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PhD Position: Harnessing Walking Variability to Reduce Falls in Older Adults

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  • PhD Position: Harnessing Walking Variability to Reduce Falls in Older Adults

    PhD Position: Harnessing walking variability to reduce falls in older adults
    The Department of Biomechanics within the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) is seeking a new PhD student. This position is open immediately and start day is August 16, 2021. Th applicant will join a diverse and vibrant research team with Dr. Aaron Likens as the leader and Dr. Nick Stergiou as a co-leader. Dr. Aaron Likens is the Director of UNO’S Nonlinear Analysis Core, in the Biomechanics Research Building (BRB), with 53,000 square feet of shared laboratory space, office, and collaboration space dedicated to translational biomedical research.

    One-third of Americans, over the age of 65, fall each year. Falls threaten functional independence, decrease quality of life, and financially burden patients and caregivers. Falls are the leading cause of unintentional injury and hospitalization in that age group. A significant contributor to falling in older adults is walking variability, the natural fluctuations that exist among strides. More generally, variability in human movement has been suggested as an indicator of health and underlying pathological conditions. We are conducting studies confirming the link between aging and walking variability. We have developed a computer model of bipedal walking that exhibits properties like those found healthy humans. This project involves generalizing that model to account for altered variability in found in the gait of older adults.

    Desired Applicant Profile
    • MSc in biomechanics, kinesiology, biomedical engineering, psychology, or another relevant field
    • experience performing human subjects data involving optical motion capture and processing motion capture data (e.g., MATLAB, Visual 3D)
    • already completed courses in Calculus I, Calculus II, and Differential Equations
    • ability to solve systems of differential equations using Matlab, Maple, Mathematica, or other software environment.
    • Speak and write fluently in English

    The position is fully funded. The start date is August 16, 2021. Applicants will be reviewed until the position is filled.

    For additional information, please contact
    Aaron Likens, PhD
    Assistant Professor, Department of Biomechanics
    Director, Nonlinear Analysis Core
    University of Nebraska Omaha

    UNO is a vibrant, metropolitan university in the state’s largest city Omaha with an enrollment of approximately 15,000 students. In recent decades, the campus developed as a more traditional residential university supported by several new and beautifully appointed residence halls. UNO is classified as a doctoral research university in the latest Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education and the Athletic program competes in NCAA division I. UNO also has the distinction of being one of the nation’s leaders in engagement and outreach with a 2015 Community Engagement Classification from the Carnegie Foundation. The campus is located in the heart of Omaha, a cosmopolitan city of more than 600,000 (1.2 million including the large Omaha metro area), which is known for its excellent public school system and strong economic base. The city is home to several racially, ethnically, and culturally diverse groups, and is characterized by myriad places to eat, live and shop.
    UNO and the Department of Biomechanics has a strong commitment to diversity in its varied forms and to fostering an inclusive and welcoming learning environment where students, faculty and staff thrive and succeed. With a metropolitan mission, UNO serves a diverse student body with many first-generation college students and is actively engaged with the community in myriad ways. For additional information on our vibrant campus community, please see our recent ad in Chronicle of Higher Education, Growing With and Within our Thriving Community.
    The University of Nebraska does not discriminate based on race, color, ethnicity, national origin, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, disability, age, genetic information, veteran status, marital status, and/or political affiliation in its programs, activities, or employment. UNO is a VEVRAA Federal Contractor and an E-Verify employer.