Hana Salati

Hana Salati

Senior CFD Engineer, Dynamic Technology Solutions Ltd / Visiting Scholar, RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia
Doctor of Philosophy

For her PhD in biomedical engineering, Dr Hana Salati focused on exploring better treatment options for chronic rhinosinusitis, a painful nasal infection that often lasts up to 12 weeks.

“For sufferers of chronic rhinosinusitis, nasal saline irrigation is a typical therapy that bathes the nasal and paranasal sinuses in the human nose to prevent the occurrence of inflammatory diseases. However, the main limitation of this method is that the distribution of saline within the nose is restricted due to the geometrical features of the nose.

“For my PhD research I analysed the saline irrigation flow field within the human nose to improve the distribution of saline based on different head positions and nasal cycles. I chose this research topic because it was a combination of engineering and medicine, and the results from my research have provided guidelines for doctors regarding the use of saline irrigation delivery devices.”

Hana’s doctoral research was supervised by Associate Professor David White from the AUT BioDesign Lab, which is part of AUT’s School of Engineering, Computer and Mathematical Sciences.

Applying engineering skills to healthcare
She has always wanted to apply engineering principles to medicine and healthcare, says Hana who came to AUT as an international student from Iran.

“I chose to do a PhD because I wanted to improve my abilities to understand and solve problems, increase my confidence, make myself a better communicator and gain skills to advance my career. The AUT BioDesign Lab supported my research by providing outstanding facilities and supervision. My supervisor supported me throughout my PhD and helped me conduct the experimental parts of my PhD thesis.”

The experimental part of her research was the highlight for Hana.

“I enjoyed my time doing the experimental part of my PhD. This included a collaboration with the  University of Canterbury. The AUT BioDesign Lab supported me throughout this time, and I enjoyed my time there because I learned a lot about experimental measurements and nasal model casting.”

The next step
Since completing her PhD in August 2019, Hana is now building on the discoveries she made throughout her doctoral research.

“I’m currently a visiting scholar at RMIT University in Melbourne, doing research on nasal respiratory, nasal air conditioning and nasal saline irrigation. My current research aims to develop a realistic mucosal surface model that represents the real air conditioning function of the nose.

“Researchers and professors from the University of Sydney, ANSYS LEAP and Westmead Hospital in Sydney are the collaborators on this project.”

In addition to her research for RMIT, Hana is also working as a senior CFD engineer at Dynamic Technology Solutions Ltd, which specialises in developing medical technology.

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