communications and general support of Accelerating Australia

Applications for Perth Biodesign 2019 are now closed.

Use the form below to express interest in the 2020 course or lodge an enquiry.

If you don’t hear from a member of the Perth Biodesign team promptly, please double check your junk mail or let us know! 

Thank you to the generous supporters of the Perth Biodesign course