Assistant Professor

Contact InformationThomas Willett

Phone: 519-888-4567 x48405
Location: E7 6438


Biography Summary

Professor Willett’s research interests concern the applied mechanics and engineering of skeletal biomaterials and tissues. He specializes in:

1) Bone quality and fragility - developing improved understanding of the mechanisms that determine the mechanical behaviour and failure of bone and how collagen modifications due to ageing, disease, irradiation, and other causes alter these mechanisms and the mechanical behaviour of the tissue.

2) Engineering of bone mimetic materials for skeletal reconstruction – by leveraging the exciting and rapidly advancing fields of additive manufacturing/3D Printing, biomineralization, and mechanics of multi-scale biological and biomimetic composites, researchers seek to gain improved understanding of the materials science and mechanics of these exceptional materials and to develop disruptive new technologies for application in skeletal reconstruction and repair (orthopaedics), particularly graft materials for treating large skeletal defects caused by trauma, cancer, etc.

Research Interests

  • Mechanics of Biomaterials and Tissues
  • Bone
  • Biomechanics
  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Bone Quality and Fragility
  • Additive Manufacturing
  • Orthopaedics/Orthopedics
  • Mechanical testing
  • Fracture mechanics
  • Collagen
  • Tissue Engineering


  • 2008, Doctorate, Biomedical Engineering, Dalhousie University
  • 2003, Master's, Mechanical Engineering, Queen's University
  • 2001, Bachelor's, Mechanical Engineering, Queen's University


  • BME 161 - Introduction to Biomedical Design
    • Taught in 2015, 2016, 2017
  • SYDE 161 - Introduction to Design
    • Taught in 2015
  • SYDE 182 - Physics 2 (Dynamics)
    • Taught in 2017, 2018
  • BME 182 - Physics II - Dynamics
    • Taught in 2017, 2018
  • SYDE 740 - Selected Topics in Human Systems
    • Taught in 2017, 2018
  • BME 355 - Anatomical Systems Modelling
    • Taught in 2019
  • BME 402 - Seminar
    • Taught in 2019
  • BME 462 - Biomedical Engineering Design Workshop 3
    • Taught in 2019
  • SYDE 780 - Selected Topics in Engineering Sciences
    • Taught in 2019
* Only courses taught in the past 5 years are displayed.

Selected/Recent Publications

  • Bahmani, Aram and Comeau, Patricia A and Montesano, John and Willett, Thomas L, Extrudable hydroxyapatite/plant oil-based biopolymer nanocomposites for biomedical applications: Mechanical testing and modeling, Materials & Design, 2019
  • Comeau, Patricia and Willett, Thomas, Printability of Methacrylated Gelatin upon Inclusion of a Chloride Salt and Hydroxyapatite Nano-Particles, Macromolecular Materials and Engineering, 2019
  • Willett, Thomas L and Dapaah, Daniel Y and Uppuganti, Sasidhar and Granke, Mathilde and Nyman, Jeffry S, Bone collagen network integrity and transverse fracture toughness of human cortical bone, Bone, 120, 2019, 187 - 193
  • Bahmani, Aram and Li, Geng and Willett, Thomas L and Montesano, John, Generating realistic representative microstructure of biomimetic composite materials for computational assessment of mechanical properties, Materials Today: Proceedings, 7, 2019, 373 - 381
  • Dapaah, Daniel and Bahmani, Aram and Montesano, John and Willett, Thomas L, A Continuum Damage Mechanics Model Of The Microdamage Process Zone During Cortical Bone Fracture, Materials Today: Proceedings, 7, 2019, 402 - 409
  • Attia, Tarik and Grynpas, Marc and Willett, Thomas L, Ribose pre-treatment can protect the fatigue life of γ-irradiation sterilized bone, Cell Tissue Banking, 1 - 9
  • Willett, Thomas and Josey, David and Lu, Rick Xing Ze and Minhas, Gagan and Montesano, John, The micro-damage process zone during transverse cortical bone fracture: No ears at crack growth initiation, Journal of the mechanical behavior of biomedical materials, 74, 2017, 371 - 382
  • Woodside, Mitchell and Willett, Thomas L, Elastic--plastic fracture toughness and rising JR-curve behavior of cortical bone is partially protected from irradiation--sterilization-induced degradation by ribose protectant, Journal of the mechanical behavior of biomedical materials, 64, 2016, 53 - 64