Riaz graduated from UMIST in 2003 with a First Class MEng (Hons) degree in Biomedical Materials Science with Industrial Experience. In 2007, he completed a PhD at The University of Manchester in ‘The micromechanical behaviour of bone’. Following this, he undertook a post-doctoral position using scanning acoustic microscopy to determine the micromechanical properties of soft tissue. In July 2008, Riaz was awarded a British Heart Foundation Advanced Training research fellowship. He joined the School of Engineering at University of Liverpool in October 2011 as a lecturer in Biomedical Engineering. He has established the Nanomechanics Lab at University of Liverpool and is the Programme Director for the Biomedical Engineering MSc.
Riaz’s overarching research aim is to understand how the nano- and micro- scale properties of biological tissues change with ageing and disease. His research group is interested in combining imaging and mechanical approaches at these length scales. The main focus of his research is on collagen-rich soft tissues such as skin, arteries and ocular tissues. However, he also has extensive experience in characterisation of hard tissues such as bone and has worked on biomaterials and hydrogels in collaboration with other research groups. His group has a key interest understanding the mechanical behaviour of biological materials with advanced characterisation tools such as nanoindentation and atomic force microscopy.
Many of Riaz’s projects are closely related to clinical/surgical practice whereas others are fundamental basic science projects which involve technique development or elucidating structure-property relationships in natural tissues. He also works with industry on medical device development, with a particular interest in microneedle technology.