Bond University lead researchers

Dr Rob Orr served for over 20 years in the Australian Regular Army as an Infantry soldier, Physical Training Instructor, Physiotherapist and Human Performance Officer across a variety of units from training institutions to operational units and special operations command. Still serving in the Army Reserve, Rob took up an appointment at Bond University in 2012. The majority of his teaching is on maximising human potential while his research and consultancy focus on the tactical strength and conditioning of military personnel, police officers and firefighter / first responders, from initial trainees to elite specialists. Rob is the current editor of the National Strength and Conditioning Association’s Tactical Strength and Conditioning Report and Co-Chair of Tactical Strength and Conditioning – Australia. Well published, Rob is regularly invited to present his research on tactical populations both nationally and internationally.

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Dr Rod Pope is currently Associate Professor of Physiotherapy at Bond University. Rod provided clinical physiotherapy, rehabilitation and injury prevention services at the Australian Army Recruit Training Centre 1990-2000 before establishing and leading the Australian Defence Injury Prevention Program 2000-2006, at the request of the Defence Health Services Branch. In this role he worked closely with military health and safety staff and commanders, and with senior military Physical Training Instructors to implement systems to monitor and mitigate risks of injury in military personnel and to optimise physical training practices and physical performance. As part of this work and more recently in his subsequent University roles, Rod has conducted and supervised wide-ranging research and consultancy projects on preventing injuries and enhancing performance in wide-ranging tactical training and operational contexts. In recent years, he has supervised to successful completion the doctoral-level tactical research of two Army officers and one Defence civilian, and with Dr Rob Orr he is currently supervising the tactical research of two police officers as they each undertake higher degrees by research.

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Key collaborating researchers & advisors

Dr Joseph Knapik is a research physiologist with over 40 years of experience in military physiology and epidemiology.  He has extensive operational and research experience with over 250 publications on issues relating to physical fitness, physical training, load carriage, nutrition, and injuries. In the US Army he served as an enlisted wheel vehicle mechanic and medic before commissioning as a Medical Service Corps officer. He retired from the US Army in 1992 and continued in military research in US civil service from which he retired in 2011. He is currently serving as an ORISE Knowledge Preservation Fellow at both the US Army Institute of Public Health and US Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine. 

Dr Jay Dawes is an Assistant Professor of Strength and Conditioning at the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs. Jay has worked as a strength/performance coach, personal trainer, educator and post-rehabilitation specialist for over 15 years, and continues to act as a performance consultant for law enforcement officers, a wide-variety of athletes, and those in physically demanding occupations. He is certified by the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA), the American College of Sports Medicine, and the Australian Strength and Conditioning Association as a Level 2 S &C coach. Jay’s dedication and work led to recognition as a Fellow of the NSCA (FNSCA) in 2009. With multiple publications in law enforcement, Jay’s work has spanned from the initial officer recruit to Special Weapons and Tactics Teams.

Dr Katie Sell is an Associate Professor in the Department of Health Professions at Hofstra University, where she coordinates the undergraduate Exercise Science program. She currently teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in exercise physiology, physical fitness assessment, and the interpretation of research. Her primary research interests lie in the area of physical fitness assessment in wildland firefighters and collegiate student-athletes. She is currently on the NSCA Tactical Strength and Conditioning SIG Executive Council which focuses on disseminating information on physical training for tactical athletes (military, firefighters, law enforcement and emergency first responders).

Dr Adam McKinnon is an organisational psychologist currently working for Sirota Consulting in the U.K. He is a former military psychologist for the Australian Regular Army and previous Australian Secretary of Defence Scholar. He has undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in psychology, Information Technology, and his Ph.D. specialised in the optimisation of injury surveillance systems in civilian and military populations. Adam has previously worked in support of the Australian Defence Injury Prevention Program, and has more recently consulted to the Australian Department of Defence on manual handling injuries (e.g. military working dog handlers, load carriage among soldiers, RSI among call centre staff, etc.), the integration of Australia’s Work Health and Safety Legislation in capability development, and policy development related to the ongoing prevention of injury in the Australian Department of Defence.

Dr Anthony Walker is a thermal physiologist, specialising in the management of tactical operators working in hot environments. With over 10 years operational experience as a professional urban firefighter, Dr Walker brings both a theoretical and practical understanding of the safety and performance issues in tactical operators tasked with working in the heat. His doctoral thesis was titled "maximising the safety and performance of Australian urban firefighters working in the heat" from which numerous publications and international conference presentations have come. In addition to his work in the field, Dr Walker remains engaged in the research space, with particular focus on continuing to develop work practices that maximise the safety of all tactical operators working in the heat and he provides technical advice and support to key agencies in Australia and abroad

Major Scott Gayton (PhD) is a uniformed psychologist in the Australian Regular Army. His extensive military experience of over 20 years includes being a former Infantry sniper and reconnaissance operator, and spent over 10 years as an ADF Physical Training Instructor within the Regular Australian Army and Special Forces. He has completed numerous overseas operations throughout the Middle East and around the world. His key area of research is in Mission Critical Teams and has worked extensively with elite NRL and AFL teams, NSW Helicopter Paramedics, was the former psychologist for the Australian Special Forces and is an assistant researcher with Bond University’s Tactical Research Unit. Scott has a growing list of publications and recently completed his PhD which investigated ‘Character, Leadership and Performance of Australian Army Personnel.

Senior Sergeant Shane Irving joined the Australian Federal Police (AFP) in 2005.His previous Specialist Policing service was with the Queensland Police, where he was a member of the Specialist Emergency Response Team (SERT). Awarded the Student of Merit on his Police Tactical Group course, Shane has been involved in many domestic operational tasks, including the Sydney 2000 Olympics and Commonwealth Heads of Government Meetings, G20 summit. Shane has also been a defence member completing the Australian Special Forces Training Centre, Special Operations Planning Course - one of only a handful of sworn Police Tactical Group members to ever successfully complete the selection and assessment program. Currently serving as the Officer In Charge of the Specialise Response Group Extended Capabilities Team, Shane has commenced a higher degree research project with Bond Tactical Research unit.

SGT Mick Stierli is a Health and Fitness officer, Physical Training Instructor (PTI) Coordinator and Weapons and Defensive Tactics Instructor with the New South Wales Police Force, Australia. Initiating the creation of the Police Force’s PTI program, Mick was responsible for the design, development, and implementation of the program and was/is actively involved in the curriculum development, training delivery and mentoring of PTI’s across the state. Concurrent to his employment in the Police Force, Mick maintains extensive engagement with elite athletes and is a member of the Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs High Performance Unit in the National Rugby League (NRL) Competition. Mick is a frequently sought after presenter both in Australia and internationally, on topics such as human performance and Tactical Strength and Conditioning. He is an associate editor for the NSCA’s TSAC Journal and is the education coordinator and international liaison for the Australian Strength and Conditioning Association (ASCA) TSAC-A program.

Inspector Richard Gorey is a 25 year career firefighter having served 10 years as a line firefighter, 12 years as a Station Officer and the last 3 years as a Senior Officer. As a vocal advocate for firefighter wellness in his department, Richard‘s research interests focus on improving firefighter safety, wellbeing and resilience and performance in frontline delivery. Richard has extensive operational experience in structural and wildland firefighting, technical rescue and live fire training as an instructor. In addition to his career in fire, Richard has 23 years as a Reserve Diver in the RANR attached to Dive Team 8 in Brisbane.

Mick Roscoe has over forty-two years experience in military and police special operations teams and has performed active service in Northern Ireland and Iraq. He has been involved in operations and training in South Australia, Queensland, Iraq and in the Asia-Pacific region. Mick conducts scientifically validated training programs, which includes on-going research into human performance issues relating to critical, life-threatening incidents. Mick’s focus is to understand human functioning under stress and how this impacts operational capabilities (threat analysis) and ultimately use of force decisions.

Mick’s current doctoral thesis examines how attention, perception and memory perform in high-stress situations with insight into improving the ability of police subjected to critical incident stress, including their debriefing. Mick’s position within the tactical community has provided him with unique personal experiences and access to highly trained operators who participate in his research. He has designed specialised scenario training programs specifically Stimulus Response Training (SRT) and Adrenaline Stress Conditioning (ASC) that prepare officers for realistic and anticipated dangers. Mick has shooting qualifications obtained in the USA from liaisons with the FBI’s Hostage Rescue Team, including combined training with US Army and US Navy Special Forces at the Mid-South Institute of Self Defence Shooting instructed by world champion shooter John Shaw.

Mick has given expert evidence in the Brisbane Coroner’s Court in regard to use of force matters following a police involved shooting. He has also assisted the Crown Solicitor’s Office of New South Wales in regard to investigations of police use of force through civil litigation.

Since 2007 Mick has been working with the AFP as a tactical operator and trainer in the Operations Response Group. He is currently on assignment in the Solomon Islands (RAMSI) training the Royal Solomon Islands Police Response Team.

Dr Ben Schram previously completed a Bachelor of Exercise Science degree and spent many years working in fitness centres as an exercise physiologist/strength and conditioning coach. He subsequently completed a Doctor of Physiotherapy in 2012 and more recently has submitted his doctoral thesis. He has had military experience in Officer training with the Army Reserve and has been extensively involved in research projects both with the military and federal police.

Professor Wayne Hing is the Head of Physiotherapy at Bond University and an experienced physiotherapy practitioner and researcher. Wayne has over 20 years of research experience, and has supervised over 60 HDR students to completion. He has expertise in research supervision and research methodology and is currently involved in sports and musculoskeletal physiotherapy research, as well as a wide range of other applied research. He has published over 80 peer reviewed journal articles and written 2 books.