Dear netters:

Thanks to all that answered for sharing your ideas and thoughts. Sorry for
the delay.
I was looking for annual student projects ideas for my biomechanics course
and I got some replies and ideas which I’ll try to use. Here is a summary
of the replies:

Josh Good suggested:
-Why not let the student suggest their own ideas? (Good idea but does not
suit my present students.)
- look for biomechanics problems around the university (ie redesign old
desks which everyone complains about) - have some of the student analyze the
performance of some of the university athletes - Give them problems about
activities of daily living - design the phone so you can talk on it hands
free without getting a sore neck (might work) - design a better tool which
will keep the wrist in a neutral position, require less force to used etc

Kevin J. McQuade suggested the development of a
6-axis mini transducer that can be placed in the palm of a patient.

Alison McConnell suggested a number of ideas:
designing improved bone staples; improving design of insertion tool for bone
mandibular joint replacement; knee, ankle, shoulder braces; halo ring;
artificial finger joints

Paul Bourassa suggests doing projects
involving photoelasticity or strain gages techniques like building a scale
or a force plate. He also suggested looking in the american society for
engineering education or else in the journal Experimental Mechanics.

Chaodi Li suggested a number of projects:
(1) Bone biomechanics:
(a) bone mechanical tests: (i) how to get anisotropic properties of bone
(macro test)?
(ii) nano-structural bone properties identify.
(b) bone modeling: (i) finite element solid modeling of femur
(ii) solid modeling of a bone section ( if possible, to model cancellous
(c) bone remodeling: Is bone really remodel to (i)mechanical force, (ii)
electrical stimulate...
(2) heat analysis: (a) is it possible of heat generated by bone cement cause
cell necrosis? (b) laser irration of tissue: good or bad?
(3) sports biomechanics problems ( I had asked students to measure the
forces on parallel bars, jump, Horse..)
(4) Foot pressure measurement and modeling.
(5) EMG and EKG: Does lie detector work?
(6) how to measure tissue forces? Some students tried to measure the tensile
forces of muscles by straingage method and it worked...
(7) implant analysis:(a) hip implant simulator design (b) implant wear test
and modeling..
-- measure the weight of a human head accurately.

David McFarlane suggested to develop
design guidelines for bathrooms, toilets and bedrooms to provide adequate
floor circulation space for patient-lifting hoists for patient care tasks.
Another suggestion was a research project to develop frame system that can
be installed in a private home with an ordinary to support the overhead rail
type of patient hoist.
David suggested ergoweb-L as a reference

and a couple of subjects mentioned there lately:
1) Hospital Ergonomics and especially Bariatric Patients handling;
2) a device that will assist with lifting and holding in "severe" hip
flexion large, anesthetized (dead weight) legs during labor/delivery and
gynecological surgical procedures;
3) accessories to make the use of lap top computers in vehicles as
"ergonomically friendly" as possible;
In a further e-mail David suggested that “Research using EMG into the
effects of semi-resilient flooring on fatigue of the leg muscles might prove
interesting”. If anyone is interested in any of these projects I’m sure Dr.
McFarlane will be glad to supply further information.

Atul Motla from Bombay suggested an automobile
related design of a system for Steering torque and angle measurement. A
number of such sensors exist, see:

Martijn Wisse suggested to build a 'passive
dynamic walker' like those presented in
For more information, read:
T. McGeer. Passive Dynamic Walking. Intern. J. Robot. Res. 1990,9(2),62--82,

And finally, Don Ohanehi challenged the way my class is
set up. He suggested to work in teams, writing “In our university, we have
senior design projects where students may work in teams. They are assigned
specific tasks within these teams/projects so they can get a lot done on
their own but they also get the real-world engineering experience of working
in engineering teams. Each team has a "chief engineer," a "test engineer,"
the "writing specialist," etc, so that each has a primary responsibility.”
Thank to all of you again. I’m confident some of those ideas will come to
good use. If any further ideas come along, please let me know.

Moshe Nissan
Mech. Eng. Dpt.
Ben-Gurion university of the Negev

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