Changing the world for the better through science

“My dream is to “change the world”, to allow science to make lives better and by making them better to unleash the potential that lives within all souls”.

These are the words of Simon McMaster, the Founding Scientist of Footfalls & Heartbeats (UK) Limited.  Simon is an expert in smart textile structures and the nano-scale interactions that govern the movement of these micromechanical structures.

Footfalls & Heartbeats has developed a revolutionary and proprietary process for manufacturing smart textiles where the “textile is the sensor”™. Through partnerships with international organisations, the integration of this technology is being tested in both consumer and healthcare applications.

Simon’s quote by no means contains empty words, as Footfalls & Heartbeats is already on the path to changing the world: An early and likely application for Footfalls & Heartbeats' technology is a compression bandage, which the team is developing in partnership with KOB, the world’s leading manufacturer of bandages and fabrics.   This will be used on chronic leg ulcers and will transform the treatment for patients needing compression therapy.

Simon, who is from New Zealand, believes that being a Kiwi is why he gets on with nearly everyone he meets.  But it might also be because he believes in treating people in the way that he would wish to be treated himself.  

It is not surprising then that the values that form the four pillars of Footfall & Heartbeat’s core culture, were established by Simon:

Honesty – Integrity – Excellence – Compassion

Simon says, “I chose these values because they are very important to how I live my life.  It is important that if you have the chance to help people and make a difference – that you do so”.

“My sole aim is that through science and what we do we make the world a better place.”

Simon believes it is essential to build the right culture in Footfalls & Heartbeats and works hard to ensure that every team member is 100% behind the company values.  Getting this right from the start means that everyone is aiming for the same thing. 

Footfalls & Heartbeats certainly does have its sights set on making a positive impact on the world.  Potential applications for their technology include medical monitoring during tests like electrocardiograms, infant monitoring and pressure sensing in wheelchairs and beds.  Future product development includes the ability to measure blood oxygen saturation levels and blood flow rates.

These developments could lead to applications including injury rehabilitation, neurological trauma reconditioning, real-time stress testing or a human interface for robotics.

Beyond health, Footfalls & Heartbeats' technology also has the potential to measure the mechanical stress in composite structures such as satellites, aircraft wings, wind turbine blades, yacht hulls and foils and high performance car chassis.

Being a Kiwi, Simon is a keen sailor, and one day his dream is to develop the future generation of America Cup sailing yachts (obviously for the New Zealand team).

Simon says, “A desire to change the world, no matter how grand or small is a truly bold and powerful decision. Take this decision and make it happen. Listen to yourself and make a difference.”