Kathryn Grandfield

Kathryn Grandfield

Assistant Professor, Materials Science and Engineering

For Kathryn Grandfield, it’s all in the details when it comes to solving big healthcare challenges.

Using high-powered microscopes that can view material invisible to the eye, Grandfield and her research group look at how materials for devices, such as joint replacements and dental implants, attach to human tissue. By changing the surface material, she aims to create better quality devices that last longer inside the body, improving health outcomes for patients.

“We want to create implants that have less complications and last the lifetime of a patient,” says Grandfield.

According to Grandfield, approximately 60,000 hip and knee joint replacement surgeries take place in Canada per year. Of those surgeries, about 10 per cent are revision surgeries for failed replacements parts. “This is a staggering statistic. We want to change that.”

Grandfield started her academic career as an undergraduate and Master’s student of Applied Science in Materials Science and Engineering at McMaster University. She credits her professors for helping her discover her career path.

“They helped to shape my future by giving me opportunities that I had not considered. They opened doors I couldn’t have opened myself.”

Grandfield strives to provide the same mentorship experience for her students. “I think when you’re in engineering you have so many potential career paths. Mentorship is really a way to help guide you and help you discover what your path is.”

As the recipient of the $25,000 Petro-Canada-McMaster University Young Innovator Award in June 2017, Grandfield engages and inspires the next generation of innovators.

“I want to showcase that we’re doing exciting research here and I want to show the many avenues you can pursue in a research career.”