National Meeting 2019

Our National Meeting is an opportunity for delegates to network and create new multidisciplinary collaborations and secondly to stimulate development of innovative ideas to address challenges in surgery.

This year’s theme is “Surgery 2030:  Transformative Technologies” and we would like delegates to:

– Understand the importance of a multidisciplinary approach to technology development for surgery
– Understand the key success factors for clinical adoption of surgical innovation
– Gain an overview of potential surgical applications of existing and/or new technology and how research collaborations accelerate the journey to patient access



Summary of National Meeting 2019


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You can also download a copy of the National Meeting 2019 Report here.



Professor Gareth Loudon, Professor of Creativity at the Cardiff School of Art and Design and co-founder and Director of the Centre for Creativity Ltd

Talk title: Creating, developing and testing new surgical innovations: people, processes and prototyping

Gareth Loudon is Professor of Creativity at Cardiff Metropolitan University and one of the co-founders of the User Centred Design (UCD) research group at the university. He is also co-founder and Director of the Centre for Creativity Ltd that undertakes research, training and consultancy in key areas of creativity.

His research interests focus on creativity and innovation combining ideas from anthropology and psychology, engineering and design. He has 30 years of experience in academic and industrial research and has helped take several research ideas all the way through to commercial products for large companies such as Apple and Ericsson as well as many smaller companies.

His current research work in the UCD research group focuses on the design of simulated environments for the user testing of new product prototypes and on the design of medical solutions for the developing world. His research work into creativity looks at the factors and processes affecting creativity including our ‘state of being’, and the role of play and purpose.

Gareth has six patents to his name and over 80 publications in total. Gareth is a Chartered Engineer, a Fellow of the Institution of Engineering and Technology and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Mr Luigi Pugliese, Department of Surgery, Fondazione IRCCS Policlinico SanMatteo, Pavia, Italy

Talk Title: New frontiers of 3D printing for surgery biocompatibility

Mr Pugliese started his surgical activity in the field of liver transplantation by joining the team of liver transplant surgeons at the designated Unit of Liver Transplant in the Hospital of Cisanello, Pisa (Italy)

In 2004 he joined the Unit of General and Transplant Surgery, gaining further experience not only in transplant surgery of different organs, namely kidney and pancreas, but also in the much wider field of general surgery. Pancreatic surgery, particularly for oncologic indications was one of the major topics he was dealing with at that time.  He also gained experience in minimally invasive surgery.

He became one of Prof Pietrabissa’s more proficient assistants working in the field of laparoscopic, thoracoscopic and robotic surgery and in 2011 he joined Prof Pietrabissa when he moved to Pavia as Head of the General Surgery Unit 2 at Policlinico San Matteo.

He has performed over 1000 minimally invasive operations as first operator, of which about 60% were major procedures.  During his early career whilst in Pisa he became a proficient operator in abdominal ultrasound obtaining at that time the official certification from the national society of ultrasonography in Medicine (SIUMB); such activity has been implemented over the last seven years in Pavia with the ability of performing interventional ultrasound-guided procedures including placement of drainages and biopsy sampling which he routinely performs at Policlinico San Matteo.

In 2013 he was visiting surgeon at Mayo Clinic, Rochester (USA) to learn the specific technique which consisted of left thoracoscopic cardiac sympathetic denervation that he could see on real cases. He then performed his first pediatric cases in Pavia in 2014 with the assistance of part of the Mayo Clinic team of surgeons and anesthesiologists.

He extended the indications from arrhythmias of genetic origin such as Long-QT Syndrome, CPVT and so on to severe structural heart disease in patients with medical history of previous malignant arrhythmias and multiple ICD shocks for which bilateral cardiac sympathetic denervations were performed. Given the inherent limitations of conventional thoracoscopy he tested the usefulness of robotic assistance in this field, as he had previously done in others, with encouraging results.

Dr Andrew Sims, Head of the Northern Medical Physics and Clinical Engineering Department (NMPCE), Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trus

Talk Title: Developing a peripheral vascular assessment device through the NIHR i4i programme

Andrew is Head of the Northern Medical Physics and Clinical Engineering Department (NMPCE), Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Director of the Newcastle External Assessment Centre for the NICE Medical Technology Evaluation Programme and Deputy Director of the NIHR MedTech and In-vitro Diagnostics Cooperative Newcastle. He has a BSc and PhD in Physics and an MSc in Statistics. His research interests are in the fields of medical technology and clinical informatics.

Sirko Pelzl CEO & CTO ApaQlar GMBH

Talk Title: VSI – Virtual Surgery Intelligence

Sirko Pelzl studied Business Administration across Europe in Hamburg, Leipzig, London and Prague. From 2002 to 2017 he was IT Senior Developer and SAP Software Architect and worked for companies such as Philips, Sony, Audi, EON, Telekom and Bosch. In 2007, he founded the Apollogic Group and was its CTO until 2017, where he was responsible for the technological direction of the company. Since 2017, he has been CEO and CTO of apoQlar GmbH, a global pioneer in medical imaging. The company deals with mixed and augmented reality, as well as data evaluation through artificial intelligence and continuous machine learning.