Professor Alan Cottenden
Prof Alan Cottenden took a first degree in Materials Science at Cambridge University followed by a CASE studentship PhD in the mechanical properties of machine tool materials at Cambridge and the National Physical Laboratory. He subsequently spent five years at Sussex University, where he developed an interest in incontinence technology. In 1984 he moved to University College London to start a new collaboration with Prof James Malone-Lee (geriatrician) and Dr Mandy Fader (nurse). This persists to the present day as the multi-disciplinary Continence & Skin Technology Group, which addresses the needs of intractably incontinent people and their caregivers.
CSTG work involves numerous collaborations with industry, hospitals, incontinent user groups and universities and current projects range from understanding the fundamental science of absorbency and of incontinence-related skin health, through the development of instrumentation for laboratory and clinical work, product development, and the laboratory and clinical evaluation of existing and prototype products, to work on incontinence-related quality of life and health economic measures.
Prof Cottenden has a particular interest in absorbent products and a major thrust of recent years has been to develop predictive models to facilitate the design of more effective products based on a sound understanding of the interaction between urine and absorbent / porous materials. Complementary work has aimed to establish links between the clinical performance of pads (notably, leakage and wet comfort) and laboratory data. Two large international projects have produced data upon which international standards have been based and the results of a recent study are being used by the UK NHS Supply Chain as a basis for placing national contracts with pad suppliers.
Prof Cottenden has published widely in the clinical and technical incontinence literature and recently headed up the international team of writers producing the incontinence products chapter in the book published from the Fourth International Consultation on Incontinence sponsored by the International Continence Society and the World Health Organisation. He holds some 20 patents for incontinence product designs of which the most successful is Kylie Pants, an aesthetically attractive washable absorbent product for lightly incontinent people.
He is on the Advisory Board of the US Simon Foundation and a Trustee of the UK Bladder & Bowel Foundation. He chairs the organizing committees of the multi-disciplinary, biennial Incontinence: the Engineering Challenge conference hosted by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers and the biennial Innovating for Continence conference hosted by the Simon Foundation in Chicago.
Edmond obtained an MSc in Physics degree in 1987, with the specialisation in Semiconductors Physics, from the University of Bucharest, Faculty of Physics.
Edmond has worked for a few years as a physicist in the Safety and Probabilistic Risk Assessment department of a Nuclear Power Plant in Romania and later as the Head of the Physics Dept in the Biomaterials Division of a Petrochemical Institute in Romania.
In Australia, Edmond worked at first as a physicist in the Applied Physics Dept. of Sydney University, and since 1993 he has joined Cochlear Ltd. Starting in the role of Reliability & Safety Engineer, Edmond progressed to become the Head of Reliability, Failure Analysis and Sustaining Engineering Dept at Cochlear, and later in 2003 the Head of Speech Processors Design & Development. In that capacity Edmond has delivered the Freedom speech processor, which is an important part of Cochlear’s past product flagship, the Nucleus Freedom System. The Freedom Speech Processor has won two excellence awards in the local phase, and one award in the national phase, of the Australian Engineering Excellence Awards (2005), as well as an Australian Design Award (2005) and was selected as a winner in the Medical Design Excellence Awards (New York, 2006). Since October 2005 Edmond has moved into the role of Head of Implants Design & Development, Cochlear Ltd, and has delivered the current Cochlear product flagship, the CI512 / CI513 series cochlear implant. Based on experience acquired through working with some of the world’s most innovative and successful medical implant design and development companies, Edmond also provides consulting services in the area of Reliability, Safety and Risk Assessment of medical devices.
Edmond has 18 years experience in risk & reliability assessment of active implantable medical products and more than 6 years experience in managing the design and development of high reliability medical implants.