Since finishing up my PhD work in Bioengineering at Clemson University
in 2011, I am very happy to make Furman my new home. I first worked with
the Health Science Department through gait
analysis research with Dr. Ray Moss in the Molnar Human Performance
Lab. We conducted a validation study comparing a novel portable inertial
sensor gait analysis system to the camera-based Qualysis system as a
means of analyzing three-dimensional knee function
during walking. Now that I am at Furman, research partnerships with
Clemson continue as we focus on several research projects including
studying strength-training applications with a dynamic weight lifting
bar. We are currently comparing the predicted motion
of a mathematical model to the actual motion of the flexible bar.
Comparisons will also be made to the standard steel bar. Through
empirical comparisons, in coordination with the strength coaches from both Furman and other leading institutions, we plan on
optimizing the design of the flexible bar based on both material
properties and geometry.
We are also conducting research based on the biomechanics and muscle
fatigue associated with cycling economy. From a mechanical standpoint of
cycling, only the tangential force applied to the crank arm contributes
to forward motion, yet typical forces on pedals
during the pedaling have significant radial force contributions. The
lower body must move the pedal through a circle by a combination of the
use of extensors and flexors. Thanks in part to the contributions of Dr.
Steve Kautz at MUSC, we will be able to use
pedal force measurement equipment to measure the tangential and radial
components of forces during cycling. We are focusing on training
adaptations associated with feedback systems in order to further
characterize cycling and running economy in terms of maximizing
mechanical efficiency. These systems will also be beneficial in
teaching real-life applications to kinesiology students.