On the cut­ting edge

Biome­chan­ics lab of­fer­ing new op­por­tu­ni­ties at Aca­dia

Valley Journal Advertiser - - SPORTS ACADIA PERFORMING ARTS SERIES 2017–18 - BY SARA BAX­TER ACA­DIA ATHLETICS

At Aca­dia Univer­sity, un­der­grad­u­ate ki­ne­si­ol­ogy stu­dents have a unique op­por­tu­nity to gain ex­pe­ri­ence in data col­lec­tion on top­notch biome­chan­ics equip­ment.

The John MacIn­tyre mo­tion Lab­o­ra­tory of Ap­plied Biome­chan­ics (mLAB) boasts state-of-the-art wire­less tech­nol­ogy, sim­i­lar to what is used when mak­ing video games and an­i­mated movies.

“It gives un­der­grad­u­ate stu­dents the op­por­tu­nity to work with sta­teof-the-art equip­ment and do their own in­de­pen­dent re­search,” says Dr. Scott Landry. “What’s unique about their op­por­tu­nity here is that they are driv­ing the re­search, they’re run­ning the lab. They’re learn­ing how to develop the test­ing pro­to­cols, col­lect and process the data, and trou­bleshoot the equip­ment.”

Landry is the di­rec­tor of the John MacIn­tyre mLAB and has brought many im­pres­sive biome­chan­i­cal re­search part­ner­ships to Aca­dia Univer­sity, most no­tably with Adi­das.

Aca­dia has part­nered with Adi­das to es­tab­lish a data­base to help the footwear gi­ant in the de­sign of new shoes and track the pref­er­ence of young ath­letes at vary­ing lev­els of high per­for­mance. This op­por­tu­nity has not only al­lowed Aca­dia stu­dents to gain ex­pe­ri­ence work­ing on projects that pro­vide value to large or­ga­ni­za­tions but it is also an ad­di­tional source of fund­ing for the mLAB.

The mLAB is an ex­pen­sive project to main­tain, but the value it pro­vides to Aca­dia stu­dents and fac­ulty is worth the cost as­so­ci­ated with it. Projects such as the Adi­das part­ner­ship al­lows for a mu­tu­ally ben­e­fi­cial re­la­tion­ship for all par­ties in­volved.

Great for stu­dents

Stu­dents who choose to get in­volved with the mLAB rec­og­nize the in­cred­i­ble op­por­tu­nity they have.

“It has cer­tainly en­riched my un­der­grad ex­pe­ri­ence, it has given me the chance to study some­thing that I am pas­sion­ate about which

I never thought would have been pos­si­ble,” says Lau­ren Holmes, a fourth-year ki­ne­si­ol­ogy stu­dent and biome­chan­ics teach­ing as­sis­tant.

“I be­lieve that know­ing the skills that I’ve learned in the mLAB will only help me suc­ceed in my fu­ture stud­ies.”

When Landry re­turned to Aca­dia in 2008 to join the fac­ulty at the School of Recre­ation Man­age­ment and Ki­ne­si­ol­ogy, the sit­u­a­tion was much grim­mer, with only one force plate that did not re­ally func­tion.

Thank­fully, Dr. Heather Hem­ming, Dean of Pro­fes­sional Stud­ies at the time, Dr. David MacK­in­non, former Dean of Re­search and Grad­u­ate Stud­ies and Dr. Rene Mur­phy, Di­rec­tor of Ki­ne­si­ol­ogy, were big ad­vo­cates and sup­port­ers for a mo­tion lab at Aca­dia.

Landry is ap­pre­cia­tive of the sup­port he has re­ceived through­out the life­span of the mLAB. With a Cana­dian Foun­da­tion of In­no­va­tion (CFI) and Nova Sco­tia Re­search and In­no­va­tion Trust (NSRIT) grant and sup­port from a pri­vate donor, the Aca­dia Ki­ne­si­ol­ogy So­ci­ety as well as the univer­sity, he was able to make his dream of a mo­tion lab at Aca­dia Univer­sity a re­al­ity.

Fast for­ward to 2018, and the mLAB has cre­ated an ir­re­place­able op­por­tu­nity for many un­der­grad­u­ate ki­ne­si­ol­ogy and sci­ence stu­dents at Aca­dia Univer­sity.

Landry is ex­cited to have a new ki­ne­si­ol­ogy ten­ure-track fac­ulty mem­ber with ex­per­tise in biome­chan­ics join­ing the mLAB re­search team and he has a vi­sion of ex­pand­ing the reach and ca­pac­ity of the mLAB by en­gag­ing to al­low com­puter sci­ence and engi­neer­ing stu­dents to use it for re­search op­por­tu­ni­ties as well.

SCOTT LANDRY

Aca­dia stu­dents have a unique op­por­tu­nity with the John MacIn­tyre mo­tion Lab­o­ra­tory of Ap­plied Biome­chan­ics (mLAB), which boasts state-of-the-art wire­less tech­nol­ogy. The lab al­lows stu­dents to drive re­search.

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