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 a Professor of Physiotherapy at Charles Sturt University, an Honorary Adjunct Professor at Bond University and co-leads the Tactical Research Unit headquartered at Bond University. Rod provided clinical physiotherapy, rehabilitation, and injury prevention services at the Australian Army Recruit Training Centre for 10 years before establishing and leading the Australian Defence Injury Prevention Program 2000-2006, at the request of the Defence Health Service Branch. In this role, he worked closely with Defence health staff, commanders and senior Physical Training  Instructors to address injury risks for ADF personnel and optimize physical aspects of training practices. As part of this work and more recently in his university roles and work with the Tactical Research Unit, Rod has conducted and supervised wide ranging research and consultancy projects on preventing injuries and enhancing performance during physical activity in numerous tactical training and operational contexts.

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.

Key collaborating researchers & advisors

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 Scott Gayton (PhD) served for over 20 years in the Australian Regular Army. His roles and experience include being a former infantry sniper, reconnaissance operator and physical training instructor. In more recent years he fulfilled the role of an Army psychologist, where he served as psychologist for the Australian Special Forces where he was heavily involved in complex training design and the clinical care of operators, and he deployed on numerous overseas operations to the Middle East. Scott completed his PhD in the area of mission-critical teams, specifically looking at character, leadership and performance, and he continues research collaboration with the Tactical Research Unit.

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.

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.

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.

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. Robert Lockie is an Assistant Professor in Strength and Conditioning at California State University, Fullerton, in the USA. He completed his PhD at University of Technology, Sydney in Australia, and he is also an accredited Tactical Strength and Conditioning Facilitator. He has previously worked at the University of Newcastle in Australia as a lecturer in Biomechanics, and an Assistant Professor in Biomechanics and Strength and Conditioning at California State University, Northridge, before shifting to his current position at Fullerton. Dr. Lockie is has a variety of research interests, including: linear speed, change-of-direction speed, and agility; strength and power training; and performance analysis of different sports. His current research involves the analysis of law enforcement and tactical populations, including performance assessment, health screening, and training monitoring for recruits and custody/correctional populations.

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).

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.

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