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Engineering Wellness Through Biomechanics

Focus and Goals

Biomechanics Lab Focus
  • Apply engineering knowledge, tools and analyses to clinical problems to improve clinical decision making and treatment.
Biomechanics Lab Goal
  • Promote the safety, independence and wellness of individuals with and without disability in our home community and beyond.

Specifically, the research we do is intended to better identify factors that contribute to postural control, mobility and fall incidence, particularly in individuals who may be at especially high risk for these problems because of disabilities and other underlying conditions using this research to motivate, and subsequently evaluate, the effectiveness of modifiable factors and useful interventions. 

We continue to collaborate with our clinical partners, search to identify important research gaps and use these gaps to drive experimental design to make significant contributions to science. Because of this, we are able to conduct a wide variety of studies on a wide range of study populations with the added benefit of cross-pollination of ideas and interventions across patient populations. We have used static posturography, computerized dynamic posturography, inertial measurement units, motion capture technology and electromyography in our studies, as well as the application of nonlinear analyses to study the underlying human movement variability of the data we collect. We have received considerable attention for our work in the areas of fall prevention in older adults with dementia and in the evaluation of sensory integration therapy in children with autism.

Our successes are largely based around our productive and dedicated student research team. We provide them with opportunities to conduct meaningful research in an environment built on community, mentorship and professional development. Dr. Kim Bigelow, lab director, is at the center of this development and is an available resource that student researchers see and interact with regularly. To date, approximately 60 students ranging from first-year students to post-doctoral researchers have been members of our close-knit research team.

Dr. Bigelow successfully prepares students to be independent and productive scholars who contribute to important problem solving and learn skills that help them to become leaders in academic and industrial positions. Her students are dedicated, motivated and passionate team members, and she ensures that they receive an education in the spirit of the Marianists that goes beyond research and scholarship and centers on the education of the whole person.

The undergraduate research experience serves as a meaningful educational experience outside of the classroom and resonates well with the promotion of service-learning and servant leadership. Students participating in the lab have the opportunity to take on leadership positions, and they are given the freedom to take ownership of the lab, where they are expected to follow their predecessors and commit to high levels of productivity and dedication.

Students represent the University of Dayton at national conferences and develop relationships with their peers and friends, which assists them throughout graduate school, industry, and/or post-doctoral placement. Students also seek to culminate their research experiences in tangible end products that will build their résumés and provide further evidence of their preparation for future careers in this field.


Biomechanics Lab, Dr. Kimberly Bigelow, Director

Fitz Hall
300 College Park
Dayton, Ohio 45469 - 0238