Rob Orr

Dr, LT, Lieutenant, Dr

  • Bond University, Faculty of Health Sciences and Medicine

    4229 Gold Coast


  • Tactical Research Unit, Health Sciences and Medicine 2 Promethean Way Bond Institute of Health and Sport Robina Queensland 4226


Accepting PhD Students

  • 216 Citations
  • 8 h-Index
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Personal profile

Research interests

I have served in the Australian Army in a full time capacity for 23 years as an infantry soldier and Defence Force Physical Training Instructor (PTI, uniformed physiotherapist and Human Performance Officer). During this time my fields of research have included physical conditioning and injury prevention for military personnel, from the initial trainee to the elite warrior, with a key focus on combat load carriage. Serving as the Human Performance Officer for the Royal Military College and Special Operations units before joining the team at Bond University in 2012, I continue to serve in the Army Reserve as a Human Performance Officer and as a sessional presenter.

As co-lead of the Bond University Tactical Research Unit, my fields of research include the physical conditioning and injury prevention of tactical personnel from trainees to specialists. With a doctoral degree in tactical load carriage, my passion is researching the impacts of load carriage on tactical personnel.

I am currently the co-chair of Tactical Strength and Conditioning - Australia(TSACA), and am the section editor for the Australian Strength and Conditioning Journal and editor for the NSCA TSAC Report.

Still generally focussing on the tactical population, I am currently actively involved in research with the Australian and foreign defence forces, several police departments (both national and international), and firefighters. This research is focussed on optimising the conditioning and performance of tactical personnel while minimising injuries.

I am also investigating means of enhancing the lethality and mobility of tactical personnel required to carry loads, and the recovery pathways of personnel who have been wounded or injured.

Statement for HDR students

Potential students interested in, or who are currently working with, tactical populations (military, police and firefighters) may find some of the projects on offer to their liking.

Projects include the training and rehabilitation of recruits and serving personnel, optimising selection processes for specialist streams, improving rehabilitation of injured members for return to work and investigating the impact of load carriage on occupational task performances (like mobility and lethality).

Some current projects include:

  • Successful physiological attributes of a SWAT Officer
  • An FMS profile of Police officer recruits and qualified police officers
  • Profiling and comparing the physiological demands of NSW Police officers during OTJ tasks
  • Glock pistol accuracy in relation to grip size and strength
  • The role of physiotherapists in the reconditioning of injured police officers
  • Investigating the impact of a structure conditioning program on the physical performance of Police Officers
  • Profiling injuries in the Australian Army reserve
  • The impact of fighting a structural fire on firefighters' hydration statuses


Education/Academic qualification

Philosophy, PhD, University of Queensland

Physiotherapy, Masters of Physiotherapy Studies, University of Queensland

External positions

Editor - TSAC Report, National Strength and Conditioning Association

1 Jan 2015 → …

Human Performance Officer, The Australian Army

29 Mar 1989 → …

Fingerprint Fingerprint is based on mining the text of the person's scientific documents to create an index of weighted terms, which defines the key subjects of each individual researcher.

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Research Output 2010 2019

6 Downloads (Pure)

A Profile of Knee Injuries Suffered by Australian Army Reserve Soldiers

Schram, B., Orr, R. M. & Pope, R. R., 1 Jan 2019, In : International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 16, 1, 10 p., 12.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Open Access
Knee Injuries
Military Personnel
Wounds and Injuries
Soft Tissue Injuries
Open Access

Effects of Oral Chondroitin Sulfate on Osteoarthritis-Related Pain and Joint Structural Changes: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Knapik, J., Pope, R. R., Hoedebecke, S., Schram, B. & Orr, R. M., 19 Mar 2019, In : Journal of special operations medicine : a peer reviewed journal for SOF medical professionals. 19, 1, p. 113-124 12 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Chondroitin Sulfates
9 Downloads (Pure)

Injuries in Australian Army full-time and part-time personnel undertaking basic training

Schram, B., Pope, R. R. & Orr, R. M., 5 Jan 2019, In : BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders. 20, 1, 9 p., 6.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Open Access
Wounds and Injuries
Military Personnel

Profiling the Occupational Tasks and Physical Conditioning of Specialist Police

Irving, S., Orr, R. M. & Pope, R. R., Jan 2019, In : International Journal of Exercise Science . 12, 3, p. 173-186 14 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Open Access
Physical Fitness
New Zealand
Surveys and Questionnaires

Activities 2012 2020

5th International Congress on Soldiers' Physical Performance

Rob Orr (Member of programme committee)
11 Feb 202014 Feb 2020

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventOrganising a conference, workshop, ...

Physiotherapy Theory and Practice: an international journal of physical therapy (Journal)

Rob Orr (Reviewer)
15 Apr 2019

Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workPeer-review

Designing conditioning programs for tactical trainees

Rob Orr (Speaker)
13 Jan 2019

Activity: Talk or presentationInvited talk

International Journal of Exercise Science (Journal)

Rob Orr (Reviewer)

Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workPeer-review

World Confederation for Physical Therapy Congress 2019

Rob Orr (Member of programme committee)
25 Sep 201813 May 2019

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventOrganising a conference, workshop, ...

Press / Media

Soldiers' equipment weighing down defence force, doctor warns

Rob Orr


1 item of media coverage

Press/Media: Expert Comment