Dr James Waldie has consulted for NASA, served as a Principal Investigator with the European Space Agency (ESA) and has co-founded his own company, Cape Bionics. He is also an Adjunct Principle Research Fellow at RMIT University.
My studies in Aerospace Engineering and Bioastronautics has led to some pretty amazing things and taken me to some pretty amazing places. I studied at RMIT, UCSD and MIT, where my research focused on new spacesuit designs. Since then, I have been a consultant for NASA, served as a Principal Investigator with the European Space Agency (ESA) and worked as Postdoctoral Fellow at MIT, amongst other things. A career highlight for me was watching a spacesuit I developed being worn for the first time in space! I was at the European Astronaut Centre in Germany and watched the live feed from the International Space Station. It was such an incredible experience – 15 years of hard work had paid off.
After many years working on spacesuit designs, I have now co-founded my own company called Cape Bionics. While I have spent a lot of time developing new technology to improve the health of those in space, I now want to apply that technology to help those on Earth too! The purpose of my company is to bring together expertise in the aerospace and medical industries to develop professional compression apparel to sportspeople. We use maths to design custom garments which apply the perfect level of compression for different situations. To do this, we scan a player and then analyse the scan to determine the player size. Then, we design a garment using a lot of equations so that the tension in the garment produces the right compression on the skin. Currently our apparel is supplied to AFL and Rugby Union teams. While I am proud of my spacesuit success, only two astronauts have worn my suits in space. That’s why I started Cape Bionics – next, I hope to see my compression technology worn by people all over the word.