View Full Version : Graduate Assistantship in Biorobotics or Reduced GravityLocomotion

Daniel P. Ferris
12-15-2000, 04:04 PM

The soon to be completed Human Neuromechanics Laboratory at The University
of Michigan has a graduate assistantship position available for a Ph.D.
student to study motor adaptation to biorobotic devices or reduced gravity.
Funding will include a monthly stipend and a full tuition waiver for 4
years beginning fall 2001.

Applicants should have a strong interest in studying motor adaptation from
both biomechanical and neurophysiological perspectives. Academic
qualifications include GRE scores above 650 for quantitative and analytical
sections, undergraduate GPA above 3.0, and previous research experience.

Student projects will focus on motor adaptation to novel neuromechanical
environments. One project will focus on how humans adapt their movements
to interaction with a robotic exoskeleton. The exoskeleton will be
controlled by electrophysiological signals (e.g. EMG, EEG) and will produce
real-time mechanical feedback about various joints. The long-term goal of
the project is to design a robotic exoskeleton that can be used for
neurorehabilitation after stroke or spinal cord injury. The second project
examines how humans adapt their neuromuscular control to reduced gravity
environments. Initial studies will focus on neural adaptations to walking
and running under different simulated gravity levels. Applications of the
research include identification of effective neurophysiological
countermeasures to space flight and design of better strategies for
locomotor training using partial body weight support.

The Human Neuromechanics Laboratory will be a state of the art laboratory
for studying the biomechanics and neural control of human movement.
Construction of the laboratory is scheduled for completion by summer 2001.
Equipment will include high speed digital cameras, Peak Motus kinematic
analysis system, 55 foot runway with force platforms, 16-channel telemetry
EMG system, software and hardware for real-time feedback and control of
biorobotic devices, and a reduced gravity simulator for locomotion studies.

The University of Michigan is one of the top research universities in the
United States. It ranks in the top six institutions in the U.S. in NIH
research support, top three graduate schools in the U.S. as evaluated by
the Gourman Report, and top thirteen comprehensive universities in the U.S.
based on overall faculty quality as evaluated by the National Research
Council. Resources and facilities at The University of Michigan include
movement science research laboratories in the Division of Kinesiology
(http://www.umich.edu/~divkines/kinweb/), a comprehensive Medical School
(http://www.med.umich.edu/medschool/) ranked in the top twelve in the
country by U.S. News and World Report, and a large Biomedical Engineering
Department (http://www.bme.umich.edu/) ranked in the top eight in the
country by U.S. News and World Report.

Ann Arbor (pop. 112,000) combines the comfort and charm of a small city
with the excitement of a cosmopolitan center. Acknowledged as the center of
the state's booming high technology industry and a cultural mecca as well,
the Ann Arbor landscape is a blend of parks, office buildings, boutiques,
historic preservation areas, shopping malls, bike paths, busy tree-lined
streets, and the open air Farmers' Market. It exerts a charm that has
turned many students to life-long residents or at least regular visitors.
Ann Arbor's extensive parks and recreation facilities provide ample
opportunity for exercise and relaxation. There is sailing, canoeing, and
windsurfing on the Huron River, which flows through the city. The nearby
countryside features lakes, woods and productive farmland, ideal for
bicycle jaunts and picnics. These attributes have led Money Detroit is less
than an hour's drive and an international airport is only 25 minutes away.
Chicago is four hours away by train. More information can be found at

Interested applicants should contact Dan Ferris, Ph.D. at:

Dan Ferris, Ph.D.
Department of Electrical Engineering
University of Washington
Box 352500
Seattle, WA 98195-2500

Fax: (206) 543-3842
Phone: (206) 616-4936


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