Thomas Willett, PhD, PEng (He/Him)

Thomas Willett, PhD, PEng
Associate Professor
Location: E7 6438
Phone: 519-888-4567 x48405
Status: Active

Biography

Professor Willett’s research interests concern the mechanics and engineering of skeletal biomaterials and tissues. He specializes in:
1) Bone Tissue Mechanics - 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-inspired materials for skeletal reconstruction –

Research Interests

  • Mechanics of Biomedical and Biological Materials
  • Bone Mechanics, especially Fracture Mechanics
  • Bone Quality and Fragility
  • Biomaterials & Tissue Engineering
  • Additive Manufacturing/3D Printing
  • Mechanical testing
  • Fracture mechanics
  • Collagen

Education

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

Awards

  • 2019 Outstanding Performance Award, Faculty of Engineering, University of Waterloo
  • 2016 Distinguished Performance Award, Faculty of Engineering, University of Waterloo

Professional Associations

  • President (Elect, Current, Past), Canadian Biomaterials Society, 2020-2023
  • Treasurer, Canadian Biomaterials Society, 2022 -
  • Conference Chair, 36th Annual Meeting of the Canadian Biomaterials Society, 2021

Teaching*

  • BME 182 - Physics II - Dynamics
    • Taught in 2018
  • BME 355 - Anatomical Systems Modelling
    • Taught in 2019
  • BME 401 - Seminar
    • Taught in 2020, 2021
  • BME 402 - Seminar
    • Taught in 2019, 2021, 2022
  • BME 461 - Biomedical Engineering Design Workshop 2
    • Taught in 2020, 2021
  • BME 462 - Biomedical Engineering Design Workshop 3
    • Taught in 2019, 2021, 2022
  • BME 488 - Special Topics in Biomechanics
    • Taught in 2020, 2021
  • BME 588 - Special Topics in Biomechanics
    • Taught in 2021
  • SYDE 182 - Physics 2 (Dynamics)
    • Taught in 2018
  • SYDE 740 - Selected Topics in Human Systems
    • Taught in 2018
  • SYDE 780 - Selected Topics in Engineering Sciences
    • Taught in 2019, 2020, 2021

* Only courses taught in the past 5 years are displayed.

Selected/Recent Publications

  • Mondal, D; Diederichs, E; Willett, TL (2022), Enhanced Mechanical Properties of 3D Printed Nanocomposites Composed of Functionalized Plant-Derived Biopolymers and Calcium-Deficient Hydroxyapatite Nanoparticles, Frontiers in Materials, Volume 9, 833065.
  • Mondal, D; Willett, TL (2022), Enhanced Mechanical Performance of mSLA-Printed Biopolymer Nanocomposites Due to Phase Functionalization, Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials, Volume 135, 105450.
  • Iranmanesh, F; Willett, TL (2022), A Linear Systems Model of the Hydrothermal Isometric Tension Test for Assessing Collagenous Tissue Quality, Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials, Volume 125, 104916.
  • Dapaah, D; Montesano, J; Willett, TL (2022), The importance of rate-dependent effects in modelling the micro-damage process zone in cortical bone fracture, Engineering Fracture Mechanics, Volume 264, 108351.
  • Dapaah, D; Martel, D; Laing, A; Willett, TL (2022), The impact of fall-related loading rate on the formation of micro-damage in human cortical bone fracture, Journal of Biomechanics, Volume 142, 111254.
  • Seelemann, C; Willett, TL (2022), Empirical Evidence That Bone Collagen Molecules Denature as a Result of Bone Fracture, Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials, Volume 131, 105220.
  • Willett, TL; Voziyan, P; Nyman, JS (2022), Causative or Associative: A Critical Review of the Role of Advanced Glycation End-products in Bone Fragility, Bone - Special Issue on “AGEs in Bone”, Volume 2022, 116485.
  • Hashemi, S; Mondal, D; Montesano, J; Willett, TL (2022), Effects of Biopolymer Functionalization and Nanohydroxyapatite Heat Treatment on the Tensile and Thermomechanical Properties of Bone-Inspired 3D Printable Nanocomposite Biomaterials, Materials & Design, Volume 2023, 111587.
  • Dapaah, D; Willett, TL (2022), A critical evaluation of cortical bone fracture toughness testing methods, Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials, Volume 134, 105419.
  • Willett, TL; Dapaah, D; Tupy, J; Uppuganti, S; Nyman, J, N-ε-(Carboxymethyl)Lysine Correlates With The Degradation of Human Cortical Bone Fracture Resistance, Orthopaedic Research Society, Tampa, 2022.
  • Martel, D; Dapaah, D*; Winberg, T; Willett, TL; Laing, AC, Collagen-Based Contributions to Femoral Strength in Fall-Related Hip Fractures, North American Congress on Biomechanics, Ottawa, 2022.
  • Dapaah, D*; Willett, TL, A Critical Evaluation of Cortical Bone Fracture Toughness Testing Methods, North American Congress on Biomechanics, Ottawa, 2022.
  • Seelemann, C*; Willett, TL, Mechanical Uncoiling of Collagen as a Toughening Mechanism of Cortical Bone, North American Congress on Biomechanics, Ottawa, 2022.
  • Willett, TL, 3D Printing of Nanocomposite Biomaterials for Bone Reconstruction, Canadian Orthopaedic Research Society, Quebec City, 2022.
  • Comeau, P*; Willett, TL (2021), A Carbodiimide Coupling Approach for PEGylating GelMA and Further Tuning GelMA and GelMA-nHA Composite Properties, Macromolecular Materials and Engineering, Volume 306, Issue 2, 2000604.
  • Mondal, D*; Srinivasan, A; Comeau, P*; Toh, Y-C; Willett, TL (2021), Acrylated Epoxidized Soybean Oil /Hydroxyapatite-Based Nanocomposite Scaffolds Prepared by Additive Manufacturingfor Bone Tissue Engineering, Materials Science and Engineering - Part C: Materials for Biological Applications, Volume 118, 111400.
  • Mondal, D.*; Haghpanah, Z.*; Huxman, C.J.*; Tanter, S.*; Sun, D.; Gorbet, M.; Willett, T.L. (2021), mSLA-based 3D Printing of Acrylated EpoxidizedSoybean Oil / Nano-Hydroxyapatite Composites for Bone Repair, Mater Sci Eng C Mater Biol Appl, Volume 130, 112456.
  • Willett, TL, 3D Printable Biopolymer Nanocomposite Biomaterials for Bone Reconstruction, International Materials Research Congress, 2021.
  • Mondal, D; Willett, TL (2020), Mechanical properties of nanocomposites improved by extrusion during direct ink writing, Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials, Volume 104, 103653.
  • Comeau, P; Willett, TL (2020), Triethyleneglycol dimethacrylate addition improves the 3D-printability and construct properties of a GelMA-nHA composite system towards tissue engineering applications, Materials Science and Engineering - Part C: Materials for Biological Applications, Volume 112, 110937.
  • Dapaah, D; Badaoui, R; Bahmani, A; Montesano, J; Willett, TL (2020), Modelling the micro-damage process zone during cortical bone fracture, Engineering Fracture Mechanics, Volume 24, 106811.
  • Rizwan, M; Chan, S; Comeau, P; Willett, T; Yim, E (2020), Effect of sterilization treatment on mechanical properties, biodegradation, bioactivity and printability of GelMA hydrogels, Biomedical Materials (IOP), Volume 15, Issue 6, 065017.
  • Mondal, D; Srinivasan, A; Toh, YC; Comeau, P; Willett, TL, Acrylated Epoxidized Soybean Oil and Hydroxyapatite- Based Nanocomposite Scaffolds for Bone Tissue Engineering, World Biomaterials Congress, 2020.
  • MacGregor, C; Roufail, R; Gorbet, M; Mercer, K; Howcroft, J; Ivkovic, I; Borland, MJ; Willett, TL, Shifting Student Perception of Engineering Communication: Engineering Design is Communication, Canadian Engineering Education Association, Montreal, 2020.
  • Comeau, P*; Willett, TL, Triethylene Glycol Dimethacrylate in a Methacrylated Gelatin-based Composite Ink Improves 3D-Printability, World Biomaterials Congress, 2020.
  • Ivkovic, I; Howcroft, J; Borland, MJ; MacGregor, C; Roufail, R; Willett, TL, Design Days Boot Camp 3.0: Evolutionary Framework to Improve Student Experience and Introduction of a Software Design Activity, Canadian Engineering Education Association, Montreal, 2020.
  • Haghpanah, Z; Mondal, D; Gorbet, M; Willett, TL, Osteoblast adhesion and proliferation on Acrylated Epoxidized Soybean Oil and Hydroxyapatite-Based 3D-printed Nanocomposites, World Biomaterials Congress, Glasgow, 2020.
  • Comeau, P; Willett, TL, Development of a novel tough, strong, and biocompatible gelatin-based nanocomposite system towards tissue engineering applications, World Congress of Biomaterials, Glasgow, 2020.
  • Mondal, D; Willett, TL, Extrusion Increases the Mechanical Properties of 3D-Printable Nanocomposite Biomaterials, World Biomaterials Congress, Glasgow, 2020.

Graduate Studies