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10 Questions

By ucqncca, on 27 May 2015

In this monthly feature, the Institute of Biomedical Engineering (IBME) interviews our researchers, academics, students, clinicians, affiliates and partners to find out a little more about who they are and what they do.

This month we interviewed Professor Allen Goodship, retired as the Director of Institute of Orthopaedics in 2011 and currently part-time Professorial Research Associate in Medical Physics. We asked him 10 questions around his research, career and personal life. Here are his answers….


1) How long have you worked as a Professorial Research Associate?


Allen Goodship

I first joined UCL as a joint appointment with Royal Veterinary College in 1996. Then was appointed as Director of UCL Institute of Orthopaedics and Musculoskeletal Science in 2000 up to retirement in 2011. I returned in 2012 to the part-time Professorial Research Associate position, enabling me to progress research with minimal administrative duties! Just like being a post doc again!

2) What keywords would you pick to describe your work?

Exciting; interesting; intriguing; challenging, with a touch of frustration.

3) What brought you to the world of science/engineering/medical technologies/medicine?

A long standing fascination of form/function interactions in biological systems in general and the adaptive self-optimisation of skeletal architecture in particular.

4) What is your favourite thing about your work?

The constant challenge in addressing exciting, unanswered questions, and the opportunity to meet a wide range of academics around the world, leading to fantastic research collaborations and lifelong personal friendships.  Allen Goodship2

5) What’s been your career highlight?

Probably the unique experience of participating in a project on the MIR space station, where the science was complemented with the opportunity to undertake some experience of microgravity by flying the “vomit comet”!

Also, having the opportunity to contribute in several areas of research leading to new treatment and diagnostic modalities for diseases in both animals and man.

6) What is your favourite quote?

Probably several of “Peter’s Laws”. In particular, number 5: “Do it by the book …… but be the author!”

7) What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?

Look and listen; not always easy to follow!

8) Who has been your greatest mentor and why?

My PhD supervisor – an excellent scientist, fantastic mentor, and lifelong friend. After qualifying as a vet and in my first job in mixed practice, he persuaded me to return to research and academia for which I have no regrets.

On a more personal but “higher” level – my wife Dawn, who has supported me throughout my career.

9) What do you do in your spare time?

Off shore sailing, off road cycling, restoration of vintage motor cycles and more recently, beekeeping – a fascinating hobby, much like academic management, where you think you are in control but actually the bees do exactly as they please! Also, spending time with my grandchildren and family.

10) If you had a superpower, what would it be and why?

Topically, regeneration – to address my increasing interest in aging and to restore normality in disease and degenerative conditions.


Professor Allen Goodship graduated in veterinary science in 1972, his PhD thesis in 1976 related to functional adaptation of bone, both at the University of Bristol.  In 2000 he was appointed as Director of the Institute of Orthopaedics and Muscloskeletal Science at UCL and held this position up to retirement in 2011. He returned part time as a Professorial Research Associate at UCL in 2012; in 2015 he transferred to the Department of Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering.



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