Our People


Rohan Walker

Professor Rohan Walker



  • The University of Newcastle, School of Biomedical Sciences & Pharmacy
  • Hunter Medical Research Institute
  • NHMRC Centre of Excellence in Stroke Recovery & Rehabilitation

Contact: Rohan.Walker@Newcastle.edu.au

Brief Bio / Overview: Prof. Rohan Walker is a senior academic, with a primary research focus to understand the relationship between ‘inner world’ states, such as fear, stress, motivation, memory and attention on training and training outcomes. Prof. Walker actively engages with a range of industry partners to develop ‘inner world’ training frameworks, and has a particular interest in bio-metrically enhanced training and evaluation systems. 

Within the ATS, Prof. Walker uses his extensive research and industry experience to lead the development of training solutions specifically tailored to industry-relevant applications.

Eugene Nalivaiko

Associate Professor Eugene Nalivaiko

Co-Director (Science & Technology Lead)


  • The University of Newcastle, School of Biomedical Sciences & Pharmacy

Contact: Eugene.Nalivaiko@Newcastle.edu.au

Brief Bio / Overview: A/Prof. Eugene Nalivaiko is a senior academic with a major interest in neurobiology of stress. His primary research focus is on autonomic neuroscience – a discipline focused on neural control of body functions. His research also focusses on the physiological changes caused by motion sickness, and in particular cyber-sickness, which is provoked by immersion in virtual reality (VR).

Within the ATS, Prof. Nalivaiko uses his extensive research background to inform content development, the use of XR-based technologies and in the application of hardware solutions to monitor user responses (e.g. biometric monitoring).

Team Members

Ann Stevenson

Ms. Ann Stevenson

Project and Operations Manager


  • The University of Newcastle, School of Biomedical Sciences & Pharmacy

Contact: Ann.Stevenson@Newcastle.edu.au

Brief Bio / Overview: Ann Stevenson has an industry background in adult education and training. Having managed a training organisation for many years she has extensive experience in business transformation, project management, leadership and training.

With a Master in Business Administration (MBA) and a variety of qualifications in training and learning design, she brings business acumen and an adult education perspective to the team.

Within the ATS, Ms Stevenson oversees team operations, consults with industry partners and manages projects to successful completion.

Murielle Kluge

Dr. Murielle Kluge

Research and Strategy Coordinator


  • The University of Newcastle, School of Biomedical Sciences & Pharmacy

Contact: Murielle.Kluge@Newcastle.edu.au

Brief Bio / Overview: Dr. Murielle Kluge has been with the ATS from a very early stage and is involved in most of the ongoing projects. She fulfils a variety of roles and is critically involved in synthesising knowledge through complex partnerships between technology experts, clinical psychologists, educators, academics and industry groups.

With a PhD in Neuroscience, she supports the team with a process-driven and scientific approach to planning, managing and evaluating the effectiveness of new training tools. Her main interest is the creation of effective and user-focused stress management training platforms, to move away from the stigma currently attached to some stress management techniques.

Steven Maltby

Dr. Steven Maltby

Project Manager


  • The University of Newcastle, School of Biomedical Sciences & Pharmacy
  • Hunter Medical Research Institute

Contact: Steven.Maltby@Newcastle.edu.au

Brief Bio / Overview: Dr. Steven Maltby has a research background, focussed on understanding immune responses to infection and in lung disease (e.g. asthma). He subsequently developed skills in project management and communication with the Centre of Excellence in Severe Asthma, developing educational and clinical resources to improve patient outcomes.

Within the ATS, Dr. Maltby applies his research and project management expertise to the development of tailored health and education programs to improve healthcare professional training and support disease management.

Angela Keynes

Dr. Angela Keynes

Project Coordinator


  • The University of Newcastle, School of Biomedical Sciences & Pharmacy

Contact: Angela.Keynes@Newcastle.edu.au

Brief Bio / Overview: Dr Angela Keynes has been with ATS since its start-up, and has played a vital role in operations and project initiation. With a PhD in Biochemistry from University of Oxford, and a Diploma in Project Management, her unique skillset enables her to act as both a project coordinator and internal systems management.

Her project-related responsibilities are centred in healthcare-related projects. In particular, she has focussed on acute clinical training programs and patient-focused well-being solutions. Angela also has a special interest in culturally-relevant and philanthropic initiatives, where XR technologies can be applied to benefit the broader community.

Rebecca Hood

Dr. Rebecca Hood

Project Manager


  • The University of Newcastle, School of Biomedical Sciences & Pharmacy

Contact: Rebecca.Hood@Newcastle.edu.au

Brief Bio / Overview: Dr. Rebecca Hood has been working both as as stroke research scientist and project manager within the ATS since 2018. Her research has focused on how stroke affects the pressure inside the skull, as well as the processes occurring in the chronic phases after stroke. Her expertise in stroke has made her the central driver of the TACTICS VR tool, which provides workflow training for clinical staff on acute stroke management in the ED.

Her ability to distill, synthesise and translate complex concepts to suit specific contexts and audiences makes her an invaluable team member at ATS. Dr. Hood is directly involved in the development and coordination of tailored health-related training programs.

Adam Niesler

Mr. Adam Niesler

Facility Manager FRICS


  • The University of Newcastle, School of Biomedical Sciences & Pharmacy

Brief Bio / Overview: Adam Niesler recently joined the ATS team as the Facility Manager for the FRICS project. Adam has a background in Defence and Electronic Equipment maintenance having served in the Australian Army for over 12 years as an Electronics Technician and Workshop Manager. Adam’s specialist knowledge and experience in operating and maintaining communication systems, advanced weapons systems and medical and dental equipment, enhances the capability of the team to collect scientific data and meet its research goals. Adam also has a passion for technology and training, specifically using Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality.

Within the ATS, Adam is responsible for the day to day operations and management of the FRICS facility. He is responsible for operations of the Virtual Reality system; engaging with trial participants and collecting participant data; and collecting biometric data for analysis by the ATS team.



The University of Newcastle

Hunter New England Health

University of New South Wales

University of Technology Sydney

University of Sydney

University of Tasmania

Australian Defence Force

  • Prof. Eugene Aidman (DSTG)
  • LTCOL Dan Harrison (Army HQ)
  • MAJ Nicole Walker (Army School of Health)
  • LTCOL Neanne Bennett (Office of Strategic and Operational Mental Health)

External Experts

  • Liz Ditton – Clinical Psychologist
  • Brendon Knott – Clinical Psychologist

Designing, Developing and Implementing Next Generation Training

Centre for Advanced Training Systems
Learn About the Centre

Learn About the Centre

The Centre for Advanced Training Systems brings together researchers, educators and technology experts to provide tailored end-to-end project management.

Learn About Specific Projects

Learn About Specific Projects

The Centre for Advanced Training Systems (ATS) activities are funded on a project-specific basis and focus on improving workplace training in three main areas: Defence, Health and Education.

Learn About the Team

Learn About the Team

Our focus is on working with organisations to develop, implement and evaluate new training approaches that take advantage of digital platforms, particularly digital simulation platforms.

Mailing list signup

Join our mailing list to receive information on Centre updates and to be involved in testing of new applications.

Centre for Advanced Training Systems

Funding: The Centre for Advanced Training Systems (ATS) is based at The University of Newcastle. ATS activities are made possible through project-specific funding, as outlined in the Projects pages.