4th International Congress on Soldiers’ Physical Performance 28 November - 1 December 2017
Melbourne Australia
Register here

Keynote Speakers

  • Associate Professor Thor Besier

    Thor is an Associate Professor at the Auckland Bioengineering Institute and has a joint appointment with the Department of Engineering Science at the University of Auckland. He completed his PhD in musculoskeletal biomechanics at The University of Western Australia in 2000 and was a postdoctoral fellow in the Bioengineering Department at Stanford University from 2003 to 2006. Thor established Stanford's Human Performance Laboratory as the Director of Research and was a faculty member in the Department of Orthopaedics at Stanford from 2006 to 2010, before returning home to New Zealand in 2011. View more.

    Thor’s research combines medical imaging with computational modelling to understand mechanisms of musculoskeletal injury and disease. In particular, he is interested in the mechanical aetiology of patellofemoral pain and osteoarthritis and novel technologies to diagnose and treat these disorders. He has published more than 80 scientific articles on these topics and currently receives funding from the NZ Marsden Fund, the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA), the Australian Research Council and the Australian National Health & Medical Research Council.


  • Professor Louise Burke

    Louise is a sports dietitian with over 35 years of experience in the education and counselling of elite athletes. She has been Head of Sports Nutrition at the Australian Institute of Sport since 1990. She was the team dietitian for the Australian Olympic Teams for the 1996-2012 Summer Olympic Games. Louise’s publications include nearly 300 peer-reviewed research papers and book chapters, and the authorship or editorship of several textbooks on sports nutrition. She is on the editorial board of the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism. Louise was a founding member of the Executive of Sports Dietitians Australia and is a Director of the IOC Diploma in Sports Nutrition. She was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia in 2009 for her contribution to sports nutrition. Louise holds a Chair in Sports Nutrition in the Mary MacKillop Institute for Health Research, Australian Catholic University.


  • CPL Mark Donaldson, VC

    We are very pleased to announce that Corporal Mark Donaldson, VC will provide a closing address to delegates at the networking function on the evening of Fri 1 Dec 2017. Corporal Donaldson is an Australian Army soldier from the Special Air Service Regiment and is our first Victoria Cross recipient in 40 years. The Victoria Cross for Australia is awarded for acts of bravery in wartime and is our country's highest military honour. Corporal Donaldson will share his insights and experiences on the importance of human performance in the military context.


  • Professor Maria Fiatarone Singh

    Prof Maria Fiatarone Singh, M.D., FRACP is a geriatrician, board certified in both Internal Medicine and Geriatric Medicine in the USA and Australia, holding the inaugural John Sutton Chair of Exercise and Sport Science in the Faculty of Health Sciences, and Professorship, Sydney Medical School, at the University of Sydney since 1999. Her research, clinical, and teaching career has focused on the integration of medicine, exercise physiology, and nutrition as a means to improve health and quality of life in older adults. She has had continuous substantial NIH funding and NH&MRC funding, with a career total of over $53 million in grant funding. She has published extensively, having authored/edited one book, authored over 190 peer-reviewed journal articles, and 100 peer-reviewed book chapters, position stands, and review articles. View more.

    Her studies have led to a paradigm shift in geriatric practice internationally, with the feasibility resistance training demonstrated and a recognition that sarcopenia is a treatable condition, responsive to anabolic exercise to counteract the catabolism of aging, inactivity, and chronic diseases. Her work has led to dissemination of exercise programs for older adults internationally, via the Fit For Your Life Foundation and other clinical programs she has developed in the USA and Australia.


  • Dr Karl Friedl

    Karl has conducted, directed, and funded military physiology research for over thirty years. Before entering the Army, Karl received his Ph.D. through the Institute of Environmental Stress in the University of California, Santa Barbara. His interest in the limits of performance has spanned a broad range of military problems, where everything in physiology is connected. Current activities center on monitoring technologies that permit studies ”in the wild,” metabolic limits, and neurobiology of performance. He has published over 100 peer reviewed articles, 35 chapters, and numerous technical reports. He has served as chair of numerous NATO and Army panels and committees, and served on program review committees for NASA, NIH, and the Department of Veterans Affairs. He is an associate editor of IEEE Journal of Biomedical and Health Informatics, a Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE), and served as co-chair of the Body Sensor Networks 2016 symposium.


  • Dr Bruce Jones

    Dr. Bruce Jones is a physician epidemiologist who has studied the interrelationships of physical training, fitness and injuries in military populations for over 30 years. He began his career as an Army General Medical Officer, at Ft. Jackson, SC in 1977. In 1980 he joined the staff of the U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine in Natick, MA where he was the Occupation Medicine Division Chief. In 1994 he transitioned to the Army Center for Health Promotion and Preventive Medicine where he became the Director of Epidemiology and Disease Surveillance. He served 21 years on active duty and retired as a Colonel in 1998. He subsequently joined the staff of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention where he managed the Motor Vehicle Injury Prevention Program. View more.

    He returned to the Army as a civilian and is currently the Injury Prevention Division Chief at the Army Public Health Center, APG, MD. He has served as chair or deputy chairman of several DOD work groups including the DOD Injury Surveillance and Prevention Work Group, the Armed Forces Epidemiologic Board Injury Prevention Work Group, and the Military Training Task Force. Under Dr. Jones’s editorship, the work groups published respectively, the Atlas of Injuries in the U.S. Armed Forces (Milit Med, 1999), Injuries in the U.S. Armed Forces (Am J Prev Med, 2000) and A Public Health Approach to Injury Prevention: the U.S. Military Experience (Am J Prev Med, 2010). Dr. Jones is an author of over 140 peer-reviewed publications.


  • Professor Heikki Kyröläinen

    Heikki Kyröläinen, PhD, FACSM, is a Professor in the Department of Biology of Physical Activity, University of Jyväskylä, Finland. He is a founding member of the ICSPP, and he served as Co-Chair for the two first ICSPP congresses in 2005 and 2011 organized in Jyväskylä, Finland, and a member of the scientific committee for the 3rd ICSPP congress. Dr. Kyröläinen has worked about 20 years for the Finnish Defence Forces as a research scientist in developing and testing physical performance among conscripts, reservists and professional soldiers. He has published over 140 peer-reviewed international scientific papers and about 250 chapters in books, abstracts, proceedings, and domestic publications. He is also the Head of the CISM Sport Science Commission.


  • Professor Samuele Marcora

    Professor Samuele Marcora received his Bachelor in Physical Education from the State University of Milan (Italy). After serving in the Italian Army and working as fitness instructor, Professor Marcora studied for an MSc in Human Performance at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse (USA), and for a PhD in Clinical Exercise Physiology at the University of Wales-Bangor (UK). After a successful academic career at Bangor University, Professor Marcora began his post as Director of Research at the University of Kent at the end of 2010. View more.

    His current research combines exercise physiology with motivation psychology and cognitive neuroscience to investigate fatigue and endurance performance. The ultimate goal of this psychobiological research programme is to find new ways to improve performance of endurance athletes, and reduce physical and mental fatigue in a variety of populations. These populations include soldiers, motorbike riders, and patients affected by diseases such as cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, and chronic kidney disease.

    Professor Marcora's previous research includes research into the mechanisms, assessment and treatment of muscle wasting, and applied sports science research (e.g., football training and mountain biking). He had been consultant for the Italian Olympic Committee and MAPEI Sports Service.


  • Professor Romain Meeusen

    Prof Dr Romain Meeusen, (PhD) is head of the Human Physiology Research Group at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. His research interest is focussed on “Exercise and the Brain in Health & Disease” exploring the influence of neurotransmitters on human performance, training, rehabilitation. Recent work is on Thermoregulation, Neurogenesis, Cognition, nutrition in health & disease. He teaches on exercise physiology, training & coaching and sports physiotherapy. Romain published ca 550 articles and book chapters in peer-reviewed journals, 21 books on sport physiotherapy, and gave lectures at more than 900 national and international conferences. View more.

    He is past President of the Belgian Society of Kinesiology, the Belgian Federation of Sports Physiotherapy, and the society of kinesiology Belgium. He is former Board member of the European College of Sport Science ECSS (2000-2013), and of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) (2010-2013). In 2006 he gave the ‘presidents lecture’ at the annual meeting of ACSM. In 2009 he received the Belgian ‘Francqui Chair’ at the Université Libre de Bruxelles on ‘Exercise and the Brain’. He is also holder of two named lecturing chairs at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. He is director of the Human Performance lab of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, where he works with several top athletes, and is scientific advisor of the ‘Lotto Cycling Institute’ (Lotto-Soudal professional cycling team).


  • MAJGEN Kathryn Toohey, AM, CSC

    MAJGEN Toohey was a Signals Corps officer who served in the 2nd Signals Regiment, 7th Signals Regiment (Electronic Warfare), 1st Brigade Headquarters, Headquarters Northern Command and Strategic Operations Division. She also served as an instructor at RMC-A, and as the aide-de-camp to the Governor General. Her operational experience was a 13 month deployment as a troop commander in the Force Communications Unit as part of the United Nations Transitional Authority - Cambodia. View more.

    Since 2001, MAJGEN Toohey has mainly filled acquisition related appointments within the Capability Development Group (CDG) and the Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group (CASG). In CDG she was responsible for progressing several large Army and Joint communications, command and control system projects. In CASG she was Deputy Project Director for the Headquarters Australian Theatre Project. From 2005 to 2007, she was the Project Director for the ADF's satellite communications projects. She was awarded the Conspicuous Service Cross for her performance during this appointment.

    In 2008, MAJGEN Toohey was selected to attend the inaugural Executive Masters in Complex Project Management course which prepares CASG’s future leaders and managers of complex projects. In recognition of her academic results she was awarded the Queensland University of Technology Business Dean's Award for Excellence.

    In 2009, MAJGEN Toohey accompanied her husband on posting to Brussels, Belgium. She worked part-time for CDG as their European Liaison Officer. In this capacity she represented CDG, CASG and Chief Information Officer Group (CIOG) interests at multinational, NATO and EU fora. In 2011, she was posted to Force Development Group as part of a team drafting future Army capability concepts.

    In 2012, MAJGEN Toohey was posted as the Director of the Capability and Technology Management College (CTMC) which provides a Masters level program for mid-ranking officers and public servants, preparing them for capability lifecycle leadership in CDG and CASG. In July 2012, her Director CTMC role was expanded to include administrative command of Australia's Federation Guard, command of the Defence Force Chaplains College and responsibility for the Defence sponsored postgraduate students at UNSW Canberra.

    In July 2013, MAJGEN Toohey was appointed as Director General Integrated Capability Development in CDG. In this appointment she was responsible for a wide variety of Joint projects and for providing specialist integration advice to senior Defence committees. She also chaired the star-ranked steering group that approved tasks for the Rapid Prototyping, Development and Evaluation organisation (a Defence-industry-academia collaboration for innovation). At the end of 2015, MAJGEN Toohey spent 5 months as the Acting Head Capability Systems until the disbandment of CDG, as directed by the First Principles Review.

    In Mar 2016, MAJGEN Toohey took leave from the Army to take up the statutory appointment as the Deputy Electoral Commissioner in the Australian Electoral Commission. In this role she supported the successful delivery of the 2016 federal election. Returning to Army in 2017, MAJGEN Toohey was appointed as Head of Land Capability, responsible to the Chief of Army for cradle-to-grave management of land capability.

    MAJGEN Toohey holds an Executive Masters in Business Administration (Complex Project Management), Masters of Management in Defence Studies, Graduate Diploma in Information Technology and a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering (Honours). She is a graduate of the Australian Joint Command and Staff College (2002). MAJGEN Toohey is married with three school age children. She enjoys running, reading and playing basketball. She is currently a Director on the ACT Basketball Board.


  • MAJGEN Simone Louise Wilkie, AO

    Major General Simone Wilkie was commissioned into the Royal Australian Corps of Signals in 1983. She served as a Lieutenant and Captain in a range of regimental and instructional appointments in Land and Training Commands. Major General Wilkie has significant command experience including Officer Commanding 136 Signal Squadron; Commanding Officer, The Royal Military College - Duntroon; and Commandant of the Army Recruit Training Centre. View more.

    In 1993, Major General Wilkie deployed to Cambodia as the Adjutant of the Force Communications Unit in the United Nations Truce Supervision Organisation. This was followed by further operational service as Assistant Chief of Staff on the Headquarters Multi National Force Iraq (MNF-I) in 2007 and as the Assistant Commander, Joint Task Force 633 in Afghanistan during 2011/12.

    As a senior officer, Major General Wilkie has fulfilled the roles of Director General Training Forces Command; Chief of Staff, Army Headquarters; and after promotion to Major General, Commander Australian Defence College.

    Following the release of the First Principles Review of Defence by Government, Major General Wilkie was appointed to the newly established position of Head Joint Enablers. In this role she is responsible for the delivery of joint enabling support to the Australian Defence Force.

    Major General Wilkie has a Bachelor of Social Science (Human Resource Management), a Graduate Diploma in Telecommunications Systems Management, a Graduate Diploma of Strategic Studies, and a Masters of Defence Studies. She is also a graduate of the Harvard Business School Advanced Management Program. Her personal awards include Officer of the Order of Australia, Commendation for Distinguished Service, and the United States Bronze Star.

    Major General Wilkie is an avid sports follower. She is the Patron of the Australian Defence Force Women's Australian Rules Football Association; Patron of the Australian Defence Force Hockey Association and Chair of the Australian Defence Force Sports Council. In 2015, she was appointed as a Commissioner of the Australian Football League – the governing body of the AFL.

    Major General Wilkie is married to Bill, and hails from Ballarat, Victoria. She is a keen sportswoman, renovator and traveler.


  • Dr Alex Zelinsky

    Dr Alex Zelinsky is Australia’s Chief Defence Scientist and head of the Defence Science and Technology Group. Previously he has been Director of CSIRO’s Information and Communication Technologies Centre, Professor of Systems Engineering at the Australian National University and taught computer science at Wollongong University. Dr Zelinsky was Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of Seeing Machines, a computer vision systems company listed on the London Stock Exchange. He researched in robotics and computer vision at the AIST Electrotechnical Laboratory in Japan. Since 2009 Dr Zelinsky he has been included in Engineers Australia’s list of the 100 most influential engineers. In 2015 he received the Engineers Australia M A Sargent Medal - the most prestigious award from the College of Electrical Engineers. In 2013 he was awarded the Pearcey Medal, the ICT industry’s premier prize for lifetime achievement.

Page information up to date as of 12 September 2017 AEST.
Key dates
Registration Opens 28 November 2016
Call for Abstracts Open 28 November 2016
Call for Session Proposals Opens 28 November 2016
Applications for Travel Grants Open 28 November 2016
Call for Session Proposals Closes 30 April 2017
Applications for Travel Grants Closes 31 May 2017
Call for Abstracts Close 30 June 2017
Notification to Authors and Travel Grant Applications 18 August 2017
Early Bird Registration Deadline 28 September 2017
ICSPP 2017 28 November –
1 December 2017