Professor
Biomedical Sciences
Telephone: (01792) 295058
Room: Office - 210
Second Floor
Institute of Life Science 2
Singleton Campus

Karl's research interests include the development of advanced rheological techniques for the characterisation of the structure and mechanical properties of biopolymer gelling systems including gelatin, collagen, fibrin and blood.  He is author of over 60 publications in international peer reviewed journals in the fields of fluid mechanics, medical devices and haematology. His research has been funded by EPSRC, NISCHR, British Council, industrial companies and an RCUK fellowship. He is a Co-Investigator of several EPSRC grants (including the current Platform Grant in Engineering Blood Diagnostics) with a total value in excess of £6M and is the Principal Investigator of an EPSRC first grant award that is aiding the development of novel haemorheometrical techniques for the measurement of blood coagulation and subsequent breakdown.

Areas of Expertise

  • Rheometry
  • Haemorheology
  • Biopolymer gels

Publications

  1. Williams, R, Williams, P, Al-Hussany, A, Hawkins, K, Ravji, S, Jones, R An assessment of dispersion-induced errors in shear wave propagation measurements in critical gel and pre-gel point fluids1124
  2. Evans, P, Hawkins, K, Williams, P, Williams, R Rheometrical detection of incipient blood clot formation by Fourier transform mechanical spectroscopyJournal of Non-Newtonian Fluid Mechanics1481-3122126
  3. Hawkins, K, Thornton, C The Evaluation of Leukocytes in Response to the In Vitro Testing of Ventricular Assist DevicesArtificial Organsn/an/a
  4. Hawkins, K, Thornton, C, Friedmann, Y, Pieper, I The CentriMag Centrifugal Blood Pump as a Benchmark for In Vitro Testing of Hemocompatibility in Implantable Ventricular Assist DevicesArtificial Organs39293101
  5. Hawkins, K, Thornton, C, Kanamarlapudi, V, Friedmann, Y, Pieper, I The Effect of Shear Stress on the Size, Structure, and Function of Human von Willebrand FactorArtificial Organs389741750
  6. Williams, R, Barrow, M, Hawkins, K, Brown, R, Deganello, D, Curtis, D Validation of Optimal Fourier Rheometry for rapidly gelling materials and its application in the study of Collagen gelationJournal of non-Newtonian Fluid Mechanics
  7. Williams, R, Hawkins, K, Brown, R, Lawrence, M, Deganello, D, Curtis, D, Evans, A Assessment of the stress relaxation characteristics of critical gels formed under unidirectional shear flow by controlled stress parallel superposition rheometryJournal of Non-Newtonian Fluid Mechanics222227233
  8. Williams, R, Hawkins, K, Brown, R, Lawrence, M, Curtis, D, Evans, A Effects of unidirectional flow shear stresses on the formation, fractal microstructure and rigidity of incipient whole blood clots and fibrin gelsClinical Hemorheology and Microcirculation604451464
  9. Hawkins, K, Curtis, D Incipient fibrin gel microstructure as an indication of maturing clot growth processesJournal Series on Biomechanics25184189
  10. Williams, R, Hawkins, K, Lawrence, M, Evans, A, Davies, G The Role of Whole Blood Impedance Aggregometry and Its Utilisation in the Diagnosis and Prognosis of Patients with Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome and Sepsis in Acute Critical IllnessPLoS ONE99e108589

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Teaching

  • PM-230 Selected Medical Diagnostic Techniques

    This module looks at the design and operation of a wide range of instrumentation used to make measurements for diagnostic and monitoring of health and disease. The emphasis is on the underlying electrical, mechanical, chemical, optical and other engineering principles together with the advantages and limitations of techniques.

  • PM-M28 Nano(geno)toxicology

    The field of nanotechnology is ever increasing in size, and the number of nano-sized (1-100nm) particles being produced on a daily basis is at the tonnage level. Although nanotechnology-based applications are considered to be advantageous for a plethora of human activities, the potential risks posed by human exposure to nanoparticles is a constantly developing field of research. The purpose of this module therefore is to introduce to the student to particle toxicology and how it can impact upon human health. Further to this, the students will undertake a specific practical component to complement that of the theoretical content of the module. To this extent, the students will undertake a week-long, 'mini-project', covering the major areas of nanoparticle toxicology. From this approach, it is intended that the student will experience the key points of the field.

  • PMND00 Nanomedicine Research Dissertation

    This module builds on the knowledge and skills developed in teaching components in part one of their relevant programme. Students will work independently in order to critically explore and add to the evidence base for a topic of relevance to their area of study within nanomedicine.

  • PMNM02 Diagnostics and Imaging

    Nanotechnology may lead to more rapid diagnostic tests, implantable devices, point of care instruments and improved medical imaging. This module will explore the application of nanotechnology to various medical techniques, focussing on novel research devices, pre-clinical tools and emerging technology within hospitals.

  • PMNM07 Diagnostics and Imaging

    Nanotechnology may lead to more rapid diagnostic tests, implantable devices, point of care instruments and improved medical imaging. This module will explore the application of nanotechnology to various medical techniques, focussing on novel research devices, pre-clinical tools and emerging technology within hospitals.

  • PMZM13 Diagnostics and Imaging

    Nanotechnology may lead to more rapid diagnostic tests, implantable devices, point of care instruments and improved medical imaging. This module will explore the application of nanotechnology to various medical techniques, focussing on novel research devices, pre-clinical tools and emerging technology within hospitals.

Supervision

  • Targeting Shear-Induced von Willebrand Factor Degradation via ADAMTS13 and Platelet Damage from Ventricular Assistance Devices«br /»«br /»«br /» (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Prof Karl Hawkins
    Other supervisor: Prof Venkat Kanamarlapudi
  • Development of a novel haemo-rheological test and its application in monitoring of thrombolytic therapy (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Prof Adrian Evans
    Other supervisor: Prof Karl Hawkins
  • Rheological Characterisation of Vegetarian Gelling Systems (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr Daniel Curtis
    Other supervisor: Prof Karl Hawkins
  • Analysis of the Effects of Mechanical Heart Pumps on Blood Components (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Prof Karl Hawkins
    Other supervisor: Prof Venkat Kanamarlapudi
  • The fabrication of novel polymer scaffolds for regenerative medicine based on collagen derived from jellyfish. (awarded 2019)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Prof Karl Hawkins
    Other supervisor: Dr Christopher Wright
  • 'Impact of ventricular assist devices on the activity of white blood cells and the implications for device design and testing.' (awarded 2018)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Prof Karl Hawkins
    Other supervisor: Prof Catherine Thornton
  • Large amplitude oscillatory stress studies of fibrin gels and blood clots (awarded 2018)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Prof Adrian Evans
    Other supervisor: Prof Karl Hawkins
  • 'Development of advanced ionisation techniques for mass spectrometry' (awarded 2017)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Prof Karl Hawkins
    Other supervisor: Dr Ruth Godfrey

Administrative Responsibilities

  • Research Theme Lead - Devices

    2016 - Present

  • Programme Director - MSc Nanomedicine

    2014 - 2018

  • Member - Medical School Research Committee

    2016 - Present

  • Member - Medical School Learning and Teaching Committee

    2016 - Present

  • Member - Medical School REF Committee

    2015 - Present

  • Member - Medical School Postgraduate Taught Studies Committee

    2014 - Present

  • Admissions Tutor - MSc Nanomedicine

    2014 - Present

  • Director - Centre for Nanohealth

    2019 - Present

Career History

Start Date End Date Position Held Location
2012 Present Associate Professor Swansea University Medical School
2007 2012 RCUK Fellow Swansea University Medical School
2007 Present Research Fellow ABM University Health Board
2007 2007 Visiting Researcher (British Council RXP) Penn Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, USA
2005 2007 Postdoctoral Research Officer Swansea University College of Engineering