ASPIRE CREATe Centre for Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology

ASPIRE centre, Stanmore

ASPIRE National Training Center in Stanmore

Aspire Create, the Centre for Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology, is an exciting new joint research venture between the Aspire Charity, University College London and the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, Stanmore. The centre was established at the beginning of 2014 to develop translational research to improve the quality of life of people with spinal cord injuries (SCIs). Currently, it houses four academics (Dr Rui Loureiro, Dr Tom Carlson, Dr Anne Vanhoestenberghe and Dr Steve Taylor), along with their researchers. This rapidly growing centre investigates techniques that are applicable and transferrable between different domains in related areas of interest, including, but not limited to stroke, muscular dystrophy, amputation, the ageing population and training of specialised skills (e.g. surgical). 

Latest News

 27 Jan 2015
 PhD studentship with the London Spinal Cord Injury Research Centre announced here.
10 Dec 2014 Congratulations to "The Eggsperts", Giulia Barbareschi, Chinemelu Ezeh and Rhys Williams, PhD students from Aspire Create and BIG@PAMELA, who scooped first place with their robot at the Institute of Making's Great Egg Race. Look at the photos.
10 Dec 2014 Dr Rui Loureiro gave an IBME seminar, entitled "Would you eat soup with a fork?". 
26 Nov 2014 Dr Anne Vanhoestenberghe gave a seminar to the IBME doctoral training programme students.
20 Nov 2014 Dr Tom Carlson gave a talk entitled "Brain-machine interfaces: science beyond fiction?" at a Café Scientifique, hosted by King Edward's School Witley, Surrey.
20 Nov 2014 We were honoured by a lab visit from the Dean of Medical Sciences, Prof David Lomas, where he interacted with our demos and chatted to our staff and students.
19 Nov 2014 Aspire Create delivered a Special Grand Round entitled "Technology for the advancement of rehabilitation of spinal cord injuries". It was a 1.5h lunchtime seminar, organised by the School of Life Sciences and Medicine, and open to the public and attracted over 100 attendees.
18 Sep 2014 We ran a very successful session during the Division of Surgery's Away Day, which introduced the Aspire Create and concluded with an interactive panel session.
16 Jul 2014 Dr Tom Carlson gave an IBME seminar, entitled "Sharing control between man and machine: from wheelchairs to brain-computer interfaces". It attracted a diverse audience and was followed by a lively question and answer session, drinks and nibbles.



Dr Rui Loureiro Aspire Senior Lecturer
Dr Tom Carlson Aspire Lecturer
Dr Anne Vanhoestenberghe Aspire Lecturer
Dr Steve Taylor Lecturer

Research Associates

Dr Michael Mentink Postdoc

PhD Students

Mr Chinemelu Ezeh PhD Student
Mr Elliott Magee PhD Student
Mr Andrew Symonds PhD Student

Research Assistants

Miss Tijana Jevtic PhD Student
Mr Ha Le PhD Student
Mr Peter Snow PhD Student

Affiliated Researchers

Prof Nick Donaldson Professor
Dr Catherine Holloway Lecturer
Dr Henry Lancashire Postdoc
Miss Giulia Barbareschi PhD Student
Mr George Saleh PhD Student  

Project Students

Mr Ashish Rathore iBSc Student
Mr Matthew Willett iBSc Student

Former Researchers

Mr Joris Van der Cruijsen Visiting student 2014-15  

MSc in Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technologies

Programme Director Dr Tom Carlson
Programme Co-Director Dr Anne Vanhoestenberghe
Programme Co-Director Dr Rui Loureiro


MSc in Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technologies

This exciting new MSc is offered by the recently formed Aspire Centre for Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology within the well-established and internationally respected Institute of Orthopaedics and Musculoskeletal Science at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, Stanmore (UCL).

Rehabilitation engineering is a rapidly developing field, closely related to biomedical engineering, which has the potential to revolutionise the way we enable patients to independently take back control of their activities of daily living. Complementary to drugs and surgery, this MSc focusses on how state-of-the-art technologies, such as robotics, can be developed and used to help promote the restoration of motor function, or where this is not currently possible, how they can help to substitute lost motor function. The course targets complex and challenging medical conditions such as spinal cord injuries and stroke, as well as covering issues that arise from the global trend of the ageing population.

This unique MSc will: prepare students with core fundamental knowledge of these interdisciplinary subject areas; provide an overview of the many exciting applications of rehabilitation engineering and assistive technologies; and develop the students’ transferable research skills (including project planning, organisation, critical analysis, communication and teamwork skills). The taught modules will be supported in parallel by specially tailored lab-based group research projects, which will enable students to apply their knowledge and refine their research skills in small teams, within a supportive laboratory environment. This will prepare them for the culmination of the MSc: a comprehensive laboratory based individual project, where they will investigate cutting-edge research questions. To this end, they will be provided with an expert advisor, a network of knowledgeable colleagues and a well-equipped environment, which will open up opportunities for further research and publications.


MSc Curriculum

*Optional modules: students will choose exactly two of these. Each optional module will be run subject to attaining a minimum subscription of students for that module.

MSc Schedule

How Do I Apply?

For more information, please contact the Programme Director, Dr Tom Carlson.

Research Themes

These are our research themes, which we will link to our ongoing projects shortly...

  • Advanced human machine interaction
  • Brain-computer interfaces (software and hardware)
  • Haptics
  • Biosignal processing
  • Rehabilitation robotics
  • Electrical stimulation (surface and implantable)
  • Design and manufacture of biocompatible electrodes
  • Active implantable electronic devices
  • Robotic exoskeletons 
  • Adaptive shared control systems that assist when needed
  • User intention prediction
  • Smart wheelchairs
  • Student projects

Research and Project Opportunities

If you can't find a suitable project, please check back again soon. This list gets updated regularly, as and when new opportunities become available.

Postdoc Research Associate Positions

[closed] Research Associate (Job reference: 1436661) 

PhD Positions

[OPEN] PhD studentship in Medical Engineering: Neuromodulation through  wearable devices to control bladder, bowel and limb spasticity following spinal cord injury [project info].

[closed] IBME Doctoral Training Programme

[closed] SLMS Grand Challenge Studentship 

Master Student Projects

[open] Tackling the mutual learning problem in a motor imagery based brain-computer interface [project info]

Bachelor Student Projects

None at present. 


These publications have been automatically extracted from the UCL Research Publication Database.

Research Publications - new version

Retrieving data...

Contact Us

The best way to contact us is to email one of the academics in the Personnel tab above.

Our lab is physically located on the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital site in the Peripheral Nerve Injury unit (PNI), building number 37 on this map (note that UP is SOUTH).

For issues relating to the Aspire Create website, please contact

Aspire Logo

Logos Royal Free London - NHS Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital - NHS University College London Hospitals - NHS UCL Institute of Biomedical Engineering NPIMR