On the cutting edge
Biomechanics lab offering new opportunities at Acadia
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.
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.