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Nancy Lee Black
03-28-2006, 12:47 AM
Position: Master's of Applied Science research assistantship starting Sept 2006 (in French)

Supervising professor: Nancy Black, Ph.D., P.Eng.
Institution: Faculté d'ingénierie (secteur génie industriel)
Université de Moncton
Moncton, NB E1A 3E9
Contact information: (506) 858-4079 (telephone)
(506) 858-4082 (facsimile)

Title of the proposed research:
Comparative analysis of musculoskeletal disorder (MSD) risk
based on motion analyses of common working activities

Objectives
This research assistantship will be awarded to a student studying in the Master's of Applied Science (M.Sc.A.) programme of the Faculté d'ingénierie focusing in the field of ergonomics and MSD prevention using biomechanical modelling. The research assistant will use the relationship between motion-based task efficacy measures, task perception and indices of risk of developing upper limb MSDs to compare a population at greater risk (upper limb prosthesis users) with a general working age population. The result of this comparison will help formulate suggestions for changes to work environments and tools (including prosthesis design) to minimise MSD risk.

Applicant Requirements
Bachelor's degree in engineering preferably (industrial, systems or mechanical), ergonomics or kinesiology related field. Competence in French and English, French being the language of study at Université de Moncton, and the VICON system being located at the English-language Institute of Biomedical Engineering at University of New Brunswick, Fredericton.

Funding:
Funding is available for a master's level graduate student working on this research while studying for two years.

Summary of the proposed research program:
This research will investigate the relationship between motion-based task efficacy measures and the risk of developing musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) of the human upper limbs comparing an upper limb prosthesis users population with a general adult population. Task efficacy is defined as goal-oriented effectiveness, and to date has been based on composite segmental mechanical energy, calculated over the duration of a given goal-oriented task (Black 2001). Since adult upper limb prosthesis users are three times more likely than the general working population to develop pain associated with MSDs (Jones and Davidson 2001; Stocker and Neufeld 2001; Muggleton et al. 1999), this population comparison is particularly relevant.

Using an 8-camera VICON MCAM system, simultaneous motions of markers on both arms will allow detailed modelling of upper limb movements and efficacy variations between upper limb prosthesis users and non-users during common tasks to help reduce the risk of developing MSDs.

Sommaire de la recherche proposée :
On enquête le lien entre les moyens de mesure d'efficience basés de mouvements et le risque de développer des troubles musculosquelettiques (TMS) des membres supérieurs humains. Comme illustration, on suggère comparer une population générale d'adulte à d'autres à risque élevé, comme les amputés utilisant une prothèse à bras qui souffrent de douleurs typiques des TMS trois fois plus souvent que la population générale (Jones et Davidson 2001; Stocker et Neufeld 2001; Muggleton et al. 1999).

L'efficience de tâche est défini comme étant l'efficacité d'arriver à un but prédéfini, et elle a été basée dur la mesure de l'énergie mécanique par segment de membre supérieur, ceci calculé sur la durée totale de la tâche (Black 2001). En se servant d'un système VICON MCAM à 8 caméras, on pourrait mesurer les détails requis pour calculer l'efficience des deux bras simultanément. L'identification et la quantification des distinctions entre méthodes, mouvements et efficience associés aux individus à prothèse et ceux sans prothèse est une étape critique pour cibler la réduction des TMS chez les amputés.

Bibliography
Black, N.L.. 2001. Mechanical Energy Measurement Applied to Upper Limb Powered Prostheses. Doctoral thesis, Department of Mechanical Engineering. Fredericton, NB : University of New Brunswick. 504 pp.
Jones, L.E. and Davidson, J.H. 1999. Save that arm: a study of problems in the remaining arm of unilateral upper limb amputees. Prosthetics and Orthotics International, vol. 23, pp. 55-58.
Muggleton, J.M., Allen, R., Chappell, P.H. 1999. Hand and arm injuries associated with repetitive manual work in industry: a review of disorders, risk factors and preventive measures. Ergonomics, vol. 42, no. 5, pp. 714-739.
Stocker, D. and Neufeld, G. 1999. A pilot study examining repetitive strain injuries in people with limb loss. Conference proceedings of MEC '99: Narrowing the Gap, Fredericton, NB, p. 27-30.



Nancy Black, Ph.D., ing.
Professeure agrégée
Faculté d'ingénierie (secteur industriel)
Université de Moncton
Moncton, NB E1A 3E9
http://www.umoncton.ca/genie/industriel/Nblack
téléphone (506) 858-4079
facsimile (506) 858-4082