Richard Arm

Richard Arm

Research Fellow

School of Art & Design

Staff Group(s)
Fashion, knitwear and textile design


Richard's role as Flexural Composites Research Fellow entails involvement in several live defence medicine research projects, funded by Royal Centre for Defence Medicine (RCDM) and Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl). Richard's specialism lies with the recreation of synthetic organs and tissue for educational purposes.

Career overview

Graduating from Hertfordshire University in 2001 with a BA in Model Design, Richard worked as a freelance visual effects artist for clients such as Pinewood Studios, Lamborghini, and the RAF. In 2003, Richard joined a well-known appliance manufacturer, as a prototype engineer. In 2005 he became a Senior Technician at Nottingham Trent University (NTU), where he continued to pursue research interests focusing on material science and biology in a variety of contexts. Following completion of a post-graduate degree in education, in 2007, Richard became a Fellow with the Higher Education Academy (HEA) and began lecturing in Composite Materials at NTU. In 2009 Richard was awarded a National Teaching Fellowship Award by the HEA. Funding attached to the award led to the development of This open-access resource attracted an unlikely group of multi-disciplinary collaborators. Academic practitioners and researchers, surgeons, consultants, radiologists, nurses, sculptors, special effects artists, make-up artists and additive manufacturing (3D printing) experts.

Richard's own research interests grew around the 'life-and-death' needs highlighted by this unique group.

Research areas

In 2013 Richard led a small group of these experts in the development of a thoracic prosthesis to be used by a pediatric surgical consultant to teach safe, device implant techniques to trainee surgeons at the Queens Medical Centre.

Later in 2013, Richard started my MSc in Smart Design at NTU. Using the research gathered on the abdominal wall and thoracic cavity, Richard began exploring the organs in more detail, the Heart in particular.

In 2014, his Master thesis, entitled, 'Synthesizing The Human Heart With Polymeric Elastomers- Applications In Human Anatomy Education', earned a Graduation with distinction. Utilizing 3D printing from CT data as part of the process, the prototypes stirred up overwhelming media interest with more than 20 media publications across the globe.

More importantly, this research has raised many new questions. Primarily, about how cardiothoracic surgery should be taught in the near future.

This year Richard will begin a new role as Research Fellow for the Advanced Textiles Research Group at NTU. Richard currently entering an exciting new phase of development in synthesizing the unique qualities of living human tissues for use in teaching cardiothoracic surgery.

External activity

Richard is a Fellow with the Higher Education Academy and the Royal Society of the Arts. Richard is also in his 4th year as an appointed Local Authority School Governor.

  • 2015 - Onassis Cardiac Surgery Centre, Bio-medical 3D printing conference: Keynote speaker
  • 2015 - Awarded Fellowship at the Royal Society of the Arts
  • 2015 - Nominated for Vice-Chancellors Teaching Award
  • 2014 - International press coverage of innovation in bio-medical research
  • 2014 - Winner of Best Stand Award at New Designers, BDC Islington, London
  • 2014 - Nominated for Outstanding Teaching Award, Students Union, NTU, Nottingham
  • 2014 - Nominated Technician of the Year Award, Higher Education Academy, London
  • 2012 - Exhibitor advanced mechanised prosthesis at The Gadget Show live
  • 2010 – Annual Teaching and Learning Conference: Open-access learning resources (NTU)
  • 2009 - Winner of National Teaching Fellowship Award, London
  • 2007 - Awarded Fellowship of Higher Education Academy, London

Sponsors and collaborators

  • Materialise- Brussels, Belgium, EU
  • Trauma FX- AMSTC, York, UK
  • Kings College- London, UK
  • St Thomas Hospital- London, UK
  • Sawbones- Sweden, EU
  • Queens Medical Centre- Nottingham, UK
  • Cranfield University / Defence Academy of the United Kingdom, Oxon, UK
  • Royal Centre for Defence Medicine- Birmingham, UK
  • Defence Science and Technology Laboratory, Birmingham, UK
  • Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre, Surrey, UK


Arm, R., Cork, C.R., Dias, T., Oliveira, J. (2015) Centre for Defence Enterprise (MoD)- Seamless knitted prosthetic sleeves for the management of perspiration. Crown Copyright. Report Number DSTL/AGR/00410/01 A.

Arm, R. (2011) Networks Magazine, issue 14. Casting About: Online support for casting and mould-making. The Higher Education Academy. [Online]

Arm, R. (2009) Art Design Media Teaching Fellowship: Award profiles. The Higher Education Academy. [Online]

Arm, R. (2009) CastingAbout - A dedicated resource for mould-making and casting applications.

See all of Richard Arm's publications...

Press expertise

  • Creating realistic models of human organs
  • Combining art and science
  • 3D printing
  • Bio-mimicry
  • The creation of an artificial / simulated human