Richard Underwood
Richard Underwood, Ph.D., CEng
Manager
Biomedical Engineering
  • Philadelphia

Dr. Underwood is a Chartered Engineer and Member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. He specializes in the tribological performance of mechanical systems and has worked on tribology and failure analysis projects in the bearing, steel, power distribution, power generation, automotive, and medical device sectors. He is an experienced metrologist, with expertise including measurement of wear and analysis of surface topography. Other areas of expertise include wear mechanisms, contact mechanics, and failure analysis. He has designed testing to comply with international standards (e.g., ISO or ASTM) and novel test apparatus, especially in the areas of tribological testing and the design of test apparatus.

Dr. Underwood is an active member of the ASTM and is chair of the ASTM Task Group for Metal on Metal Clinical Characterization. Dr. Underwood is a Visiting Research Professor at the Implant Retrieval Centre at Department of Biomedical Engineering and Health Systems at Drexel University. His research interests include the tribological performance of explanted orthopedic devices, characterization of material loss from and factors affecting in-vivo performance of taper junctions and the effect of design, manufacturing, lubrication mechanisms, wear mechanisms, and surgical and patient factors on the in-vivo performance of hip systems. Dr. Underwood has given guest lectures on subjects including tribology, biotribology, and orthopedic devices at Imperial College, Imperial College School of Medicine and University of Pennsylvania. He is a reviewer for several orthopedic and tribology journals and has chaired sessions at international conferences.

Prior to joining Exponent, Dr. Underwood worked as a researcher at the Tribology Group at Imperial College London, including two years as the tribologist at the London Implant Retrieval Centre where he analyzed over 300 explanted MoM hips. In 2008 he completed a Ph.D. on the effects of lubricant contamination on the performance of rolling element bearings. During his time at the tribology group Dr. Underwood worked on projects investigating failure of high voltage switch equipment, environmental degradation of lubricants, bearing failure in marine water jet propulsion system, and bearing failure in pump equipment on a liquid natural gas carrier. He has measured and analyzed the surface topography for projects as diverse as food technology, gas engine crankshafts, corrosion investigations, and machining trials.

CREDENTIALS & PROFESSIONAL HONORS

  • Ph.D., Mechanical Engineering Tribology, Imperial College London, UK, 2008
  • M.Eng., Mechanical Engineering, Imperial College London, UK, 2003, 1st Class Honours
  • John and Frances Jones Prize 2004, awarded by City & Guilds College Association and Imperial College London

    Robert E. Fairer Award, Committee F-04 on Medical & Surgical Materials & Devices, ASTM International, May 2015

    Sage Best Paper Award in Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part H: Journal of Engineering in Medicine, 2012

Publications

Agne MT, Underwood RJ, Kocagoz SB, MacDonald DW, Day JS, Parvizi J, Kraay MJ, Mont MA, Klein GR, Cates HE, Kurtz SM. Is there material loss at the backside taper in modular CoCr acetabular liners? Clin Orthop Relat Res 2015; 473:275–285.

Baykal D, Underwood RJ, Mansmann K, Marcolongo M, Kurtz SM. Evaluation of friction properties of hydrogels based on a biphasic cartilage model. J Mech Behav Biomed Mater. 2013; 28C:263–273.

Underwood RJ, Fowell M, Sayles RS, Kurtz SM, Cann P. The development of a standard method for assessing wear of explanted metal-on-metal hip joints. Kurtz S, Greenwald S, Mihalko W, Lemons J (eds), ASTM STP 1560 Metal-On-Metal Total Hip Replacement Devices 2013; 130–145.

Underwood RJ, Kocagöz SB, Smith R, Siskey R, Sayles RS, Kurtz SM, Cann P. A protocol to assess the wear of head/neck taper junctions in large head metal-on-metal (LHMoM) hips. Kurtz S, Greenwald S, Mihalko W, Lemons J (eds), ASTM STP 1560 Metal-On-Metal Total Hip Replacement Devices 2013; 209–234.

Denyer P, Ingram M, Underwood RJ, Cann P. The development of a laboratory screening method to optimise lubrication maintenance of high voltage equipment. NLGI Spokesman 2013; 76; 9–21.

Kurtz SM, Kocagöz SB, Hanzlik JA, Underwood RJ, Gilbert JL, MacDonald DW, Lee GC, Mont MA, Kraay MJ, Klein GR, Parvizi J, Rimnac CM. Do ceramic femoral heads reduce taper fretting corrosion in hip arthroplasty? A retrieval study. Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research 2013; 471:3270–3282.

Kocagoz SB, Underwood RJ, Sivan S, Gilbert JL, Macdonald DW, Day JS, Kurtz SM. Does taper angle clearance influence fretting and corrosion damage at the head-stem interface? A matched cohort retrieval study. Semin Arthroplasty 2013; 24:246–254.

Fan J, Myant C, Underwood R, Cann P. Synovial fluid lubrication of artificial joints: Protein film formation and composition. Faraday Discussions 2012; 156:69–85.

Underwood RJ, Zoflagos A, Sayles RS, Hart A, Cann PM. Low clearance increases the risk of edge loading in metal on metal hips. Proceedings, Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part H: Journal of Engineering in Medicine 2012; 226(3):217–226.

Bills P, Racasan R, Jiang X, Blunt L, Underwood R, Cann P, Hart A. Assessing the impact of measurement uncertainty in the evaluation of wear of retrieved metal-on-metal hip replacements. Wear 2012; 274–275:212–219.

Myant C, Underwood RJ, Fan J, Cann PM. Lubrication of metal-on-metal hip joints: The effect of protein content and load on film formation and wear. Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials 2012; 6:30–40.

Underwood RJ, Matthies A, Skinner J, Cann P, Hart AJ. A comparison of explanted ASR and BHR hip components: the mechanisms of failure. Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery (British Volume) 2011; 93-B: 1169–1177.

Fan J, Myant CW, Underwood RJ, Cann PM, Hart A. Inlet protein aggregation: A new mechanism for lubricating film formation with model synovial fluids. Proceedings, Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part H: Journal of Engineering in Medicine July 2011; 225:696–709.

Hart AJ, Ilo K, Underwood RJ et al. The relationship between the angle of version and rate of wear of retrieved metal-on-metal resurfacings. Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery (British Volume) 2011; 93-B:315–320.

Matthies A, Underwood R, Cann P, Ilo K, Nawaz Z, Skinner J, Hart AJ. A retrieval analysis of 240 metal-on-metal hip components, comparing modular total hip replacement with hip resurfacing. Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery (British Volume) 2011; 93-B:307–314.

Conference Proceedings

Kocagoz SB, Underwood RJ, MacDonald DW, Gilbert JL, Rimnac CM, Kurtz SM. Metal release in ceramic and CoCr heads at the modular junction: A matched cohort retrieval study. 61st Annual Meeting of the Orthopaedic Research Society, Las Vegas, NV, March 28–31, 2015.

Kocagoz SB, Underwood RJ, MacDonald DW, Baykal D, Day JS, Kurtz SM. Validation study for a quantitative method to measure the volumetric material loss from taper surfaces. 61st Annual Meeting of the Orthopaedic Research Society, Las Vegas, NV, March 28–31, 2015.

Fredette EK, MacDonald DW, Underwood RJ, Kurtz SM. Metal transfer on ceramic and metal heads: A retrieval study. 61st Annual Meeting of the Orthopaedic Research Society, Las Vegas, NV, March 28–31, 2015

Arnholt CM, Underwood RJ, MacDonald DW, Higgs GB, Chen A, Klein GR, Hamlin B, Lee GC, Mont MA, Cates H, Malkani A, Rimnac CM, Kurtz SM. Micro-grooved surface topography does not influence fretting corrosion of tapers in THA: Classification and retrieval analysis. symposium on modularity and tapers in total joint replacement devices. ASTM International, New Orleans, LA, November 10, 2014.

MacDonald DW, Kurtz SM, Kocagoz SB, Hanzlik J, Underwood RJ, Gilbert JL, Lee GC, Mont MA, Kraay MJ, Klein GR, Parvizi J, Day JS, Rimnac CM. Does taper angle clearance influence the fretting corrosion behavior of modular THA components? A matched cohort study. 27th Annual Congress of the International Society for Technology in Arthroplasty, Kyoto, Japan, September 24–27, 2014.

MacDonald DW, Baykal D, Underwood RJ, Malkani AL, Parvizi J, Kurtz SM. The effect of in vivo oxidation on clinical vs. in Vitro wear rates in retrieved 1st generation annealed highly crosslinked UHMWPE. 27th Annual Congress of the International Society for Technology in Arthroplasty, Kyoto, Japan, September 24–27, 2014.

Kocagoz SB, Underwood RJ, MacDonald DW, Day JS, Kurtz SM. Development and validation of a quantitative method to calculate the volume of material loss from the taper-trunion junction. 1st Annual Pan Pacific Orthopaedic Congress, International Congress for Joint Reconstruction, Kona, HI, USA, July 16–19, 2014.

Kurtz SM, MacDonald DW, Kocagoz SB, Hanzlik JA, Underwood RJ, Gilbert JL, Lee G, Mont MA, Kraay MJ, Klein GR, Parvizi J, Day JS, Rimnac CM. What factors influence fretting corrosion in modular THA? A matched cohort study. 1st Annual Pan Pacific Orthopaedic Congress, International Congress for Joint Reconstruction, Kona, Hawaii, USA, July 16–19, 2014.

Kocagöz SB, Underwood RJ, MacDonald DW, Day JS, Kurtz SM. What is the clinical relevance of visual inspection of the head / stem taper junctions in large metal-on-metal hips? Poster No P067, 81st Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, New Orleans, LA, March 11–15, 2014.

Kocagöz SB, Underwood RJ, MacDonald DW, Gilbert JL, Day JS, Kurtz SM. Quantitative taper angle measurement method for retrieved femoral heads and stems. Poster No 1800, 60th Annual Meeting of the Orthopaedic Research Society, New Orleans, LA, March 15–18, 2014.

MacDonald DW, Baykal D, Underwood RJ, Kurtz SM. Assessment of tribological properties of retrieved 1st generation annealed highly crosslinked UHMWPE using multidirectional pin-on-disk testing. Poster No 939, 60th Annual Meeting of the Orthopaedic Research Society, New Orleans, LA, March 15–18, 2014.

Underwood RJ, Kocagoz SB, Baykal D, McDonald DW, Siskey RL, Day JS, Kurtz SM. Measuring taper junctions. Workshop on Modularity and Taper in Total Joint Replacement devices, Jacksonville, FL, November 12, 2013.

Kocagoz S, Underwood R, Day JS, Kurtz SM. A quantitative method to measure taper angle clearance. Workshop on Modularity and Taper in Total Joint Replacement devices, Jacksonville, FL, November 12, 2013.

Agne MT, Underwood RJ, Kocagoz SB, MacDonald DW, Day JS, Parvizi J, Kraay MJ, Mont MM, Klein GR, Cates HE, Kurtz SM. Quantitative analysis of the backside taper in modular CoCr acetabular liners. Workshop on Modularity and Taper in Total Joint Replacement devices, Jacksonville, FL, November 12, 2013.

Underwood RJ, MacDonald D, Higgs G, Siskey RL, Day J, Kurtz SM. Tribocorrosion in taper junctions: Measurements and observations from explanted MoM hips. Poster No. 1763. 2013 ORS (Orthopaedic Research Society) Annual Meeting, San Antonio, TX, January 26–29, 2013.

Underwood RJ, MacDonald D, Higgs G, Day J, Siskey RL, Kurtz SM. Does visual inspection of the taper head / stem junctions in metal-on-metal hips accurately characterize the corrosion and wear? Poster No. 1797. 2013 ORS (Orthopaedic Research Society) Annual Meeting, San Antonio, TX, January 26–29, 2013.

Kurtz SM, Underwood RJ. Metal on metal hips: Device mechanisms and failure modes. FDA Advisory Committee—Orthopedic Surgery and Rehabilitation Devices Panel, Washington DC. June 27–28, 2012.

Underwood RJ, Cann PM, Sayles RS, Bills P, Blunt L, X Jiang. The development of a standard method for assessing wear of explanted metal on metal hip joints. ASTM Symposium on metal on metal total hip replacement devices, Phoenix, AZ. May 8, 2012.

Underwood RJ, Cann PM, Sayles RS, Bills P, Blunt L, X Jiang. The assessment of wear of head / neck taper junctions in large head metal on metal (LHMoM ) hips. ASTM Symposium on metal on metal total hip replacement devices, Phoenix, AZ. May 8, 2012.

Myant C, Underwood RJ, Cann PM. Lubrication of artificial hip joints – The effect of synovial fluid chemistry: Implications for the development of relevant screening tests, Phoenix, AZ. May 8, 2012.

Underwood R, Zografos A, Sayles RS, Cann PM. The risk of edge loading in the current generation of metal-on-metal hip resurfacings. Spotlight No. 0080. 2012 ORS (Orthopaedic Research Society) Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA, February 4–7, 2012.

Pourzal R; Li S; Underwood RJ; Hart A; Cann PM; Fischer A. Impact of Hard Phases within CoCrMo Cast Alloy on MoM Hip Wear. Poster No. 1077. 2012 ORS (Orthopaedic Research Society) Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA, February 4–7, 2012.

Underwood R, Sayles RS, Cann PM. A protocol to measure the wear of large head metal-on-metal total hip replacement head neck taper junctions. Poster No. 2038. 2012 ORS (Orthopaedic Research Society) Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA, February 4–7, 2012.

Cann PM, Myant C, Underwood R. Artificial joint lubrication: effect of patient synovial fluid properties on implant wear. Poster No. 1090A. 2012 ORS (Orthopaedic Research Society) Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA, February 4–7, 2012.

Kurtz SM, Underwood RJ. What are MoM retrieval really telling us? Workshop 13 Metal-metal bearings: facts, fictions and futures. 2012 ORS (Orthopaedic Research Society) Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA, February 4–7, 2012.

Underwood R, Zografos A, Hart A, Sayles RS, Cann P. Edge loading in current generation metal-on-metal hips—The risk factors. International Conference on BioTribology, London, England, September 18–21, 2011.

Underwood RJ, Bills P, Sayles R, Cann P, Xiang J, Blunt L. Taper wear in large head metal-on-metal hips. International Conference on BioTribology, London, England, September 18–21, 2011.

Underwood RJ, Decaulaux E, Kadiric A, Sayles RS, Cann PM. Measurement and analysis of surface topography of new and explanted metal on metal hip joints. International Conference on BioTribology, London, England, September 18–21, 2011.

Underwood RJ. The measurement of wear of explanted hip joints – Imperial College London Perspective. ASTM Workshop on characterization of Metal on Metal Hip Replacement Devices, Anaheim CA, May17, 2011.

Hart A, Matthies A, Underwood RJ, Cann PM, Ilo K, Nawaz S, Skinner J, Porter M. Retrieval analysis of 240 metal-on-metal hip components: stemmed versus resurfacing hip arthroplasty. Paper No. 033. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) San Diego, CA, February 15–17, 2011.

Hart A, Underwood RJ, Cann PM, Ilo K, Matthies A, Cobb J, Muirhead-Allwood S, Porter M, Skinner J. Clinical and wear analysis of 276 failed large diameter metal-on-metal components. Paper No. 067. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) San Diego, CA, February 15–17, 2011.

Underwood RJ, Zografos A, Matthies A, Ilo K, Cann PM, Lali F, Skinner J, Hart A. The occurrence of edge loading in metal on metal hips: Low clearance is a new risk factor. Paper No. 068. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) San Diego, CA, February 15–17, 2011.

Underwood RJ, Matthies A, Zografos A, Skinner J, Cann PM, Hart. What are the mechanisms of edge loading in metal-on-metal hips? A study of 400 explanted hip components. Paper No. 0386. 2011 ORS (Orthopaedic Research Society) Annual Meeting, Long Beach, CA, January 13–16, 2011.

Myant C, Fan J, Cann PM, Underwood RJ, Hart A. The influence of model synovial fluid chemistry on the wear of CoCrMo alloy in sliding tests. Poster No. 1108. 2011 ORS (Orthopaedic Research Society) Annual Meeting, Long Beach, CA, January 13–16, 2011.

Hart A, Matthies A, Underwood RJ, Cann P, Ilo K, Zuhair N, Skinner J. Retrieval analysis of 240 metal-on-metal hip components: Comparison between modular total hip replacement and hip resurfacing arthroplasty. Poster No. 120. 2011 ORS (Orthopaedic Research Society) Annual Meeting, Long Beach, CA, January 13–16, 2011.

Underwood, RJ, Matthies A, Zografos A, Cann PM, Skinner J, Hart A. Calculation of the centre of the contact patch to rim distance: The effect of cup position and design on the risk of edge loading in metal-on-metal hips. 2011 ORS (Orthopaedic Research Society) Annual Meeting, Long Beach, CA, January 13–16, 2011.

Underwood RJ, Cann PM, Matthies A, Ilo K, Skinner J, Sayles RS, Hart A. Is “self polishing” in metal-on-metal hips a myth? Poster No. 1213 2011 ORS (Orthopaedic Research Society) Annual Meeting, Long Beach, CA, January 13–16, 2011.

Underwood RJ, Cann PM, Skinner J, Hart A. Wear analysis of 118 failed current generation MOM hip couples. Paper No. 49. 7th Combined Orthopaedic Research Societies (CORS), Kyoto, Japan, October 16–20, 2010.

Hart A, Underwood RJ, Cann PM, Skinner J. Cause of failure of 118 current generation metal-on-metal (MOM) hip couples. Paper No. 130. 7th Combined Orthopaedic Research Societies (CORS), Kyoto, Japan, October 16–20, 2010.

Underwood RJ, Cann PM, Skinner J, Hart A. The relationship between CT measured component version and wear rate of failed metal on metal hip arthroplasties. Paper 131. 7th Combined Orthopaedic Research Societies (CORS), Kyoto, Japan, October 16–20, 2010.

Hart A, Underwood RJ, Cann PM. Analysis of lesions on 159 MARS MRI scans from patients with metal-on-metal hip replacements. Paper No. 132. 7th Combined Orthopaedic Research Societies (CORS), Kyoto, Japan, October 16–20, 2010.

Goodship A, Hart A, Underwood R. UK Workshop (BORS) on Metal-on-Metal Hip Replacements. 7th Combined Orthopaedic Research Societies (CORS), Kyoto, Japan, October 16–20, 2010.

Hart A, Lloyd G, Sabah S, Sampson B, Underwood RJ, Cann PM, Henckel J, Cobb J, Lewis A, Porter M, Muirhead Allwood S, Skinner J. Why do current generation metal on metal hip arthroplasties fail? British Orthopedic Research Society (BORS), Cardiff, Wales, July 12–13, 2010.

Underwood RJ, Cann PM, Skinner J, Hart A. Does edge loading occur in well positioned cups o f a metal on metal hip arthroplasty. British Orthopaedic Research Society (BORS), Cardiff, Wales, July 12–13, 2010.

Bills P, Underwood RJ, Cann PM, Hart A. What is required to measure the wear of explanted metal on metal hips? British Orthopaedic Research Society (BORS), Cardiff, Wales, July 12–13, 2010.

Underwood RJ, Cann P M, Hart A, Ilo K, Skinner J, Wagner CR. Development of a protocol for measuring wear in explanted hip joints using roundness machine. Poster No 2322. 2010 ORS (Orthopaedic Research Society) Annual Meeting, New Orleans, LA, March 7–12, 2010.

Underwood RJ, Cann PM, Ilo K, Skinner J, Hart A. A study of explanted durom metal on metal hips. Poster No 2275. 2010 ORS (Orthopaedic Research Society) Annual Meeting, New Orleans, LA, March 7–12, 2010.

Cann PM, Underwood RJ, Mavraki A, Hart A. A new model for synovial fluid lubrication and wear of artificial joints? 2010 ORS (Orthopaedic Research Society) Annual Meeting, New Orleans, LA, March 7–12, 2010.

Hart A, Ilo K, Underwood RJ, Cann PM, Henckel J, Cobb J, Porter M, Muirhead-Allwood S, Skinner J. Pre-revision CT measured cup angles are related to wear of retrieved metal on metal (MOM) hips Poster No 2495. American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS), March 9–15, 2010.

Underwood RJ, Cann PM, Ilo K, Wagner CR, Skinner J, Cobb J, Porter M, Muirhead-Allwood S, Hart A. What is the incidence and common characteristics of high wearing explanted metal on metal hips. 2010 British Hip Society Meeting, Sheffield, UK, February 25, 2010.

Underwood RJ, Cann PM, Ilo K, Wagner CR, Skinner J, Hart A. Development of protocol for measuring wear in explanted hip joints using roundness machine. 2010 British Hip Society Meeting, Sheffield, UK, February 25, 2010.

Underwood RJ, Sayles RS, Kadiric A, Ioannides E. An investigation of the load support of fluid trapped in dents. Paper No I-133. World Tribology Congress, Kyoto, Japan, September 6–11, 2009.

Reddyhoff T, Underwood RJ, Nikas GK, Sayles RS, Spikes HA. Thermal aspects of debris in EHL contacts. Paper No C1-222. World Tribology Congress, Kyoto, Japan, September 6–11, 2009.

Underwood RJ, Sayles RS. Some aspects of the abrasive polishing of metal surfaces. Paper No. A0716.0726. Mechanics and Materials in Design Conference (M2D 2006) Porto, Portugal, July 24–26, 2006.

Academic Appointments

Visiting Research Professor, Drexel University, School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems

Professional Affiliations

Associate Member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Membership # 80012952

Member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE)

Knowledge

News & Events

CREDENTIALS & PROFESSIONAL HONORS

  • Ph.D., Mechanical Engineering Tribology, Imperial College London, UK, 2008
  • M.Eng., Mechanical Engineering, Imperial College London, UK, 2003, 1st Class Honours
  • John and Frances Jones Prize 2004, awarded by City & Guilds College Association and Imperial College London

    Robert E. Fairer Award, Committee F-04 on Medical & Surgical Materials & Devices, ASTM International, May 2015

    Sage Best Paper Award in Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part H: Journal of Engineering in Medicine, 2012