Dr. Darwin Gouwanda

Senior Lecturer
School of Engineering

+603 5514 5655
Room 5-5-18

Personal statement

Darwin Gouwanda graduated from Monash University with Bachelor degree in Mechatronics Engineering and PhD in Biomedical Engineering. Currently, he is a senior lecturer at School of Engineering (Mechanical engineering discipline), Monash University Malaysia. He is also the team advisor for Shell Eco-marathon Asia student competition. Since its inception, the team has won several awards, including winner in GTL prototype category in 2014 and winner in CNG prototype category in 2016. His primary research interest is in the study of human motion in sports and activities of daily living using wireless wearable devices and in the design of rehabilitative and assistive devices. He is an active member of IEEE EMBS (Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society) Malaysia and has been holding several positions: vice chair in 2015, secretary in 2016 till present. He is also the technical program chair for IEEE IECBES conference, which is a biennially event organised by IEEE EMBS Malaysia.

Academic degrees

  • Doctor of Philosophy in Engineering, Monash University Malaysia, 2011
  • Degree in Mechatronics Engineering (Hons), Monash University Malaysia, 2006

Professional affiliations

Member of National Professional Bodies

  • Board of Engineers Malaysia, Graduate Engineer

Member of International Professional Bodies

  • Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE), Chartered Engineer
  • Institution of Electrical and Electronics (IEEE), Member

Research Interests

Human motion is a combination of complex tasks executed by the neural system, proprioceptors, and musculoskeletal system. Even though an activity such as reaching and grasping a cup of water may seem trivial to the most of us, it requires the activation of our senses to perceive the location of the cup and the coordination of our hand and arm, and proprioceptors to reach, sense, and grasp the cup firmly; making sure the water does not spill. My research involves the understanding of human motion complex from an engineering perspective using wireless wearable devices and designing assistive and rehabilitative devices to better coordinate human limbs in performing activities of daily living. Existing research projects include:

1. Determination of human gait spatio-temporal parameters using wireless inertial measurement unit (IMU)

2. Investigating the coordination of human lower extremity in asymmetrical gait.

3. Design and development of ankle rehabilitation robot 4. Development of hand and arm assistive robotic device

Research Projects

Title: Determination of human gait spatio-temporal parameters using wireless inertial measurement unit (IMU)

This project utilizes wireless IMU and computational methods, including artificial intelligence to extract crucial spatial and temporal parameters of human gait during walking and running. These parameters are important in clinical and rehabilitation settings as they allow medical practitioners to evaluate patient’s condition and his/her recovery. In sports, running stride time, stride length, running speed and other relevant kinematic parameters can be used to evaluate athletes’ running behavior and subsequently asses their performances during training and competition.

Title: Design of ankle rehabilitation robot using shape memory alloy (SMA) wire actuator

Depending on the severity, post-stroke patients can lose the ability to move their foot voluntarily. Rehabilitation routines for these patients are generally labor-intensive, require frequent visits to medical or rehabilitation centers, and constant guidance from clinician or physiotherapist.Integrating human and robotic technology into a single system will offer great opportunities for creating a new generation of assistive/rehabilitative technology for post-stroke patients. This project aims to design an innovative actuator is compact, light, and compliant, utilising the high power-to-weight ratio property of the SMA wire. This actuator is then used as the main driver of the ankle rehabilitation robot.


Units taught

MEC2401 - Dynamics I

MEC2407 - Electromechanics

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Local grants

  • Energetic Cost and Compromise in Human Locomotion – Investigating the Underlying Musculoskeletal Behavior of Asymmetrical Gait, Darwin Gouwanda, Alpha A. Gopalai, Tan Chee Pin, Chong Yu Zheng, 2016 - 2019, Malaysia Ministry of Higher Education, RM101,000
  • Design and Development of a Novel Ankle Rehabilitation Robot using Shape Memory Alloy Actuator, Darwin Gouwanda, Ng Kok Yew, Alpha A. Gopalai, S. Parasuraman, Khoo Boon How, Low Cheng Yee, Fazah A Hanapiah, 2015 - 2018, Malaysia Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, RM168,000
  • Biomechanics of Sprint Start, Darwin Gouwanda, 2014, Malaysia National Sports Institute, RM25,000
  • Kinematic/Kinetic Analysis Foot and Ankle Motion using Wireless Inertial Sensors Networks for Real-time Intelligent Gait Abnormalities Identification, Darwin Gouwanda, Alpha A. Gopalai, S. Parasuraman, Chong Yu Zheng, Khoo Boon How, 2012 - 2014, Malaysia Ministry of Higher Education, RM80,000

Current supervision

Chong Tune Hau

Design of Compliant Ankle Rehabilitation Robot using Shape Memory Alloy Wire Actuator

2015 - Present

Monash University Malaysia

Yap Yi Ting

Energetic Cost and Compromise in Human Locomotion - Musculoskeletal Behaviour in Asymmetrical Gait

2017 - Present I

Monash University Malaysia

Talha Shahid

Design and fabrication of assistive robotic device for various gripping and grasping methods

2017 - Present

Monash University Malaysia

Completed supervision

Chong Poh Shin

Portal Axle on Off-road Vehicles: Effects on Drive Shaft Strength and Passengers Ride Comfort

2013 - 2015

Monash University Malaysia

Local Award/Recognition/Exhibition/Stewardship

  • Best Paper Award at 2nd Colloquium on Process Control - Curtin University, Malaysia, 2015
  • Monash University Malaysia PVC Award of Excellence in Research - Monash University Malaysia, 2012

International Award/Recognition/Exhibition/Stewardship

  • Monash University Dean Award for Programs that Enhance Learning - Monash University, 2016
  • Best Paper Award in Biomedical Engineering at IEEE TENCON 2015 - IEEE, 2015
  • ASEAN Virtual Instrumentation Applications Contest (Winner in ‘Best innovation in wireless technology application’) - National Instrument, 2010