Our multidisciplinary research team includes experts in epidemiology, clinical research, biological sciences, technology development and optometry, ophthalmology and opticianry – all with relentless and insatiable passion for public health.

Clinical Research and Trial Services

Our Clinical Research and Trials Centre in Sydney is a specialised clinical research facility with capabilities and programs specifically designed to meet the needs of the ophthalmic and vision care industry.

Dedicated clinical research teams aim to identify and understand clinical problems by evaluating the performance of contemporary products.

We have the capacity, technical expertise and experience to generate effective product-based solutions.

Extensive laboratory facilities and the expertise of the scientific team provide a vital adjunct by enabling in-depth evaluation of the interaction between products and the ocular environment.


Clinical research activities are dedicated to developing and testing products for vision correction, including:
  • Contact lenses
  • Contact lens solutions
  • Spectacles
  • New instruments and techniques.
Clinical Research
Clinical Research
Cutting edge technology

With our technology team we have developed specialised instruments and software for our clinical research, including electronic vision charts for distance, intermediate and near testing and a customised clinical database.

We also possess cutting-edge commercial instruments, such as optical coherence tomography and laser interferometric biometry.

Standards and Guidelines

All optometrists are highly qualified, required to demonstrate concordance at regular intervals, and undergo regular training to maintain and enhance general and specialised optometric skills.

Local and international regulations and guidelines met include:
  • National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research
  • Access to Unapproved Therapeutic Goods
  • Good Clinical Practice
  • Declaration of Helsinki.

Participant populations

In addition to our Sydney clinical trials centre, we have a clinical research facility at Brien Holden Vision Institute China in Guangzhou. We currently have more than 2,500 and 1,200 active participants listed on our Sydney and Guangzhou facilities respectively.

We also have access to overseas collaborators for trials that require special populations or a larger sample size.


Daniel Tilia BOptom (Hons), MOptom, GradCertOcTher, FBCLA, FAAO

Daniel received his Bachelor of Optometry with Honours in 1990, his Master of Optometry in 1999 and Graduate Certificate in Ocular Therapeutics in 2012, all from the University of New South Wales (UNSW), Sydney, Australia.
He is currently enrolled as a part-time PhD candidate at UNSW, assessing the impact of binocular vision disorders on contact lens dissatisfaction.

Daniel spent 16 years in private practice before joining the Brien Holden Institute in 2006. He has also been a clinical supervisor at the School of Optometry and Vision Science, University of New South Wales since 1994.

Daniel has published on a variety of ophthalmic topics, including ocular pathology, contact lens case
contamination, contact lens compliance, contact lens deposition, contact lens solution compatibility and novel contact lenses for correcting presbyopia.

He has presented at the American Academy of Optometry (AAO), Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) and the British Contact Lens Association (BCLA). He is a Fellow of BCLA and AAO and a member of ARVO, Optometry Australia and the Cornea and Contact Lens Society of Australia.

Technology - Novel Instruments and Know How

Contact lens metrology
  • Lens parameter measurements in accordance with ISO
  • Visualisation of optical zones and defects using unique Contact Lens Quality Analyser
  • Measuring the shape of soft contact lenses, including base curve profile
  • Assessment of contact lens optical performance for central and peripheral vision using life size model eye.

Developed and validated clinical assessment tools
  • Electronic Vision Charts for distance, intermediate and near
  • Testing of peripheral contrast sensitivity
  • Dynamic vision assessment, i.e. vision after blink
  • Peripheral refraction measurement

Material testing
  • Customised micro-tensometer to measure mechanical properties of contact lens materials under on-eye conditions
  • Determination of equivalent water content
  • Assessing surface wettability using meniscus height and meniscus force methods
  • Spectral transmission and refractive index measurements
  • Hydraulic conductivity of contact lens and related materials
Our novel instruments
  • Optical Quality Analyser (1985)
  • CRCERT-Belmonte Aesthesiometer (2000)
  • Ex Vivo Accommodation Simulator (2005)
  • Eye Tracker (2004)
  • Micro-Tensometer (2004)
  • Model Eye (2011)
  • EyeMapper (2011)
  • OCT Profilometer (2014)
  • Friction Meter (2015)


  • Modified Autorefractor (2007)
  • Aberrometer (2009)
  • Measuring Microscope (2013)


Dr Klaus Ehrmann
BEng MSc PhD

Dr Ehrmann’s professional qualifications include a BEng awarded from the Aalen University of Applied Sciences, Germany (1986); an MSc in machine design from the Cranfield University, UK (1988) and a PhD in Biomedical Engineering from the University of New South Wales (1997).

He has held engineering R&D positions in the USA, Israel, Germany, Australia and the UK. Prior to joining the University of New South Wales for his Doctoral degree, he worked for several years for the National Physical Measurement Laboratory in Germany.

For the last 17 years Dr Ehrmann has been responsible for instrument development and metrology at Brien Holden. His interests concentrate on developing innovative methods for vision correction and related instrumentation. 
He has published over 40 peer-reviewed articles, holds a number of vision and contact lens related patents and has received numerous awards for his innovative ideas.

Dr Ehrmann is a member of the Australian working group on ISO standards related to intra ocular lenses. The physical model eye he co-developed has recently been recommended to be included as a reference in the updated draft of ISO 11979.

Technology Transfer

In 2017, our extended depth of focus (EDOF) contact lens technology was licensed to SEED Co Ltd in Japan and mark’ennovy in Europe respectively, to produce contact lenses for myopia management as well as the correction of presbyopia.

A successful transfer of the licenced technology involves ongoing support from Brien Holden Vision Institute to ensure seamless integration of the licensed technology into existing manufacturing processes.

This process, managed by Science and Technology Manager, Dr Fabian Conrad, involves the areas of design creation, quality control, clinical validation and testing, as well as marketing and regulatory support.


We have developed patented software to aid quality control in the manufacturing of EDOF contact lenses. This involves a method for assessing the similarity between a power profile of a manufactured optic device and a nominal power profile upon which the power profile of the device is based. The software aids in ascertain the quality of the power profile confirms the optical power (label) of the manufactured lens.


Dr Fabian Conrad PhD

Dr Conrad is a scientist in the areas of software development, contact lens design and myopia research.

He has extensive experience in developing novel technology and software for scientific research
applications and is currently responsible for the technology transfer of intellectual property from the inventor (Brien Holden Vision Institute) to commercial licensees.

Fabian completed his undergraduate studies in Optometry at the University of Applied Sciences in Berlin and his PhD at Brien Holden Vision Institute, through the University of New South Wales, Sydney, in 2010.


Learn more about how, through development of novel optical devices (contact lenses, spectacles, intra-ocular lenses), treatments for dry eye, through the multiple projects in our myopia program, and by collaborating with industry partners, we are tackling some of the major challenges in vision care.

Our 2016-2017 Annual Review also contains some of our major achievements in the last financial year (July 2016 – June 2017) – the latest licencing agreements to convert our novel technology into commercial products, research discoveries providing new insights for practitioners and manufacturers, and how our people are making an impact.