Dr Nur Azah Hamzaid is currently Associate Professor at the Universiti Malaya, Malaysia. She obtained her bachelor in Mechatronics Engineering (1st class Hons) in 2005 and pursued her PhD in Rehabilitation Engineering at the University of Sydney, Australia in the same year. While her background is hard engineering, her interest in applying her Mechatronics Engineering knowledge into the medical rehabilitation field brought her to undertake clinical and biomechanics research field. As her PhD project, she developed a novel isokinetic FES leg stepping trainer for individuals with Spinal Cord Injury, and investigate the effects of its use by paraplegics in the Rehabilitation Gym in the University of Sydney Lidcombe campus during their FES training sessions. She is now at Biomedical Engineering Department in UM since 2010, pioneering the Biomechatronics, Neuroprosthetics and Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) research group in Malaysia. She is also currently Biomedical Engineering Consultant at Universiti Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC), seeing patients of complex rehabilitation cases at the Rehabilitation Robotics Clinic (CREATE).
Dr Azah, as known by her students in UM, taught Biomechatronics and Prosthetics & Orthotics courses which include FES in Rehabilitation Robotics. In her second year of service in UM, in 2011, she was appointed as the Program Coordinator of Bachelor in Biomedical Engineering (Prosthetics & Orthotics), the first degree program aiming to produce Prosthetics & Orthotics Engineers in Malaysia. Her involvement in product development and research in Rehabilitation Engineering got her involved closely with the Universiti Malaya Medical Centre, especially the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine. Her work involves innovations for people with disabilities such as Spinal Cord Injury, amputation, stroke as well as for children's education with industry and community partners. She is currently the Head of Teaching and Learning Innovation in the Academic Development and Enhancement Centre (ADEC), UM.
Dr Azah is the Founding President and currently Vice President of International FES Society (IFESS) Malaysia Chapter and Board Member of international Society for Prosthetics and Orthotics (ISPO) Malaysia Chapter. She is also the co-founder of the engineering outreach program "Let's Go To Mummie's Lab", which focuses on children's education through STEM and play. She has published at least 80 ISI-listed scientific publications, over 50 conference papers, a number of books and book chapters and has a few patents and trademarks, granted and filed. Her FES expertise has also brought her to the 2016 FES-Cycling Cybathlon championship, a world event for technology-assisted race for people with disabilities, in which their team placed 7th in the world.
Dr Azah has so far graduated 4 PhD and 11 MEngSc students while supervising few more PhD and Masters students. She has also won Innovation Awards from ITEX, PECIPTA, Malaysia Technology Expo (MTE), BioMalaysia, i-ENVEX, KNovasi, and her work has been featured in national mass media including BFM radio, Nona TV3, Selamat Pagi Malaysia RTM, Mingguan Wanita, and other local newspapers, apart from UM Award for PhD completion in less than 3 years. She was also nominated for the UNESCO Award for the Popularization of Science in 2019. Her aim is to improve the Rehabilitation Engineering field in Malaysia by uplifting the knowledge and application through quality teaching and curriculum enhancement via industrial involvement, better student experience and participation in and out of class and in research. She strives to bridge the gap between actual society and patient's need and technology provision through sustainable means.