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unknown user
06-25-1991, 11:34 PM
Conference report:
FIWAL (First International Workshop on Animal Locomotion)

FIWAL was held on 20-22 June 1991 at the Veterinary Faculty of the
University of Utrecht, The Netherlands. Its main purpose was to
bring together, for the first time, researchers in the field of
animal biomechanics and locomotion. This was certainly
successful, judging by the number of participants from various

The Netherlands 14
U.S.A. 6
France 5
Great Britain 5
Germany 3
Sweden 3
Italy 3
Austria 2
Canada 2
Australia 1
Japan 1

There were five invited lectures, 29 fifteen-minute oral
presentations, and four poster presentations. Panel discussions
concluded each morning or afternoon. Topics presented:

Techniques for gait analysis 7
Kinematic analysis of horses 11
Ground reaction forces in horses 5
In vivo bone strain measurements 2
Mechanical/mathematical modelling 3
Functional anatomy 4
Tendons 4
Terminology of locomotion 1

Most of these presentations (79%) were heavily horse-oriented,
while the remainder were of a more general interest. This turned
out to be a very good mixture; the presentations on basic
biomechanics and functional anatomy gave the horse researchers
- primarily interested in applications of gait analysis - a
somewhat wider perspective. On the other hand, the more
biomechanically or anatomically oriented participants learned
about the problems that are encountered when biomechanical
techniques are used in actual applications. Most participants
felt that each presentation contained material relevant to his/her
own research.

Friday afternoon had been reserved for demonstrations by
participants and commercial firms. The home team from Utrecht
demonstrated their kinematic analysis system, and tendon testing
equipment. Marc Ratzlaff (Washington State University) and Lars
Roepstorff (Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala)
demonstrated their force-measuring horseshoes. Thanks to the
demonstration session and panel discussions there was always a
very useful interaction between participants.

The organizers of this workshop, notably Henk Schamhardt,
certainly did an excellent job. The next meeting will be held in
1993, most likely on the North American continent. Further
information can be obtained from:

FIWAL secretariat
Dr. H.C. Schamhardt
Dept. of Veterinary Anatomy
P.O. Box 80157
NL-5308 TD Utrecht
The Netherlands
FAX: +31-30-516853

Ton van den Bogert
University of Utrecht, Netherlands