FACULTY OF ENGINEERINGDEPARTMENT OF ENGINEERING SCIENCES


Biomechanics

GENERAL INFORMATION:
     Biomechanics is the study of the effects and control of forces that act on or are produced by living tissue. Biomechanics also involves understanding the generation of internal forces within the human body. It examines the loading, posture and movements generated by these internal and external forces. Researchers in this area are involved in basic, clinical and occupational problems. Biomechanics is interdisciplinary study of the intersection of the biological and mechanical worlds. It draws from a wide range of the sciences, e.g., mechanics, materials, physics, chemistry, physiology, morphology, medicine, pathology, dentistry, molecular biology, etc. Biomechanics basically applies engineering principles to the understanding of biological systems at the macro and microscopic levels. So it is a field of specialization that integrates the mechanical and biological aspects of living systems. Although modern biomechanics is a relatively young and dynamic field, its history can be traced back to the fifteenth century, when Leonardo Da Vinci (1452-1519) noted the significance of mechanics in his biology studies. As a result of contributions from researchers in the fields of biology, medicine, basic sciences, and engineering, the inter- and multidisciplinary field of biomechanics has been growing steadily in the last decades. As academic and industrial interests in human movement have expanded, many professional organizations recognize and support biomechanics as an integral part of exercise science, sports medicine, orthopedics, ergonomics, and physical therapy. The development of the field of biomechanics has improved our understanding of many concepts, including: the clarification of the definition and meaning of the terms normal and pathological, the mechanics of neuromuscular control, bone formation, the mechanism of the response to injury of the musculoskeletal system, the mechanics of blood flow in the microcirculation, the mechanics of air flow in the lung, and the mechanics of growth and form. Biomechanics has contributed to the development of medical diagnostics and treatment procedures. It has provided the means for designing and manufacturing medical instruments, devices for the handicapped, artificial replacement limbs and implants. Biomechanics has wide range of application fields as:
    1. Physical Therapy
    2. Occupational Therapy
    3. Medicine (Orthopedics, Sports medicine, Rehabilitation medicine, Occupational medicine, Forensic medicine)
    4. Ergonomics (Industrial medicine)
    5. Bioengineering
    6. Kinesiology (Movement science)
    7. Arts (Performance arts, fine arts)

    Following specific topics can be involved in the research areas of biomechanics:

    1. Factors contributing to falls following a perturbation.
    2. Motor adaptations to repeated perturbation exposure.
    3. Kinematic and kinetic analyses of sports techniques.
    4. Strength assessment for clinical settings.
    5. Mathematical models of balance recovery.
    6. Mathematical and in-vitro models of the spine.

    The candidates fulfilling the university requirements are awarded the degree of Master of Science (M.S.) or Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Engineering Sciences. For both MS and PhD degrees, a minimum of seven courses (four must and three elective courses) and a seminar on the thesis topic is required by the department. 

AIMS AND OBJECTIVES: 
    The primary objective of the program is to prepare students for professional careers, or academic and research careers. Therefore, the Biomechanics Graduate Curriculum is designed to be a well-balanced blend of theoretical, practical, and research skills coursework. The primary objective of the program is
    1. To provide a broad base in mathematics, physical science, engineering science, computational skills, laboratory training, and design experience so that graduates can apply the fundamentals of theoretical and/or experimental mechanics in a rational, responsible, and efficient manner.
    2. To gain ability in the design and analysis of solid structures and systems.
    3. To use the methods of engineering for quantifying and understanding how the body moves, how movement is controlled, and the forces acting on biological tissues during movement..
    4. To enhance the understanding of human anatomy and function with specific analytical models of the musculoskeletal system.
    5. To assess mobility problems in various neuro-musculoskeletal situations.
    6. To assess and reduce the risks in occupational settings that involve understanding the mechanisms and reducing acute and repetitive strain injuries in the workplace environments and improve employee safety.
LABORATORIES AND EQUIPMENT: 
    The Biomechanics Laboratory of the Department of Engineering Sciences which is located on the ground level of the MM Building and other departmental facilities will be used for teaching and research.
ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS: 
    Candidates fulfilling the general requirements for admission to graduate status apply to the Department of Engineering Sciences. Those who have insufficient background in mechanics and/or applied mathematics will be required to complete a deficiency program. 

DEGREE REQUIREMENTS: 

      The program is supported by the course offerings of the Department of Engineering Sciences as well as by other engineering and science departments. A dynamic list of elective courses is published every semester. Ph.D. candidates with biomechanics degree are required to complete the compulsory courses of the M.S. program of Biomechanics. M.S. program consists of courses and a thesis. Ph.D. program consists of courses, qualifying examination, thesis proposal and a thesis.