Introduction to Surgical Design and Simulation

Course coming in Fall 2018.


Surgical Design and Simulation (SDS) is an expanding field, with applications in numerous stages of surgical planning and of patient treatment. Currently, there are limited resources available to clinicians and professionals interested in learning about the technical workflow required to apply digital technologies to treatment planning. The lack of structured information makes it challenging to learn the important information required to implement digital technologies. The Introduction to Surgical Design and Simulation course was developed to prepare individuals who want to initiate an understanding of the digital environment with unbiased content. This course provides an opportunity to learn on one’s own time and pace which is highly beneficial for busy professionals.

The course will provide individuals with a broad overview of the SDS field and the technical workflow. Topics include a basic history of the evolution of digital technologies, an overview of imaging, software, hardware, additive manufacturing, materials, regulatory requirements and a review of case studies where SDS was applied.

This fully online non-credit course (13 hours of content) is delivered using the University of Alberta's eClass external platform and runs over a 6 week time frame.

Course Learning Objectives

  • To gain familiarity of the historical clinical context of applied digital technologies in the
  • To understand the advanced digital technology workflow
  • To identify the essential technical requirements and skills needed to successfully accomplish the advanced digital technology workflow
  • To understand the key concepts underlying industrial design and computing science principles
  • To understand the applications of advanced digital technology in the medical field

Course Instructor

HEATHER LOGAN is a Surgical Design Simulationist at iRSM. After obtaining her Bachelor of Design at the University of Alberta, she went on to complete a Master of Science in Rehabilitation Science with a specialization in Surgical Design and Simulation. She first became interested in the field of head and neck reconstruction after a practicum at iRSM as an industrial design student in 2009. Logan’s clinical responsibilities involve design and fabrication of patient specific surgical guides and templates for head and neck reconstruction. Her research involves developing and refining surgical design and simulation methods and understanding patient outcomes. Logan’s teaching experience includes courses in advanced digital technologies in head and neck reconstruction at the Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine.

Technical Requirements

It is the student’s individual responsibility to ensure all technical requirements for online participation are met and functioning before the course starts. To participate in the online content, the student must have the following minimum requirements: 

- Access to a computer or mobile device with a high‐speed internet connection 
- An internet browser (e.g. Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, Google Chrome). 
- It is strongly recommended you download the latest versions of Adobe Reader, Quicktime, Flash and Java. 

Please note that lectures are provided in an HTML5 format and so should be playable on most browsers and mobile devices without the need to install Flash.

How to Apply?

To apply to take the Introduction to Surgical Design and Simulation course please complete the online application below. The applications are checked to determine if they are complete. Incomplete files will not be considered.

Step 1: Complete the Online Course Application (will be available shortly)
Step 2: Pay the $50 application fee (will be available shortly)
Step 3: Your application will be reviewed after which you will be contacted by email re: your acceptance into the course
Step 4: Submit Payment for the Course (will be available shortly)

After you submit your online application it will be reviewed by the Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine. Once reviewed the course coordinator will contact you via the email address provided in the application to inform you of your acceptance into the course. Once accepted you will be emailed detailed information on how to access the course.

*All course fees must be paid in full before participants are provided access to the course (see fees and expenses).

Contact Information

If you would like to be notified once we begin course registrations or for any toerh course inquiries please e-mail

The development of this online course is a collaboration between the University of Alberta's Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine and the Institute for Reconstructive Sciences in Medicine (iRSM) which is an internationally recognized clinical and research institute focused on medical reconstructive sciences. Established in 1993, iRSM is a joint initiative of the University of Alberta, Covenant Health and Alberta Health Services, based at the Misericordia Community Hospital in Edmonton, Alberta.