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POSTDOCTORAL RESEARCH ASSOCIATE - UNC-Chapel Hill/NC StateBiomedical Engineering - Starting Fall/Winter 2009

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  • POSTDOCTORAL RESEARCH ASSOCIATE - UNC-Chapel Hill/NC StateBiomedical Engineering - Starting Fall/Winter 2009

    A two-year postdoctoral position is available in the newly forming Human
    PoWeR (Physiology of Wearable Robotics) Laboratory in the Joint Department
    of Biomedical Engineering at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill
    and North Carolina State University starting Fall/Winter 2009.

    The overall goal of the Human PoWeR Lab is to develop biologically-inspired
    wearable robotic devices (e.g. exoskeletons and prostheses) to assist human
    locomotion. The initial focus will be on establishing fundamental
    neuromechanical principles of muscle-tendon function using novel work-loop
    techniques and simple mathematical models. Anticipated projects will address
    the effects of muscle-tendon architecture, sensory feedback, and
    environmental interaction dynamics on the mechanics and energetics of
    muscle-tendon during cyclic contractions. Findings will be applied to
    develop analogous artificial muscle-tendon systems that will power wearable
    devices on humans.

    The successful applicant will have completed doctoral work involving one or
    more of the following areas: biomechanics, musculoskeletal physiology,
    neurophysiology, system dynamics/controls and robotics. Previous experience
    using sonomicrometry in animal models (in vitro or in vivo) or
    ultrasonography in humans is highly desirable.

    Duties will include research study design, data collection and analysis,
    manuscript preparation and mentoring undergraduates/graduate students.
    Applicants should aim to develop a fundable independent line of research
    within a two year timeframe. This will require applying for funding from
    external sources (NIH, NSF). Therefore, the successful applicant must
    clearly demonstrate his/her own unique research vision and have a clear
    picture of how his/her research goals and skills will complement the overall
    goals of the laboratory. Finally, because the lab is just starting, during
    the first few months of the position a significant amount of time will be
    directed toward setting up lab equipment and space.

    Apply through NC State online job site by going to
    Search vacancies for job #04-70-0901. Create a new login account and
    complete the EPA applicant profile. Upload a curriculum vitae, a statement
    of research objectives/interests, and the names of three professional
    references (in .pdf format). In addition, please send copies of all
    application items electronically to:

    Dr. Greg Sawicki
    Currently at Brown University:

    *We will begin reviewing applications in the first week of May 2009.

    UNC Chapel Hill and NC State University are equal access/equal opportunity
    employers and institutions. Our department welcomes all persons without
    regard to race, religion, or sexual orientation. Minorities and females are
    strongly encouraged to apply. For persons needing accommodations during the
    application process, please contact (919)-515-3148.

    Our biomedical engineering graduate program has a 38-year history at
    UNC-Chapel Hill ( In 2003, our graduate program was
    expanded to include NC State and the Joint Department was created ( The department offers an ABET-accredited bachelors
    degree at NC State and supports a biomedical engineering emphasis in UNC's
    applied-science bachelor's degree (

    A new state-of-the-art building (EB III) is currently under construction on
    the Centennial Campus at NC State ( that will house
    biomedical and mechanical engineering. Initially, the biologically-inspired
    muscle tendon actuator portion of the Human PoWeR Laboratory will be located
    in the College of Textiles at NC State. In Spring/Summer 2010 the lab will
    move into shared Tissue Engineering lab space in EB III and the locomotion
    portion of the laboratory will start up in ~1500 sq. ft. of dedicated space,
    also in EB III.

    The Joint Department supports active research programs in areas including
    rehabilitation engineering, materials science, tissue engineering,
    bioinformatics, cell and molecular biology, bioMEMS, microfluidics,
    biomedical instrumentation, neurosciences, biomedical imaging,
    cardiovascular applications, medical textiles, and mechanobiology.
    Collaborations between the NC State and UNC-Chapel Hill campuses have
    resulted in a highly collegial atmosphere and extremely successful
    multidisciplinary research projects.

    The Human PoWeR Laboratory will actively seek research partnerships with
    UNC-Physical Therapy (,
    UNC-Biology (, Duke Biomedical Engineering (, the Durham VA Hospital (
    and UNC-Prosthetics and Orthotics (

    The Research Triangle area rates among the nation's top locations for
    fostering new start up companies. Several incubators for start-ups are
    located near or on each campus ( The Human
    PoWeRLaboratory anticipates collaborative projects ( with Tackle Design Inc. (, a local industrial design firm.

    Central North Carolina is a very attractive place to live mild winters, a
    multitude of arts and cultural programs, and a wide variety of dining and
    entertainment options. Nearby ocean beaches (Outer Banks) to the east and
    mountain ranges (Blue Ridge and Great Smoky) to the west offer sailing,
    surfing, skiing/snowboarding, mountain biking and hiking within driving

    Gregory S. Sawicki, MSME, PhD
    Assistant Professor
    Human PoWeR Laboratory
    Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering
    at UNC-Chapel Hill & NC State University

    Gregory S. Sawicki, M.S.M.E, Ph.D.
    Morphology Group
    Dept. of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
    Brown University
    Box G-B205
    Providence, RI 02912-G

    Work: 401-863-6477
    Cell: 734-353-0283
    Fax: 401-863-7544