About Nacob

Welcome to the North American Congress on Biomechanics, to be held August 21-25, 2022, at the Shaw Center in Ottawa. NACOB 2022 is being organized under the leadership of the Conference Co-Chairs, Drs. Daniel Benoit and Ryan Graham from the University of Ottawa with support from both the Canadian Society for Biomechanics and the American Society of Biomechanics.

NACOB meetings are joint meetings of the Canadian Society for Biomechanics and the American Society of Biomechanics.  The 2022 meeting will be the fifth time the groups have jointly met under the NACOB banner.

NACOB 2022 will bring together leading scientists and researchers in all areas of biomechanics from across North America and worldwide.

Key Dates

Submissions

November 5 – Call for individual poster and oral submissions

January 13 – Deadline for individual poster and oral submissions

Registration

June 21 – Early bird registration deadline

July 8 – Deadline to book a hotel room

July 21 – Regular registration deadline

Conference

August 21 – Pre-conference workshops

August 22-25 – NACOB 2022 Conference

Meet the NACOB 2022 Co-Chairs

Dr. Daniel Benoit

University of Ottawa

Associate Professor at the School of Rehabilitation Sciences, Dr. Daniel Benoit received his B.Sc. in Human Kinetics from the University of Ottawa and his M.Sc. in Human Biodynamics (Biomechanics) from McMaster University. He pursued his career in Europe as director of a clinical biomechanics laboratory in Perugia-Italy where, in addition to clinical responsibilities, he investigated in vivo ACL strain and knee joint loading. Dr. Benoit then moved to Stockholm-Sweden where he was awarded his Ph.D. in Sports Medicine from the Karolinska Institutet for his studies relating to knee joint neuromuscular control, in vivo tibiofemoral joint measurement, and the quantification of skin movement artifact during motion analysis. He then completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Delaware-Center for Biomedical Engineering Research where he was involved in NIH funded research related to the prediction of muscle and joint forces in an ACL injured population, as well as a project involving the integration of robotics, FES and biomechanical modeling to improve gait in stroke patients. 

In addition to continuing his previous research interests, at the University of Ottawa Dr. Benoit’s current research focuses on understanding the role muscles play in creating dynamic joint stability and how this is affected by neurological and musculoskeletal disorders with the goals of preventing injury and improving rehabilitation.

Dr. Ryan Graham

University of Ottawa

Dr. Graham is an Associate Professor and University Research Chair at the University of Ottawa, and is cross-appointed to the Ottawa-Carleton Institute for Biomedical Engineering (OCIBME). He also holds Adjunct Assistant Professor positions at both Queen’s University and the University of Waterloo. He completed his PhD at Queen’s in 2012 under the supervision of Dr. Joan Stevenson, where his thesis was entitled: “Assessing dynamic spine stability using maximum finite-time Lyapunov exponents”. He has published over 60 peer-reviewed manuscripts and 90 refereed conference proceedings, and has received a number of recognitions for his research. These include being awarded the David Winter Promising Young Investigator Award from the Canadian Society for Biomechanics , an Ontario Early Researcher Award in 2018, and the 2019 University of Ottawa Faculty of Health Sciences Dean’s Award for Excellence in Research.

Meet the NACOB 2022 Program and  Local Committee

Jason Franz – ASB Program Chair

Jason Franz is an Associate Professor in the Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) and North Carolina State University (NC State). He also holds faculty appointments in the UNC Human Movement Science Program and the UNC Thurston Arthritis Center. Dr. Franz is the director of the UNC Applied Biomechanics Laboratory, which aims to advance understanding of the neuromuscular determinants of walking ability limitations, instability, and falls, with a special emphasis on aging and neurodegenerative disease. Prior to joining UNC and NC State, Dr. Franz completed an NIH Post-Doctoral Fellowship in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, received his Ph.D. in Integrative Physiology from the University of Colorado, Boulder, and received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in Engineering Mechanics from Virginia Tech.

Janessa Drake – CSB Program Co-Chair

Dr. Janessa Drake is an Associate Professor in the School of Kinesiology and Health Science at York University. She is an Advisory Committee member of the Centre of Research Expertise for the Prevention of Musculoskeletal Disorders (CRE-MSD), is the current Communications Officer of the Canadian Society for Biomechanics, and is a member of York’s Muscle Health Research Centre. Her current research is focused on quantifying and evaluating the thoracic and lumbar spine neuromuscular control and musculoskeletal responses to work-related exposures. She earned her PhD in Biomechanics in 2008 from the University of Waterloo and her MSc and BSc degrees from the University of Guelph.

Shawn Robbins – CSB Program Co-Chair

Dr. Shawn Robbins is an Associate Professor in the School of Physical and Occupational Therapy at McGill University. His research focuses on the neuromuscular and biomechanical factors underlying mobility in patients with orthopaedic health conditions, particularly osteoarthritis. He also evaluates the impact of player characteristics, task demands, and equipment design on sport performance including in ice hockey, soccer, and water polo.

Allison Clouthier – Local Scientific Committee Member

Dr. Clouthier is an Assistant Professor in the School of Human Kinetics at the University of Ottawa. She received her PhD in Mechanical and Materials Engineering at Queen’s University where her she created a morphable knee model to examine how articular geometry affects joint function. She then completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Ottawa where she developed machine learning-based methods to automate aspects of biomechanical data analyses. Her research is focused on understanding how patient-specific factors contribute to the risk of musculoskeletal pathology and the success of interventions. Her work combines techniques including musculoskeletal simulation and artificial intelligence with various motion capture technologies to study individualized patellofemoral biomechanics.

Thomas Uchida – Local Scientific Committee Member

Dr. Uchida is an Assistant Professor in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Ottawa. He received his PhD in Systems Design Engineering at the University of Waterloo, in which he applied tools from symbolic computation to simulate constrained multibody systems in real time and prototype new vehicle stability controllers. In 2012, he joined the Bioengineering Department at Stanford University as a Simbios Distinguished Postdoctoral Fellow and became an Engineering Research Associate in 2015 as part of the OpenSim Development Team. His research at Stanford included development of a new model for simulating impacts in multibody systems, contributions to models of muscle contraction dynamics and energy consumption, and simulation of assistive devices to reduce the metabolic cost of locomotion. He joined the University of Ottawa in 2018, where he develops and applies new modelling and simulation tools to study human movement. He is co-author of Biomechanics of Movement: The Science of Sports, Robotics, and Rehabilitation (MIT Press, 2020), “an engaging introduction to human and animal movement seen through the lens of mechanics.”

Chris Bailey – Local Scientific Committee Communications Lead

Dr. Bailey is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the School of Human Kinetics at the University of Ottawa, advised by Dr. Ryan Graham and Dr. Julie Nantel. He received his PhD in Kinesiology Sciences from McGill University under the supervision of Dr. Julie Côté, where his NSERC-funded work investigated the biomechanical and physiological basis of motor variability in biological aging. Currently, he is developing biomechanical models using wearable sensors and machine learning to enable motor variability evaluations of gait in the field.

Evan Dooley – NACOB Student Committee ASB Co-Representative

Evan Dooley is currently a PhD candidate in the Motion Analysis and Motor Performance Lab at the University of Virginia in the US. Evan’s research focuses on mobility assistance devices and the people that use them every day. He aims to answer the question: how do we make devices that truly help people and don’t aid them in some aspects, but ultimately end up detrimental to their development or recovery? He wants to know how we can make people of all ages, abilities, and pathologies more “er”, whether that “er” is better, faster, stronger, more stable, more efficient, or safer. Outside of the lab, you’ll probably find him snowboarding, riding bikes, or catching up around a campfire somewhere. Evan looks forward to working with the rest of the NACOB organizers to make sure all students in attendance have a useful and enjoyable experience in Ottawa in 2022.

Jenny Leestma – NACOB Student Committee ASB Co-Representative

Jenny is a third-year Robotics Ph.D. Student at the Georgia Institute of Technology. At Georgia Tech, she works in the Physiology of Wearable Robotics (PoWeR) Lab and the Exoskeleton and Prosthetic Intelligent Controls (EPIC) Lab. Her research focuses on investigating human stability during locomotion and designing an intelligent robotic hip exoskeleton to augment stability during perturbed walking. Broadly, she is interested in improving the function of wearable robots in highly dynamic environments. Before attending Georgia Tech, Jenny received her B.S. in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Jackie Zehr – NACOB Student Committee CSB Co-Representative

Jackie Zehr is a PhD Candidate at the University of Waterloo. She has previously completed a Bachelor of Kinesiology (2015) and Master of Science (2017), both at the University of Toronto. The overarching aim of her doctoral research program is to understand the fundamental processes of histochemical and microstructural damage accumulation in lumbar spine tissues prior to macroscopic fatigue-failure injuries. She hopes to apply these basic science findings to improve load management practice in training, occupational and rehabilitation settings.

Franziska Onasch – NACOB Student Committee CSB Co-Representative

Franzi completed a BSc (Physical Activity and Health) and an MSc (Biomechanics – Motor Skill – Human Motion Analysis) at the University of Giessen in Germany and is now pursuing a PhD under the supervision of Dr. Walter Herzog at the University of Calgary. Thus far, her research has mainly been about large-scale biomechanics in an applied context of various sports like basketball, handball, cross-country skiing, cycling and, currently, bobsleigh.

Claire Warren – NACOB Student Committee uOttawa Representative

Claire Warren is a PhD student at the School of Human Kinetics at the University of Ottawa, co-supervised by Drs. Daniel Benoit and Allison Clouthier. She received her Master of Science from the University of Ottawa under the supervision of Dr. Benoit, where her NSERC-funded work investigated tibiofemoral joint congruency in anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injured adolescents. She completed part of this research at The University of Bologna as part of the Michael Smith Foreign Study Supplement, and was advised by Drs. Michele Conconi and Nicola Sancisi during her time abroad. Currently, her research is focused on determining the influence of knee pathology on bone shape and function through ACL rehabilitation using musculoskeletal and shape modelling techniques in addition to machine learning.

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