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Dayton Engineer

Biomechanics faculty receive awards for innovative research equipment to study human mobility

By Emma Kraft '22, School of Engineering marketing intern

The University of Dayton biomechanics faculty have recently been awarded two grants to support the acquisition of a Caplex system for human movement research at UD: One award for $280K from the National Science Foundation’s Major Research Instrumentation Program and a second award for $60K from the Ohio Department of Higher Education’s Action Fund.

“We plan to use the Caplex system for research, in classes for the human movement biomechanics minor within mechanical engineering as well as in our outreach activities with K-12 students. This has the potential to be used in a lot of different aspects in many ways of learning,” said associate professor, Allison Kinney.

The Caplex system is an extremely exciting and innovative purchase for the University. It is a flexible system that allows you to apply forces to different areas of the human body to study how a person reacts to those forces. The Caplex system will be integrated with the existing biomechanics lab equipment that collects human motion and force data. The system can help facilitate new research, along with existing areas of research such as clinical applications involving adults and children with and without mobility impairments.

The Caplex system is unique in that it is the only type of equipment on the market that can perform these functions, and once acquired by the University, it will be the only system in the state of Ohio.

The equipment is set to be used by eight University of Dayton faculty members: Allison Kinney, Tim Reissman, Megan Reissman, Kim Bigelow, Matthew Beerse, Joseph Day, Kurt Jackson and Joaquin Barrios across three departments: Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Health and Sports Science, and Physical Therapy. The three departments collaborate often on research projects, and there is no doubt that this will continue in the future with the use of the Caplex system.

There are ample opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students to get their hands on the equipment and use it in the classroom and for research.

The equipment will be acquired in the next 4-6 months and should be ready for use by the summer of 2022. Once the system is acquired, it will be housed in the biomechanics lab space located in Fitz Hall.

Photo from Caplex website:

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