View Full Version : Graduate assistantship in engineering fall 2007

05-11-2007, 06:00 AM
Position: Graduate Research assistantship for Master’s of
Applied Science
starting Sept 2007 (studying 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: blackn@umoncton.ca

Title of the proposed research:
Comparative analysis of musculoskeletal disorder (MSD) risk based on
motion analyses of common working activities of upper limb prosthesis
users and others with upper limb disabilities.

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 upper limb MSDs risk indices 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
Applicants should have a Bachelor’s degree preferably in engineering
(industrial, systems or mechanical), or an equivalent 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,

Funding :
Funding exists for a master’s level student for up to 2 years.
Additional teaching assistantships may also be available.

Summary of the proposed research program:
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 Biden & Rickards
2005). Other measurements, both qualitative and quantitative are being
investigated (Black et al. 2004, 2005). 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, although movement patterns used by
persons with other upper limb disabilities are also of interest.

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.

N.L. Black, E.N. Biden et J. Rickards, 2005. Using potential energy to
measure work related activities for persons wearing upper limb
prostheses. Robotica, vol. 23, pp. 319-327. N.L. Black, A. Malloy, M.A.
Landry, M. Ross, 2005. “Using quantitative motion analysis to indicate
upper limb postural MSD risk” Association of Canadian Ergonomists Annual
Conference, Halifax, NS.,Aug 15-18, 2005. 4 pp. on CD-ROM. N.L. Black,
M. Landry, and M. Ross, 2003. “Étude comparative de RULA, OREGE et
Analyse des mouvements, methods et matériaux (AMMM) appliqué aux
activités de la vie quotidienne”, Association of Canadian Ergonomists
Annual Conference, October 14-17, 2003. 8 pp. on CD-ROM. (paper)
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

Département de génie mécanique
Faculté d'ingénierie
Université de Moncton
Moncton, NB E1A 3E9
téléphone (506) 858-4079
facsimile (506) 858-4082