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2 PhD student positions in biomechanics, wearable technology, machine learning, and knee osteoarthritis – University of Florida

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  • 2 PhD student positions in biomechanics, wearable technology, machine learning, and knee osteoarthritis – University of Florida

    Job summary
    Two fully funded PhD positions are available in the laboratory of Dr. Kerry Costello in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (MAE) at the University of Florida. The successful candidates will participate in projects developing large datasets of motion capture and wearable technology data and applying data science approaches to investigate the role of patient factors, biomechanics, and physical activity in knee osteoarthritis initiation and progression. The specific projects will be tailored to each individual student’s interests and career goals.

    The expected start date is Fall 2023, although some flexibility may be available for exceptional candidates. Successful candidates will receive a stipend, health insurance, and tuition.

    • B.S. or M.S. in engineering, computer science, biomechanics, kinesiology, or a related field
    • Programming experience (e.g., MATLAB, Python, R)
    • Interest in machine learning and biomechanics/wearable technology

    Exceptional candidates may also have experience in:
    • Applied machine learning
    • Biostatistics
    • Measurement of human movement (e.g., motion capture, force platforms)
    • Use of wearable technology for physical activity monitoring and/or biomechanics

    To apply, submit your application to the MAE PhD program by December 5th, 2022:

    Concurrently, or after applying, it is encouraged to submit the following information to Dr. Costello via email (
    1. Email body: introduction detailing your interest in the position, qualifications, and relevant experience
    2. CV or resume
    3. Writing sample (e.g., journal publication, lab report, course paper)
    4. In the email subject line, write “Fall 2023 PhD Application: Your name”
    Questions about this position may also be directed to Dr. Costello.

    The successful candidates will join a growing research group under the direction of Dr. Costello as well as vibrant biomechanics communities within MAE and the larger UF campus. The core human movement biomechanics faculty within MAE include Dr. Costello, Dr. Jessica Allen, and Dr. Scott Banks. This group meets regularly to share and discuss research works in progress and has computational, fabrication, and experimental facilities for the study of whole-body biomechanics. The Gary J. Miller Ph.D. Orthopaedic Biomechanics Laboratory includes an 800 ft2 computational space (currently outfitted with more than a dozen computer workstations), desks, and conference space to accommodate up to 22 students or research fellows. An adjoining, 400 ft2 room has benches and equipment for fabrication of hardware, sensors, and other small technological equipment. Additionally, a new 954 ft2 experimental facility for human movement analysis is currently under construction, slated for completion in early 2023. Equipment includes a 20-camera Vicon optical motion capture (marker-based) system, 3 AMTI force platforms, and a Bertec split-belt force-instrumented treadmill embedded in the laboratory floor. An 8-camera portable video-based (markerless) motion capture system, 2 portable AMTI force platforms, and wearable inertial measurement units and electromyography sensors are available for data collection within or outside of the laboratory. Further, we are working with multiple technologies to capture physical activity from study participants during daily life. All facilities integrate with HiPerGator, UF’s supercomputing cluster, and multiple high-performance workstations are available for deep learning and musculoskeletal modeling within both the computational lab space and the new experimental facility.

    About MAE, UF, and Gainesville

    The Department of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering at the University of Florida ( has over 60 faculty members working in all aspects of mechanical and aerospace engineering and is expected to grow over the upcoming years. The total student population is approximately 2500 with nearly 200 in the PhD program. The latest US News & World Report has MAE ranked as 19 and 15 for the aerospace and mechanical engineering programs, respectively, among graduate engineering public universities in the US.

    The University of Florida is the flagship campus of the State of Florida university system and is ranked in the top 5 best public US universities according to US News & World Report. UF recently announced a $70 million artificial intelligence partnership with NVIDIA to create an AI-centric data center that houses the world's fastest AI supercomputer in higher education. For more information about the college, please visit

    UF is an active campus in the heart of a growing city located in the tourism capital of the world. With its beautiful natural landscape, nearby freshwater springs and wide-open prairies, Gainesville is a place "where nature and culture meet."

    The University of Florida is an equal opportunity institution dedicated to building a broadly diverse and inclusive community.