ISB Grants Awarded

Posted on June 7, 2017

We are pleased to report that between December 2016 and April 2017, 28 Student Grants were funded by the ISB. The majority of these (21) are to help support the costs of travelling to ISB2017 in Brisbane. The remainder were for the Matching Dissertation Grant, the International Travel Grant and the Technical Group Travel Grant.  The successful applicants are from the USA, Europe, Canada, Brazil and Australia and the total amount awarded by ISB was more than 34,000 USD. It's great to see so many high quality applications from around the world.

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ISB Grant Reports

Posted on March 27, 2017

Research visit to learn ultrasound elastography method

András Hegyi, University of Jyväskylä, Finland

I am studying hamstring muscles as a Ph.D. student under the supervision of Prof. Neil Cronin and Prof. Taija Finni at the University of Jyväskylä, Finland. I recently visited Prof. Antoine Nordez and Prof. François Hug at the Laboratory “Movement, Interactions, Performance”, University of Nantes (France) to learn ultrasound elastography method and apply it on hamstring muscles during muscle contractions. However, I happened to receive much more than I expected.

I spent around 2 months in this nice historical city. One month before my trip we had a meeting with Antoine Nordez and François Hug in Finland. My excitement started at this point, due to 2 reasons: first, they told me that no-one speaks English in Nantes, and second, that Nantes is a very rainy and dark city. After this point, I do not remember the rest of our talk, which was probably about my visit. But I was just thinking that if I get lost while going to the lab I cannot ask anyone where to go and cannot see the soaked map in the darkness either. Therefore, my first thing before I left my lovely English-speaking Finland was to pick up the most important French words from a dictionary to survive and to buy a super good raincoat.

On the day traveling there I was quite confident that I am well prepared. I slept one night in Paris on my way to Nantes. I rented a room there, and the first surprising thing was that the landlord spoke English pretty well! Before getting too happy he told me that Nantes is different, no-one speaks English there. But I learned the most important French words so no problem – I thought! Next surprise touched me when I arrived in Nantes: the sky was clear so it was a beautiful sunny day! It made me confident when I went to drink my first coffee in there. I ordered with my nice French knowledge. But they were just staring at me… Then I realized that they pronounce their romantic words completely differently than they write them! Well, in about 15 minutes I dived into the delicious flavor of their coffee and forgot about this incident for a while.

Although I could write much more about this lovely city (which had clear sky almost every day while I was there!), let me share some of my experiences in the lab, where I spent most of my days. I spent there a lot of time not only because everyone was speaking English in the lab but mainly because I could be part of an outstanding research team. Lilian Lacourpaille and Killian Bouillard post-docs helped me to learn ultrasound elastography method. We had many difficulties with recording reliably from hamstrings during contraction, which however forced me to dive deep inside to the methodology and gain a confident knowledge in using the method and interpreting the results. As an unexpected bonus, I also learned how to set up and use freehand 3-D ultrasound, another state-of-the-art method. To not get bored with studying human movements, I could also participate in a study where the validity of the ultrasound extended field of view imaging was tested on a delicious-looking meat, which was my first afterlife experiment. Even though everyone was very busy with his own things we had many meetings and discussions.

I experienced an outstanding hospitality in a great-working lab. Besides doing hard work in the lab I also had the opportunity to enjoy life outside the lab by visiting bars and eating delicious food in restaurants with these friendly researchers. This visit provided not only great opportunities for future research collaborations but established long-lasting friendships, hopefully. However, I still do not believe that Nantes is a rainy city, therefore, I will definitely go back to test it again!

Hereby, I would like to thank the International Society of Biomechanics for making my research visit possible, which was definitely one of my best experiences during my Ph.D. so far. I also thank Prof Antoine Nordez, François Hug and everyone in the lab for making my visit a great experience.


Visit to Nice to study high-performance training

Scott R Brown

What a year it has been. For me, 2016 started out like many other years before; filled with an incredibly long list of things to do and no idea on where to start. As a doctoral candidate in my final year of study at Auckland University of Technology (AUT), I understood the importance of knuckling-down and finishing my thesis. However, as a young researcher trying to make a name for myself, I also valued the importance of travel, conference presentation, collaboration and enjoying life. While perhaps difficult to imagine the cohabitation of these ideals, I was bound to make it happen.

Several years ago, while he was speaking at the Sports Performance Research Institute New Zealand (SPRINZ) Conference, I had the privilege of meeting Professor Jean-Benoît Morin from Université Côte d’Azur in Nice, France. Since our meeting, we have not only stayed in touch but have also worked on several manuscripts together (from afar). In the beginning of 2016, we discussed my involvement in a project occurring in Nice and whether I could fit it into my busy year. Of course my answer was yes and I frantically began searching for funding opportunities.

When I came across the ISB Student International Travel Grant, I knew it was meant to be. Not only was I an active member of ISB, but Professor Morin and my PhD supervisor Professor Patria Hume were as well. A research proposal and a few letters of recommendation later and I was in! The grant funding helped me to afford the hefty costs of flying from Auckland, NZL to Nice, FRA, accommodation for four weeks and other necessities like food and transportation. More importantly, the grant helped me live the life that I wanted to live by traveling, collaborating and experiencing such a wonderful part of the world.

While in Nice, Professor Morin and I worked alongside Dr Pedro Jiménez-Reyes from Universidad Católica San Antonio de Murcia, Murcia, ESP on a project in sprinting. We spent several days Skyping with our collaborative team at Université Savoie Mont Blanc, Chambéry, FRA (Dr Pierre Samozino and Mr Matt Cross) and Glasgow Warriors, Scotstoun Stadium, Glasgow, GBR (George Petrakos) to ensure we had presented a clear and impactful message in our manuscript. Before my time was up in Nice we were able to submit our project titled, “Very-heavy sled training for improving horizontal force output in soccer players” to the International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance.

Now, six months after my trip I am re-examining the most important aspects of my trip to Nice. Our manuscript has been accepted, is currently in press and I had successfully defended my PhD. While these are all great achievements academically, I find that I hold more valuable the discussions had with Professor Morin about life as a husband, father, teacher, researcher and athlete; and how anyone can be great at all of them simultaneously if you prioritise wisely. I cherish my memories enjoying the French cheese and beer with this amazing group of individuals (including a surprise visit by Dr Yann Le Meur from AS Monaco Football Club, Monaco, FRA), their supportive families and my lovely fiancé Erin during the warm summer on the French Riviera. I live differently today (academically and personally) because of my experiences travelling to Nice last year. I know that I have the council members for the ISB Student International Travel Grant and my collaborative European team to thank for this wonderful experience. Merci, gracias, kia ora and thank you!


Matching Dissertation Grant funded work into total knee replacement

Kevin Valenzuela

In February 2016, I received the email of my receiving the ISB Matching Dissertation grant.  I immediately put this money to work as my dissertation research had also just cleared the IRB protocol at my university.  The bulk of the money in the grant went to subject recruitment.  My research involves the investigation of biomechanical, strength, balance, and functional factors related to total knee replacement patients and their satisfaction levels with their replaced joint.  The overall goal was to look for identifiable physical characteristics which contribute to patient dissatisfaction.  In order to examine this, we chose to assess 3D kinematics and kinetics for over ground walking, stair ascent, and stair descent.  Additionally, we tested isokinetic knee flexion and extension strength, bilateral and unilateral balance abilities, and some functional tests frequently used in the rehabilitation process for total knee replacement patients.

As of the date of this report, we have finished collecting and processing data and are currently writing up four different manuscripts.  We spent approximately 10 months sorting through records of a local orthopaedic surgeon, identifying patients who fit our criteria, opening the lines of communication, and finally performing our data collections on them.  Each participant visited our lab on two different days to perform all of our tests.  During that 10 months, plus an additional two, we processed and analyzed all of our data, while compiling two abstracts in the process for conference presentation (one of which is the ISB conference).

We have examined a variety of variables we believe are related to patient dissatisfaction, which will be evident in the four manuscripts being written.  The first is on the strength, balance, and deep knee flexion abilities of our three participant groups (dissatisfied knee replacement patients, satisfied knee replacement patients, and a healthy control group).  The second is on the overground walking movement profile of the dissatisfied patient group as compared to the other two groups.  The third is on the stair ascent and descent movement profile.  Finally, the fourth, which is the exciting part of this entire project, is to perform a logistic regression on the data collected in order to find the variables which best predict patient satisfaction.

This project has been an adventure and a huge learning process.  From myself and those who have helped along the way, we want to sincerely thank ISB for their support of this project.  The monetary support provided and the faith placed in this project has been incredibly rewarding and helpful.  To know that it has the backing of an international institution in our field has provided a tremendous amount of moral support during the tough parts of the project.  Thank you very much for all the support.


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ISB Matching Dissertation Grant: Lauren Benson

Posted on December 19, 2016

With the funds I received from the ISB Matching Dissertation Grant, and a matching amount from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee College of Health Sciences, I was able to complete my dissertation.  My project was titled “Identifying Gait Deficits in Stroke Patients Using Inertial Sensors.”  Falls remain a significant problem for stroke patients.  Tripping, the main cause of falls, occurs when there is insufficient clearance between the foot and ground.  Based on an individual’s gait deficits, different kinematic patterns are necessary to achieve adequate foot clearance during walking.  However, gait deficits are typically only quantified in a research or clinical setting, and it would be helpful to use wearable devices to quantify gait disorders in real-world situations.  Therefore, the objective of this project was to understand gait characteristics that influence the risk of tripping, and to detect these characteristics using accelerometers.

Thirty-five participants with a range of walking abilities performed normal walking and attempted to avoid tripping on an unexpected object while gait characteristics were quantified using motion capture techniques and accelerometers.  Multiple regression was used to identify the relationship between joint coordination and foot clearance, and multiple analysis of variance was used to determine characteristics of gait that differ between demographic groups, as well as those that enable obstacle avoidance.  Machine learning techniques were employed to detect joint angles and the risk of tripping from patterns in accelerometer signals.

Measures of foot clearance that represent toe height throughout swing instead of at a single time point are more sensitive to changes in joint coordination.  Participants with a history of falls or stroke perform worse than older non-fallers and young adults on many factors related to falls risk, however, there are no differences in the ability to avoid an unexpected obstacle between these groups.  Individuals with an inability to avoid an obstacle have lower scores on functional evaluations, exhibit limited sagittal plane joint range of motion during swing, and adopt a conservative walking strategy.  Machine learning processes can be used to predict knee range of motion and classify individuals at risk for tripping based on an ankle-worn accelerometer.  This work is significant because a wearable device that detects gait characteristics relevant to the risk of tripping may reduce the risk of falls for stroke patients.

Lauren Benson

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

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ISB Travel Grant: Fransiska Bossuyt

Posted on December 19, 2016

The International travel grant offered by the International Society of Biomechanics gave me the opportunity to go on a research stay of six weeks (From August till the middle of September 2016) at the Human Engineering Research Laboratories of the University of Pittsburgh under supervision of Dr. Michael Boninger.

The research stay allowed me access to expertise, state of the art research facilities and research environment. Working together with staff and students in an extremely stimulating research environment in the United States was a unique experience which I will take with me throughout my further life. During the research visit I discussed and refined the research strategy of my PhD project with Dr. Boninger. The project aims to investigate the effect of fatigue on shoulder mechanics during wheelchair propulsion. I also learned to perform and analyse quantitative ultrasound protocols (QUS) which will be used in the data collection of the projects of my PhD. Another important part of the visit was the preparation of a manuscript which investigates changes in propulsion kinetics during an overground figure 8 fatigue protocol. With this project I gained valuable insights into the fatigue protocol which will also be used in further projects of my PhD. Besides working on the research strategy and the manuscript I also had the opportunity to observe data collection of several projects, moreover of the ambitious project of doctoral student Nathan Hogaboom including QUS. His project investigates how a fatiguing wheelchair transfer and propulsion protocol affects shoulder pain and pathology in hand-rim wheelchair users with SCI. Finally, I gave a presentation to the staff and students of HERL and the Swiss Paraplegic Research, my activities during the research stay and the finalised research strategy. It was a great honour to present for the staff and students and to be able to discuss the project with them.

The research visit was highly beneficial for my research project, was crucial to foster collaborations between the Human Engineering Research Laboratories and the Swiss Paraplegic Research regarding future research projects, and will be an important factor later on in my research career. I am enormously grateful for this opportunity and wish to thank the International Society of Biomechanics and the University of Luzern for their financial support. Furthermore, I wish to thank The Swiss Paraplegic Research and Dr. Ursina Arnet who fully supported me and helped me realise the research visit. Finally, special thanks go to my promotor Dr. Michael Boninger who invited me to come to visit their laboratories and spent a lot of time and effort in guiding me during this visit.

Fransiska Bossuyt

Swiss Paraplegic Research

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ISB Travel Grant: Jayishni Maharaj

Posted on December 19, 2016

With the support of the ISB travel grant, I travelled from Brisbane, Australia to present at the American Society of Biomechanics conference (Raleigh, USA) and then visited the Human Mobility Research Centre at Queens University, Canada to learn an innovative new method to investigate foot biomechanics.

Understanding the biomechanical function of the foot is difficult due to its complex structure. Currently, traditional motion capture is commonly used to describe the motion of multiple segments of the foot (Leardini et al., 2007). However even this level of detail is an over simplification of the actual joint rotations that occur within the foot. These estimates also suffer from poor fidelity of skin movement to underlying bone motion. Recent developments in 3D X-ray motion analysis allows non-invasive investigation of skeletal motion during dynamic activities such as locomotion (Astley and Roberts, 2012). The Human Mobility Research Centre at Queens University is setting up a laboratory using these novel videoradiography techniques. With the help of Assoc. Prof Rainbow, I was able to analysis data collected using these imaging techniques to gain a better understanding of the movement of the calcaneus and talus in the foot.

The visit was highly beneficial. I gained a lot of valuable skills including including segmenting bones from CT scans, creating partial volumes and surface areas of the segmented bones and subsequently tracking bones in high speed x-ray scans taken during walking. During the visit I also learnt how to fit objects to the articular surface of bones to create accurate anatomical coordinate systems and consequently calculate precise rotations between segments. To achieve these tasks, with my clinical background required a lot of upskilling in basic mechanical and mathematical concepts, knowledge that I believe will be invaluable as I continue to understand the mechanics of the foot after completion of my dissertation.

During my stay I also attended and presented at the American Society of Biomechanics Conference. I presented a study from my PhD thesis for the first time in a thematic poster session, which involved a short oral presentation followed by 10 minutes of group discussions. It was great presenting in this session, my research created some great discussion between several well renowned researchers in our field. The discussion led me to explore areas in my analysis I had not previously considered.  During the conference I was mentored by A/Prof Greg Sawicki, who gave some great advice and encouraged me to be creative with research ideas. His suggestions and questions were thought provoking and invaluable.

I would like to thank the ISB for the travel grant and Assoc. Prof Rainbow and his lab for hosting and assisting me during my visit.

Jayishni Maharaj

University of Queensland

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ISB Travel Grant: Alessandra Bento Matias

Posted on December 19, 2016

My name is Alessandra Matias and I am a PhD candidate in the Laboratory of Biomechanics of Human Movement and Posture, University of Sao Paulo Medical School – Brazil, under supervisor of Dr. Isabel Sacco.

I would like to thank the International Society of Biomechanics (ISB) Council for awarding me the ISB Student Travel Grant to visit Dr. Alberto Leardini at the Rizzoli Intitute for 5 weeks.

My project aiming was the methods of measurement of Medial longitudinal Arch during the static and dynamic tasks and verification of correspondence among the measures. Dr. Leardini and his team (Paolo Caravaggi in especial) gave me the opportunity to discuss the work and helped me to understand important things in the foot model related to the Arch. This was a great opportunity to improve my knowledge about biomechanics of the foot and especially about the multisegmentar model that I use in my research in Brazil developed by Dr. Leardini. There I learned new ways of implementation of projects and methodologies of acquisition.

I also had the opportunity to attend the 24th Annual Meeting of the European Orthopaedic Research Society hosted by Istituto Ortopedico Rizzoli. I had the chance to meet other researches and to discuss not only the research I was doing in Bologna but also topics about the career.

The team of Dr Leardini in Bologna is wonderful and I was very well welcomed into the Laboratory. I loved spending 5 weeks in Bologna and I could visit some museums, churches, and I tried a lot of Italian food and wines that were amazing.

One more time I would like to thank the ISB for the financial support that allowed me to have this unique experience.

Alessandra Bento Matias

PhD Candidate, Laboratory of Biomechanics of Human Movement and Posture, University of Sao Paulo Medical School, Brazil.

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ISB Travel Grant Report: JJ Hannigan

Posted on December 19, 2016

I am currently a doctoral candidate in the Motion Analysis Laboratory at the University of Oregon under the supervision of Dr. Li-Shan Chou.  This past summer I was able to attend to the XIV International Symposium on 3D Analysis of Human Movement in Taipei, Taiwan.  This travel was made possible largely due to the monetary contribution from the ISB Student Technical Group Travel Grant.

At the symposium, I had the opportunity to present my research on quantifying inter-segment coordination during running using a method called continuous relative phase.   My oral presentation, titled “Inter-Segment Coordination in Running: Is coordination variability different between sexes?”, focused on the ability of this technique to distinguish sex differences in coordination variability that cannot be seen using typical kinematic methods.  Presenting this research at the symposium gave me valuable feedback on my work that I am now incorporating into a manuscript.

The scientific and social programs at the symposium were both outstanding.  Because the focus of the symposium was on techniques and advances in quantifying 3D motion, presentations were more technically focused than at any biomechanics conference I had previously attended.  The technical aspects of the presentations could be applied to many different sub-fields within biomechanics, making it a very worthwhile conference for all attending.  The social highlight of the conference was undoubtedly the banquet, which included a 10-course meal, a live band, karaoke, and dancing.  Everyone in attendance had an amazing time!

I would like to thank the organizing committee, especially Dr. Tung-Wu Lu, for their extraordinary efforts in hosting the conference.  I would also like to thank the International Society of Biomechanics for their generous contribution, which greatly offset the cost of international travel.  I look forward to attending future 3DAHM symposiums and ISB-sponsored conferences as I continue my research.

JJ Hannigan

Motion Analysis Laboratory, University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon, USA

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ISB Travel Grant: Study in Cape Town

Posted on June 17, 2016

With support from the International Society of Biomechanics International Travel Grant, I spent 5 months at the Blast Impact and Survivability Research Unit (BISRU) at The University of Cape Town (UCT) in Cape Town, South Africa.  This opportunity provided me with both a global research experience and growth on a personal and scientific level.

My research at BISRU was experimentally focused; exactly what I had been hoping for as much of my research had been computationally based.  I designed an experiment for the penetration of skin in radial tension by means of knife wound.  From this quasi-static experiment, I obtained force-displacement data as well as used digital image correlation to obtain stress maps of the tested sample.  Through development of the project hypothesis, design of the experimental set-up and fixtures, collaboration with the Mechanical Workshop to build the fixtures, and execution of the tests, I gained experience in many aspects of the design process.  The data obtained and material properties learned from this experiment will be applied to the design of dynamic skin penetration testing and further the understanding of the biomechanics of knife wounds – the leading cause of homicide in many countries.

I am thankful for the support of my supervisors at BISRU, Professor Gerald Nurick and Dr. Reuben Govender as well as all of the help from the graduate students.  By attending weekly presentations by the graduate students, I also learned about the other projects that are currently being undertaken in the lab.  While there is a range of research happening, survivability remains the underlying goal of BISRU and continues to drive the lab with human protection in mind.

My experiences outside of the laboratory were as equally impactful during my trip.  I joined the UCT Gymnastics club and SHAWCO, the Students' Health and Welfare Centres Organisation, where once a week I joined in traveling to disadvantaged communities to tutor middle school students in mathematics.  I found the best part of Cape Town to be its diversity.  I was able to get to know people from all around the world and with the mountains, ocean, and colorful city, I was always learning and exploring through new adventures outside of the research lab.  I believe one of the most important things I learned was how to work with and appreciate the unique abilities and traits of different people.  This experience opened the door for global collaboration and I encourage other students to take advantage of any opportunity to perform research abroad.

I would like to thank the International Society of Biomechanics for the opportunities they provide students through programs such as the International Travel Grant.  Without it this grant, I would not have had this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that has further strengthened my passion of biomechanics and helped me become both a better researcher and a better person.


Melissa Boswell, University of Akron.

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ISB Grant Reports

Posted on April 4, 2016

Valencia – Auckland (September-December 2015)

The ISB International Travel Grant allowed me to visit the SPRINZ Centre (Auckland University of Technology) in New Zealand for 3 months. It has been an amazing experience, not only from a professional point of view, but also from a personal one.

During these months, I had the opportunity to participate in a number of different projects, ranging from anthropometric studies of the Auckland City Football Club to laboratory tests using some of the most novel equipment used in biomechanics studies. Within these studies, I learnt how to use the equipment of their laboratory, in particular their integrated system that included the Vicon Motion Capture System with a treadmill with integrated force plates and inertial measurement units. This methodology allowed us to measure a great number of biomechanical parameters without barely placing any equipment on participants.

Moreover, it also surprised me in a very positive way how the centre is organised. With the injury clinic downstairs, some central offices for a number of NZ sports which allows for quick communication with the given field, and the high performance centre located on the top floor, this organization enabled sport scientist of different disciplines (biomechanics, nutrition, health, physiotherapy, strength and conditioning, etc.) to work directly with elite athletes and organise meetings to design research projects that are of special interest for the athletes and which can be specifically applied to the field.

Last but not least, the people working there are amazing as well. It is very common to see teams of different areas of knowledge work together, and especially for the international students and visitors, everyone offers their help and make you feel welcome and comfortable in the new research environment. In this sense, my supervisors Patria Hume and Kelly Sheerin deserve a special thank you for all their help and support, not only before arriving but also throughout and after my visit to their lab. I would also like to thank the ISB organization for giving me the opportunity to live this wonderful experience abroad and put together these two labs, GIBD in Valencia and SPRINZ in Auckland, and sow what could be the first step of an international collaboration between the two research facilities.

Angel Lucas.

ISB Grant Reports

Posted on December 23, 2015

Aaron Fox

PhD Candidate, School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, Deakin University, Australia

First and foremost I would like to thank the International Society of Biomechanics for the support in the form of a Congress Travel Grant which gave me the opportunity to attend and present at the 25th Congress of the International Society of Biomechanics in Glasgow, Scotland. The conference program was full of interesting keynote presentations and podium sessions, with the quality of the work being presented of the highest standard of any conference I have attended.

I was lucky enough to be accepted for two oral presentations, both focusing on investigating optimal methods for field-based screening of anterior cruciate ligament injury risk in female athletes. This was the first opportunity I had to present my work to a room full of biomechanists, and was therefore an exciting opportunity to see how it would be received by an audience of experts. From my perspective the presentations went well, and having the opportunity to present opened up alleys for conversations with other researchers currently working in this field. The breaks and social events throughout the program allowed these conversations to continue and also provided the chance to meet face-to-face with some colleagues I had previously only interacted with via e-mail. Having the ability to engage in conversation with world leaders in the field of biomechanics was certainly a highlight of the conference.

Another highlight was the range of student-focused sessions and events organised. These included the mentoring session, mock academic interview, and student event. The mentoring session allowed us to question a number of experts on topics such as data collection and analysis techniques, job opportunities, and grant applications. The mock academic interview was something new, and provided information surrounding the questions to expect in an interview, how to (and how not to) answer these, and what prospective employers are looking for in these situations. The student event at Go Ape Zip Line and Treetop Adventures was a great way to get to know fellow students attending the conference, and was also heaps of fun.

This was my first time attending an ISB Congress and it was an eye-opening experience, providing motivation and direction to continue working in the field of biomechanics. This congress certainly won’t be my last, and am looking forward to seeing everyone in Brisbane, Australia in 2017!


Claudiane Fukuchi

Neuroscience and Cognition Program, Federal University of ABC, Brazil

I currently am a PhD student in the Neuroscience and Cognition Program at the Federal University of ABC – Brazil, under supervisor of Prof. Marcos Duarte. I was awarded the ISB Student Travel Grant that allowed me to visit Prof. Richard Baker at the University of Salford for a few months (May-July 2015). During the time I was in Salford I was primarily involved in a research study aiming at understanding how speed can influence the gait patterns. The research facility at the University of Salford headed by Prof. Baker is internationally recognized for its clinical gait research and I had the opportunity to broaden my knowledge in this area. Specifically, I was able to conduct an experiment where I looked the influence of gait speed on the Gait Profile Score index developed by Prof. Baker. Dr. Baker gave me the opportunity to discuss the work and helped me to understand important things in the data related to this index.

I also had the opportunity to attend the Clinical Gait Analysis course offered by Prof. Baker and his team. The clinical gait analysis course covered important scientific and clinical concepts that will certainly benefit me in my future research and clinical practice. As a physiotherapist, I have been struggling to combine clinical and biomechanical knowledge to advance the understanding about the effects of musculoskeletal impairment on gait patterns. The course designed by Dr. Baker as well as the experience I had working closed to him demonstrated to me that it is indeed possible to combine both skills.

My trip to UK ended at Glasgow where I could attend the 25th Congress of the International Society of Biomechanics. At the ISB Congress, I had the chance to meet other researches and to discuss not only the research I did in Salford but also other research topics that grasp my interest. Additionally, the keynote speakers delivered fascinating topics in different areas of biomechanics where I could learn what other researches outside of my field of interest are doing.

I would like to thank the ISB for the financial support that allowed me to have this unique experience which will certainly positively impact not only my PhD studies but also my career as a clinician and researcher. I would like to take this opportunity to specially thank Prof. Baker for his guidance, support and this unique opportunity to learn interesting things in the gait analysis field.


Ian M. Russell

Biomechanics Laboratory, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California, USA

My name is Ian Russell and I am a second year PhD student in the Biomechanics Lab at the University of Southern California under Dr. Jill McNitt-Gray.  My area of research is on the biomechanics of manual wheelchair propulsion in the spinal cord injury population.  I am extremely grateful to have received the Student Travel Grant for 2015 which enabled me to attend the 25th Congress of the International Society of Biomechanics in Glasgow.

At the conference I was able to present my original research on “Modifications in Wheelchair Propulsion Technique with Speed”.  This presentation covered research I had done with Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Hospital on how individual manual wheelchair users with paraplegia modify propulsion mechanics to accommodate expected increases in reaction forces generated at the pushrim with self-selected increases in wheelchair propulsion speed.  Presenting my research in the wheelchair propulsion session at the conference allowed me to easily connect and get valuable feedback from the other institutions around the world also conducting research on wheelchair propulsion.

A year ago a colleague in my lab and I developed a novel method for reporting shoulder kinematics, which is especially useful for describing complex motions.  We developed it when tasked with describing the motion of the upper arm relative to the torso while moving a wheelchair into the backseat of a car. Our kinematic representation method resolves many of the problems with current methods such as singularities as well as providing a more intuitive representation of the motion that could be understood by both an engineer and a clinician.  We presented this method to the International Shoulder Group at the ISB Conference.  It was received extremely well and we were asked to draft a paper on it so that it could potentially be implemented as a new ISB Standard.

I would like to sincerely thank ISB for providing me with assistance to travel to this conference.  The opportunity to present my research allowed me to contribute to the field of biomechanics and gave me renewed enthusiasm for the importance of researching the field of manual wheelchair propulsion.


Ying Gao

PhD student in Biomechanics, Department of Biology of Physical Activity, University of Jyväskylä, Finland

ying-gaoMy name is Ying Gao. Currently, I’m a PhD student in Biomechanics at the Department of Biology of Physical Activity, University of Jyväskylä, Finland. I would like to thank the International Society of Biomechanics (ISB) Council for awarding me the ISB Student Congress Travel Grant which allowed me to attend the XXV Congress of ISB 2015 in Glasgow, UK. The congress from the abstract submission, registration, poster and oral presentation sessions to social programme was all extremely well organized.

My highlights of the congress were keynote lectures which present the past, present and future of several key areas of Biomechanics by world leading researchers, e.g. by Prof. Aboufazl Shirazi-Adl and Prof. Judth Meakin who were working in pairs to present their perspectives on Spine issues, and Prof. Laurence Cheze and Prof. Claudia Mazzà in Measurement Technology. Because this was my first congress, all the sessions I attended were a unique experience but I especially enjoyed the student sessions, where students’ were able to voice their views.

I gave an oral presentation in the Clyde Auditorium. In such a big room, I was excited to present my research on occupational sedentary behavior. My presentation went well and I received valuable feedback from the audience. I also benefited from meeting with great researchers and students throughout the congress from the opening ceremony to the closing ceremony and the congress party. Furthermore, I would like to thank my supervisors Prof. Taija Finni and Dr. Neil Cronin who encourage me throughout the PhD study process.

Finally, I want to thank again ISB and I am looking forward to the next ISB congress.


Julie Ellis

Ph.D. Candidate, College of Kinesiology, University of Saskatchewan

I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to the ISB for the Student Congress Travel Grant I received which allowed me to attend my first ISB Congress in Glasgow, Scotland in July 2015. I found the experience to be extremely valuable as it provided a rare opportunity for me to interact with expert researchers in my field in an international setting.

I presented a poster entitled “Development of a Bilateral Upper Limb Musculoskeletal Model to Investigate Muscle Contributions During Different Push-up Variations”. I had the opportunity to discuss my work with other researchers working in modelling and simulation and received some great feedback and suggestions regarding my current study and future work. I also had the opportunity to attend a tutorial session on Advanced Tissue Mechanics delivered by Dr. Philip Riches.

During the week I attended many presentations, and appreciated the exposure to the wide range of research being carried out in the biomechanics community. I took the opportunity to listen in on much of the research being done using OpenSim and gained a deeper more broad understanding of applications outside of my topic area as well as future directions in modelling and simulation. During my time at the conference I was able to consolidate my ideas and plans for the second half of my doctoral research project.

I attended all of the Keynote Presentations and enjoyed listening to these seasoned experts present some extremely insightful work and ideas. I took particular interest in the Knee Biomechanics lecture given by Peter Walker and Mark Taylor. I also felt quite honoured by the opportunity to listen to Carlo De Luca speak on his perspectives on Motor Control.

Once again I would like to thank the ISB for their financial support, as well as the presenters and attendees of the conference from whom I learned so much.


Emmanuel Souza da Rocha

Laboratory of Neuromechanics of Federal University of Pampa, Brazil

I am a Master student supervised by Dr Felipe Carpes, and student representative from the Brazilian Society of Biomechanics. I received a Congress Travel Grant from the ISB that allowed me to attend ISB Glasgow 2015. I had two oral presentations and 2 poster presentations. It was an excellent opportunity to talk with several scientists of the International Society of Biomechanics.
I traveled for 3 days and spent 10 hours in Amsterdam airport, but it was worth it!

During the event I presented the follow papers:

  • How do ground reaction impact forces respond to changes in submaximal gait speed?
  • Is the difference between preferred and non-preferred leading leg obstacle crossing larger in elderly fallers than in non-fallers?
  • Webinar Series and internet broadcasts: a strategy to provide EDC regions with access to biomechanics.
  • Variability on the peak plantar pressure in children, adults and elderly during walking.

I want to thank the International Society of Biomechanics for the opportunity; without your support it would not have been possible.


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