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Professor Anthony Unsworth

Emeritus Professor

BSc MSc PhD DEng FREng CEng FIMechE

AffiliationRoom numberTelephone
Emeritus Professor in the Department of EngineeringE498 (Christopherson)+44 (0) 191 33 42521


Professor of Engineering (since 1989), Director of Research for the Faculty of Science (2006-2010), President of the Engineering Professors’ Council (2005-2007). Head of the School of Engineering and Applied Science (April 1990-August 1994), Deputy Dean of Science (1994-1997), Dean of Science (1997-2000), Head of School of Engineering (2000-2006).
Vice-President, Institution of Mechanical Engineers (2008-2011), Chair of the Royal Academy of Engineering’s UK Focus for Biomedical Engineering (2007-2010), member of the Trustee Board of Engineering Council (2008-2013) and an independent member of the “Resolution Panel” of the British Computer Society (2012-2018).
Visiting Professor, University of Northumbria (2010-2017)
Research mainly in Bio-tribology studying the functioning of natural and artificial joints as well as designing new generations of artificial joints for longer functional life in the body.
Editor in Chief, Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part H- Journal of Engineering in Medicine (January 1993- June 2021), Emeritus Editor from 2021.
Served on the RAE 2001 and RAE 2008 Mechanical, Aeronautical and Manufacturing panels as well as the REF2014 as an Output assessor for General Engineering.
Awarded the Tribology Silver Medal (1972), The Donald Julius Groen Prize (1991), the James Clayton Prize (1999) all from the Institution of Mechanical Engineers and the James Alfred Ewing Medal (2005) from the Institution of Civil Engineers.
Invited to present several Prestigious Lectures namely Brunel Lecturer (1975), British Association for the Advancement of Science, Woolmer Lecturer, (2002) Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine, Smith and Nephew Lecturer (2004), Institution of Mechanical Engineers, the 2019 Higginson Prestige Lecture, Durham University and many more Keynote addresses in overseas conferences.
Published over 320 research papers and presented about 100 papers in international venues.
Former Director of ACTION medical research charity (1992-1995), Non-Executive Director of South Durham Health Authority (1993-1996), and Chair of South Durham NHS Research Ethics committee (1993-1996)

Research interests

  • tribology
  • Biomedical Engineering

Media Contacts

Available for media contact about:

  • Medical and health research topics: development of artificial human joints (hips, knees, fingers)
  • Medical and health research topics: lubrication, wear of joints
  • Engineering: Other contexts: bio-engineering
  • Engineering: Other contexts: artificial human joints


Chapter in book

Conference Paper

  • Unsworth A (2011), In pursuit of fluid-film lubrication, ISTA 24th Annual Congress. Bruges, Belgium, ISTA, Bruges.
  • Williams S R, Wu J J Khan I & Unsworth A (2009), The effect of third body alumina particles on the wear and surface topography of 38 mm ceramic on as-cast CoCrMo total hip replacements, ABSTRACTS of the International Society of Technology in Arthroplasty 22 nd Annual Meeting: 22nd Annual Congress of ISTA. Hawaii, Hawaii HI.
  • Kinbrum A & Unsworth A (2009), Particle debris analysis and biological response of Motis acetabular cup wear debris over a 25 million cycle simulator test, Abstracts of the 22nd Annual Congress of ISTA 22nd Annual Congress of ISTA. Hawaii, Hawaii HI.
  • Weisenburger J N, Naylor M G Schroeder D W, White BF, Unsworth A, Garvin K L & Haider H (2009), Correlation of friction measurements with wear characteristics during multi-station hip simulator wear tests, Abstracts of the 22nd Annual Congress ISTA 22nd Annual Congress of ISTA. Hawaii, Hawaii HI.
  • Williams S R, Wu J J, Unsworth A & Khan I (2009), Biotribological and structural characteristics of 38 mm ZTA ceramic versus as-cast CoCrMo hip bearings, Abstracts of the 22nd Annual Congress of ISTA Hawaii, Hawaii HI.
  • Giddings D, Wu J J, Khan I & Unsworth A (2009), Biotribological and structural characteristics of 28 mm diameter ZTA-ZTA hip joints under standard and aggressive wear conditions using a ProSim hip simulator, Abstracts of the 22nd Annual Congress of ISTA Annual Congress ISTA. Hawaii, Hawaii HI.

Conference Proceeding

  • Lee SM Short TD & Unsworth A (2005). Automatic catheter valve system for long term catheterisation patients to inprove quality of life. Urology, London, Institution of Mechanical Engineers.
  • Joyce TJ, Riddell D & Unsworth A (2005). Biomaterial wear screening tests for an all polymer knee. 30th Annual Conference oof the Society for Biomaterials, Memphis USA, Society of Biomaterials.
  • (2005). The effect of TiNbON coating on the wear of Kinemax plus knee arthroplasty.
  • Unsworth A, Vassiliou K, Elfick A D P & Scholes S C (2005), Tribology of the Smith and Nephew BHR Device, International Society for Technology in Arthroplasty. Kyoto, Japan, Kyoto, 86.
  • Scholes S C, Unsworth A & Jones E (2005), Long term wear behaviour of a flexible, anatomically loaded hip cup design, 12: International Conference on Bio Medical Engineering. Singapore.
  • Vassiliou K, Scholes SC & Unsworth A (2005). The effect of running in on the tribology of a metal-on-metal hip resurfacing device. 30th Annual Conference oof the Society for Biomaterials, Memphis USA, Society for Biomaterials.

Journal Article