Rhys Williams

Rhys Williams
GDI Hub consultant
[email address hidden]
+44 (0)20 3108 7194 (x57194)
Room: 2.12
Global Disability Innovation Hub
UCL at Here East
8-9 East Bay Lane, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
London, E15 2GW

Research description

My research investigates heat-related discomfort encountered when wearing lower-limb prosthetics. Excess sweating may appear to be a minor annoyance, but it can cause slipping of the prosthesis which can lead to skin damage and infection and severely reduced quality of life. I use a combination of interviews, questionnaires, diaries and sensor studies in the lab and in the wild to comprehensively explain this phenomenon and how it occurs in the real world. This data can be used in the future development of prosthetic limbs that mitigate or prevent thermal discomfort occurring. I'm supervised by Dr Catherine Holloway (UCLIC) and Professor Mark Miodownik (Mechanical Engineering/ Institute of Making)

Brief biography

My undergraduate was in Physics with Medical Physics at UCL where I specialised in functional near-infrared spectroscopic brain imaging, working with the Biomedical Optics group for my dissertation and a summer. After that I moved onto my MRes in Medical Innovation and Entrepreneurship where I began to become interested in prosthetics.


  • 2016 Japan Society for the Promotion of Science Summer fellowship (At U. of Tokyo/ NRCD)
  • 2016 Research through making award (Institute of Making)
  • 2015 London Health Tech Challenge winner (London Business School)

Research Publications

Rhys Williams, Catherine Holloway Prosthetic Services: An Opportunity for Patient Directed Healthcare 2019 ACM CHI, Conference paper (text), Glasgow
Rhys Williams, A Takashima, T Ogata, Catherine Holloway A pilot study towards long-term thermal comfort research for lower-limb prosthesis wearers 2018 Prosthetics and Orthotics International, Journal article
Rhys Williams, ED Washington, M Miodownik, Catherine Holloway The effect of liner design and materials selection on prosthesis interface heat dissipation 2017 Prosthetics and Orthotics International, Journal article
Rhys Williams, Catherine Holloway, M Miodownik The Ultimate Wearable: Connecting Prosthetic Limbs to the IoPH 2016 UbiComb/ ISWC '16, Conference paper (text), Heidelberg, Germany
D Chitnis, D Airantzis, D Highton, Rhys Williams, P Phan, V Giagka, S Powell, RJ Cooper, I Tachtsidis, M Smith Towards a wearable near infrared spectroscopic probe for monitoring concentrations of multiple chromophores in biological tissue in vivo 2016 Review of Scientific Instruments, Journal article