Home > Diving News > Bursting bubbles: The Simon Mitchell Story

Bursting bubbles: The Simon Mitchell Story

Earlier this year renowned diving physician and Head of Anaesthesiology at the University of Auckland, Dr Simon Mitchell, became a ‘full professor’.

He delivered his inaugural lecture (as a full professor) on 23 August 2017 at Grafton Campus, Auckland, New Zealand.

His lecture was titled ‘Bursting bubbles. How a recreational passion drove an academic career’ and looked at his personal academic journey that started with a teenage passion for diving and led to an inspirational career.


Simon is a lifelong passionate diver and was a member of a team that located, dived and identified 3 deep shipwrecks of high historical significance in Australia and New Zealand. At the time of one of these dives it was the deepest (180 mt / 600 ft) ever undertaken to a wreck.

During his inaugural lecture he spoke about being part of the team that established a consenus definition of ‘mild decompression illness’ and legitimised the option to not recompress divers that met that definition. It became a global paradigm shift. In 2005 a workshop was held to discuss this. You can find the proceedings here.

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