ME Faculty Candidate Corey Pew Research Seminar
- Tuesday, April 30, 2019 at 3:10pm
- Roberts Hall, Room 208 - view map
Improving Human Movement with a Little Help from Technology
University of Texas at Austin Neuromuscular Biomechanics Laboratory
Abstract: Individuals who experience a musculoskeletal injury often require rehabilitation and/or the use of mobility aids to help restore their ability to perform activities of daily living. Different methods can be used to understand the mechanics of their injury and to determine how various technologies can help the person improve mobility. This understanding comes from our ability to accurately measure, analyze and comprehend the biomechanics of human movement. These measurements often require specialized equipment such as motion capture cameras to record movement and force plates to record forces inside of the lab or body worn sensors to capture movements outside of the lab setting. Using these tools we can investigate how a new technology such as a prosthetic joint will improve amputee turning ability while helping to make their prosthesis more comfortable. Technological improvements can also include sensors embedded in the prosthesis to predict the user’s movement and control complex prosthetic devices. Furthermore, body worn sensors can be used to help classify biomechanics of movement outside of the lab to help identify falls and the risk falling or better understand how a person runs to improve rehabilitation after injury and reduce the possibility of future injuries. Measuring and understanding an individual’s biomechanics is key to developing and optimizing new technologies that help improve human movement.
Bio: My research interests focus on human-technology integration to help individuals and clinicians efficiently assimilate new technologies for both rehabilitation following injury and to enhance performance and efficiency when training. In my undergraduate studies, I focused on automotive design and participated extensively with my university’s Formula SAE team. This led me to a career in industry spanning six years at three markedly different companies. First, at General Motors I gained insight into working on large scale design and manufacturing projects, specializing in automatic, RWD transmissions. I then transitioned to AMS Performance, a company of 30 people, designing high performance aftermarket automotive components for direct sale to customers. Lastly, I moved to Fallbrook Technologies, a medium-sized company, working with a novel continuously variable transmission design. In all aspects of these jobs I worked in productive, multi-disciplinary team environments to design, develop, test, and manufacture products to improve current automotive technology. My personal goals led me back to academia to pursue engineering centered on the human machine. My research has heavily leveraged my industry experiences and allowed me to develop new designs for lower limb prostheses. Currently, as a Postdoctoral fellow at the University of Texas, Austin I am continuing my work in lower limb prosthetics with emphasis on modeling and simulation. Additionally, I am spearheading four new research initiatives. In the first I am seeking to improve the fit and comfort of lower limb amputee sockets by investigating modular socket designs. The second utilizes body worn inertial measurement units to track the biomechanics of runners and give feedback in real time while exercising. The third uses body worn sensors to identify falls in the amputee population using machine learning techniques. Lastly, I am working to integrate advanced EMG sensing to help improve intent recognition for control of robotic prosthetics.
- Department of Mechanical & Industrial Engineering