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Welcome to the HMBL Website!

The mission of the Human Movement & Balance Laboratory (HMBL) is fall and musculoskeletal injury prevention in healthy and clinical young/elderly adult populations. We achieve these goals by gaining a thorough understanding of the biomechanical and postural control principles that govern human movement, balance during standing/walking, and performance of occupational tasks. A multidisciplinary group of researchers including biomechanical engineers, physicians (geriatricians, neurologists and psychiatrists), and physical/occupational therapists work in close collaboration to achieve our research goals. HMBL is a state of the art space designed and equipped to analyze the dynamics of human motion. Current research projects include a wide range of experimental studies examining fall prevention following external disturbances such as slipping or tripping, prosthetics, ergonomic-related research, cognitive research and imaging applications in various population types. In conjunction with experimental studies, biomechanical computer modeling is used to gain a greater understanding of the impact of environmental and human factors on the risk of falls and injury.

Current News...

  • The following abstracts from the HMBL will be a part of the American Society of Biomechanics 2016 Conference held in Raleigh, NC from August 2-5:

    • Grace Bova, Zachary Merrill, Rakié Cham, April Chambers. Comparison in Segment Mass Values Determined by the Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry Scan Method and the Zatsiorsky Anthropometric Table Calculation Method.
    • Christen Kraemer, Patrick Sparto, Joseph Furman, Scott Drexler, Mark S. Redfern, Kurt E. Beschorner. Effects of Multifocal Lens Glasses on Stair Descent in Older Adults.
    • Seyed Reza M. Moghaddam, Kurt E. Beschorner. Multiscale Shoe-Floor Friction Model Predicts Impact of Shoe-Floor-Angle on Utilized Coefficient of Friction During Slipping.
    • Zachary Merrill, Rakié Cham. Effect of Age and Body Mass Index on Torso Anthropometry in Females.
    • Mohammad Nafizi, Kurt E. Beschorner, Pilwon Hur. Correlation Between Slip Severity and Muscle Synergies of Slipping.
    • Caitlin O’Connell, Arash Mahboobin, Amy Nau, Scott Drexler, Rakié Cham. Effects of Acute Visual Field Occlusion on Standing Balance.
    • Erika M. Pliner, Kurt E. Beschorner. Foot Positioning Effects on Reestablishing and Maintaining Foot Contact from Ladder Perturbations.

  • Erika Pliner received a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, 2015-2020, Adviser: Kurt Beschorner.

  • Dr. Beschorner recently received a Susan Harwood Capacity Building Grant from the Department of Labor, subcontract through University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. The grant's title is "Safety and Ergonomics for Renewable Energy."

  • Dr. Beschorner recently received a Pittsburgh Claude D. Pepper Older Americans Independence Center Pepper Center Pilot Award. The award's title is "Impact of Ergonomic & Individual Factors on Tripping Risk of Multifocal Lens Wearers."

  • The following manuscripts have recently been accepted for publication:

      • Moghaddam SRM, Redfern MS, Beschorner KE. A Microscopic Finite Element Model of Shoe-Floor Hysteresis and Adhesion Friction, Tribology Letters, In Press.
      • Cowap MJ, Moghaddam SR, Menezes P, Beschorner KE. (2015). Contributions of Adhesion and Hysteresis to the Coefficient of Friction Between Shoe and Floor Surfaces: Effects of Floor Roughness and Sliding Speed. Tribology - Materials, Surfaces & Interfaces, In Press.
  • Dr. Beschorner received a grant from NIOSH R21, subcontract from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. The grant's title is "Quantifying the Recovery Response and Role of Hand Strength During Ladder Falls.