RMASB 2021 – Virtual Conference

The 11th Annual Rocky Mountain American Society of Biomechanics (RMASB) regional meeting has gone virtual! Please join us on April 2, 2021 for a day of presentations, posters and socializing via Zoom and Spatial Chat. More details can be found here: https://sites.google.com/site/asbrockymountain/home

We are thrilled to have two keynote speakers, 5 podium sessions and 2 poster sessions. Topic areas include Concussion and Reaction Time, Upper and Lower Limb Biomechanics, Musculoskeletal Modeling, Sensorimotor Control, Sports, and much more.

Registration is Free!
Meeting Date: 
April 2, 2021

We look forward to your contributions and participation in Virtual RMASB 2021.


RMASB 2021 Organizing committee
Neha Lodha
Philippe Malcolm
Andrew Merryweather

Off-Road Pediatric Walker

One of our incredibly talented senior design team completing the Off-Road Pediatric Walker in December 2020. Despite many setbacks and challenges during a pandemic, the team designed, manufactured and tested the new walker add-ons to improve off-road mobility without compromising safety or usability.

To improve the user’s mobility, the team designed and manufactured interchangeable wheel hubs that can be easily installable on R82’s Crocodile walker.  These hubs interface with wheel extensions that allow the walker to be quickly adapted to specific terrain.  Additionally, the team replaced the Crocodile’s front casters with casters designed to house a larger, pneumatic wheel.

To ensure the user’s safety, the hub has an integrated braking and anti-rollback system that can be engaged by the user.  Additionally, all the hub components can support the weight of any Crocodile user.

The team also designed and manufactured a lightweight hammock seat that is easily installable on the Crocodile.  The seat does not interfere with the user’s experience when not in use, but can be easily engaged to comfortably support the user.

Grace, an active seven-year-old who loves playing soccer, has been using the team’s add-ons on her Crocodile walker.  According to Grace’s father, the walker’s improved mobility will not only help her on the soccer field but will also allow her to participate in a variety of new outdoor activities.

Student Team Members: Chad Andersen, Morgan Barron, Reid Gardner, Jordy Osborne, Arthur Steur, and Rulon Stitzer

Work Vehicle Safety: Eliminating Hazardous Activities While Safely Improving Productivity

I’m grateful for the opportunity I had to present this work related to a highly underrepresented group of employees in the workforce. Field service workers deal with hazardous conditions and many work from a vehicle and in an uncontrolled environment. Some of our early work on this topic focused on studying pick-up truck beds that are upfit with tool storage systems (DECKED.com), and the ergonomics and safety concerns on this matter.

The work was presented as part of the 2020 Education and Research Center Webinars that is a collaborative effort on behalf of each NIOSH ERC’s Continuing Education program. For more information and access to these free webinars, please visit the website: https://www.coeh.berkeley.edu/20erc-webinars

A direct link to Dr. Merryweather’s Webinar is found here: Link to Webinar Page

Dorien Butter ASB 2020 Presentation

Despite decades of research into patient falls, falls and the injuries incurred continue to be a serious threat to patient safety. Fall rates continue to be unacceptably high. The purpose of this project is to increase the safety of a hospital room for patient mobility through patient-centric design.

This survey is a starting point to understanding and quantifying the effect object characteristics have on a patient’s safety and stability when used for support. Based on the results of the survey, the next step of my research is to quantify the relationship between height, resistance to movement, and type of grasp and how those three characteristics work together to provide stability to a frail individual. This will be done in a laboratory setting using motion capture.

Here is a 3-minute supplemental video explaining the results of the survey.

Do you think you qualify to take the survey? Read the consent document here, and follow this link to the survey: https://redcap01.brisc.utah.edu/ccts/redcap/surveys/?s=LKR3LEEPXW


Virtual SheTech

PhD candidate Dorothy Taylor and MS Student, Dorien Butter prepared a virtual workshop and introduction to “Our Bodies as Machines” in this year’s SheTech virtual summit (http://shetechexplorer.com/).

COVID-19 Vehicle Testing Protection Device

As many others around the world, we have been playing a small part in the response to the global pandemic. When tasked with the goal of created a safer way to perform COVID-19 tests in vehicle test stations we developed a low cost portable screen to prevent droplet transmission and aerosol containment to protect healthcare employees. The system is comprised of 1″ PVC, a clear vinyl shield and shoulder length gloves. The shield has strip magnets to help adhere to the vehicle and is suspended from the frame to allow for easier access (ergonomics) and improved containment of any droplets or aerosols during the test. The adjustment comfortably accommodates all vehicles that can be safely accessed without leaving the ground (passenger cars and trucks).

If you would like more information, included a parts list and build plans (takes about 30 min to manufacture and assemble) please email us.

1U4U – Merryweather Teams Up with Colleagues

Alex Greenwald, an assistant professor of anthropology and curator of ethnography at the Natural History Museum of Utah put together a cross-campus team that will study the biomechanics of ancient runners using prehistoric footwear and experimental work. Volunteers will run on treadmills wearing sandals made of yucca fibers that replicate the footwear housed at the museum of natural history to generate predictions of use wear associated with running and walking.

Greenwald’s team includes Andrew Anderson, from the School of Medicine; David Carrier, from the College of Science; and Andrew Merryweather, from the College of Engineering. They will recreate the biomechanics of ancient human runners, in part, to better understand the prevalence of running among the ancestors of Diné and Puebloan peoples—both Native American populations in the southwestern United States.

Cross-campus teams build OneU research collaborations


Merryweather Recognized with 2020 Distinguished Faculty Service Award

Dr. Merryweather was recognized for making a positive impact on workplace safety and on the lives of those with complex disabilities. The 2020 Distinguished Faculty Service Award will recognize Dr. Merryweather at the Community Engaged Faculty REception for Community Engaged Learning and Scholarship and at the University Commencement. In addition, the Bennion Center will make a gift of $1000 to Tetradapt, a non-profit created to make the impossible possible for people living with complex injuries and disabilities.

Dr. Merryweather would like to thank all those who made this award possible and the many students and friends who engage in activities for the betterment of the community around us.



Students at Engineering Day Excited about Ergonomics

Dr. Merryweather and PhD Candidate Mohammad Homayounpour presented an overview of research in the Ergonomics and Safety Lab during the annual College of Engineering’s Engineering Day. Nearly 60 high school students and their families learned about ergonomics and participated in lab demonstrations for motion capture, balance, force generation and EMG. Here’s what some of our visitors were saying: