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MSc & PhD Positions in Injury Biomechanics, University of Alberta, Edmonton AB Canada

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  • MSc & PhD Positions in Injury Biomechanics, University of Alberta, Edmonton AB Canada

    The Biomedical Instrumentation Lab at the Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Alberta, invites applications for fully funded Masterís and Ph.D. positions commencing Fall 2018 and onward.

    Theme of Research Program:
    Trauma biomechanics and models/instrumentation for blast and behind armour blunt trauma

    Biomechanics of head injury in the defense context differs from mechanics of head injury in sport and automotive contexts. In automotive and sport settings, mechanical transfer of energy into the head is mediated by blunt impact forces with time durations spanning milliseconds to tens of milliseconds. In contrast, timescales for loading associated with blast and behind armour trauma can be as small as microseconds. Many research challenges exist when developing models for these extremely short duration mechanics. Addressing these challenges and developing both experimental and in silico models for use in blast and behind armour trauma research is a subject of intense research.

    Our research group is active in experimental models designed to offer accurate mechanical response to short timescale loading. These models are surrogate or physical (experimental) and include novel instrumentation developed in-house, within our research group. The goal of these models and instrumentation is to measure mechanics associated with both focal and diffuse injury in blast and behind armour loading.

    To achieve this goal, research in our group comprises the following themes:

    1) development of novel instrumentation to measure mechanics within surrogate/physical models;

    2) development of experimental test-beds to simulate loading conditions. These can comprise laboratory experiments and/or field trials that use real blast and other loading; and

    3) analysis of measured data to make inferences on the protective efficacy of engineered protection devices.

    Research Environment:
    The Biomedical Instrumentation Lab ( is based in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Alberta (Edmonton, AB Canada). Our labs comprise several research spaces that are devoted to instrumentation development, loading simulation, and experimental tissue testing. Typical equipment leveraged in our research includes high-speed video, high rate transducers, anthropomorphic dummy models both commercially available and research-focused and developed with our collaborators. Our collaborators play a vital role in our research and offer outdoor free field test ranges that allow simulation of realistic loading.

    Our collaborators include forensic engineers, clinicians, sport clinicians and defense scientists. We are also active in testing of commercial protection equipment and standards development with major North American standards organizations.

    Our collaborations and highly motivated team of graduate students combine to provide a research atmosphere that is multidisciplinary. There is ample opportunity for travel and field-testing for thesis based students.

    Refer to for further information on the Biomedical Instrumentation Lab including our funding and recent publications.

    Candidatesí Profile:
    - Masterís level: Bachelorís degree in Applied Physics or Engineering (preferably in Mechanical and Biomedical)
    - Ph.D. level: Masterís degree in Applied Physics or Engineering (preferably in Mechanical or Biomedical) Ė demonstrated aptitude in experimental work is an asset that will be considered.

    Recommended Skills:
    - Strong experimental skills or interest in experimental work: instrumentation, transducer development, signal processing;
    - Strong analytical skills: statistical methods, data verification methods; and
    - Communication: strong oral and written communication skills as demonstrated through publications or other experience commensurate with the applicantís career stage.

    Send your detailed CV, a letter of interest, Bachelorís and/or Master's transcript of records to:
    Dr. Chris Dennison (

    Contact for more information:
    Chris Dennison, PhD PEng
    Director of Biomedical Engineering Option (MecE)
    Department of Mechanical Engineering
    University of Alberta