Janie Astephen Wilson, PhD


Director and Professor
School of Biomedical Engineering
Dalhousie University
E-mail:  janiewilson@dal.ca

Dr. Janie Wilson runs a multidisciplinary research program in human movement biomechanics, with a focus on understanding the role of joint-level biomechanics and muscle activity in the initiation, progression and treatment of knee osteoarthritis with arthroplasty surgery. She has specific interest in understanding how female sex and obesity interact with joint kinematics and kinetics in injury and disease, as well as the development and application of mathematical and statistical tools for biomechanics applications. She received her BSCE in mathematics and engineering (mechanical) from Queen's University (2000), followed by an MASc (2002) and then PhD (2007) in biomedical engineering from Dalhousie University (both under the supervision of Dr. Kevin Deluzio). She has worked at the M.E. Muller Institute for Biomechanics in Bern, Switzerland (2003), as well as a postdoctoral fellow at the Sport Science Institute of South Africa and the University of Cape Town (2008, with Dr. Christopher Vaughan). She is the past president of the Canadian Orthopaedic Research Society.

Stacey Acker, PhD

Stacey Acker, PhD


Associate Professor
Department of Kinesiology
University of Waterloo
E-mail: stacey.acker@uwaterloo.ca

Dr. Stacey Acker joined the faculty in the Department of Kinesiology at the University of Waterloo in 2011, after completing a postdoctoral fellowship in Rehabilitation Sciences at McMaster University and a PhD in Mechanical and Materials Engineering at Queen's University. Her research aims to develop models of the human knee joint that accurately represent knee joint mechanics throughout the full range of knee joint flexion. In the Biomechanics of Human Mobility Laboratory, her research team aims to reveal the roles of mechanical factors (particularly in the range of knee flexion >120º) in deterioration of the knee joint (especially osteoarthritis), with the aim of preventing mechanically induced damage to the joint.


Scott Brandon, PhD

Treasurer - Member Affairs

Assistant Professor
School of Engineering
University of Guelph
Email: scott.brandon@uoguelph.ca

Dr. Scott Brandon's current research focuses on improving the performance and safety of assistive devices for human mobility. he completed his BESc. at Western University, followed by an MSc.Eng. and PhD at Queen's University under the supervision of Dr. Kevin Deluzio. After completing his PhD, he worked as a postdoctoral fellow, first at the Institute of Biomedical Engineering (New Brunswick, CAN), then the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is particularly interested in lower-limb joint mechanics with applications including braces, exoskeletons, cerebral palsy, and ACL injuries.

Drake Headshot 2009_10_cropped_cropped

Janessa Drake, PhD

Communications Officer

Associate Professor
School of Kinesiology and Health Science
York University
Email: jdrake@yorku.ca

Dr. Janessa Drake received her BSc and MSc from the University of Guelph, and her PhD from the University of Waterloo. Before and after her MSc she worked as a Kinesiologist and Ergonomist, both independently and with a health management company that functioned 3rd party to insurers. She performed hundreds of functional abilities evaluations, disability assessments, on-site job analyses, physical demands analyses, return-to-work programs, and work station re-designs. Her first faculty appointment was in the Department of Kinesiology at the University of Windsor (Cross-Appointed to Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering), before joining the School of Kinesiology and Health Science at York University in 2009. Her overarching research goal is focused on reducing the incidence and severity of workplace musculoskeletal disorders. Her current research is focused on quantifying and evaluating the thoracic and lumbar spine neuromuscular control and musculoskeletal responses to work-related exposures to understand the spines' role in whole body movement strategies and their adaptations that are protective or causal to the development of injury. She has specific interest in the effects of modifying factors including sex, age, fatigue, and fitness level. She uses analyses of 3D motion, electromyography, force, and magnetic resonance and ultrasound imaging.


Shawn Robbins, PhD

Conference Co-Chair (2020)

Associate Professor
School of Physical & Occupational Therapy
McGill University
Email: shawn.robbins@mcgill.ca

Dr. Shawn Robbins completed his BScPT and PhD at University of Western Ontario in 2001 and 2010 respectively, and he completed a post-doctoral fellowship at Dalhousie University. His research focuses on the neuromuscular and biomechanical factors underlying mobility in patients with orthopaedic health conditions, particularly osteoarthritis. Specifically, he is examining biomechanical mechanisms that underline knee osteoarthritis progression, and the effectiveness of treatments for these patients. He also evaluates the impact of player characteristics, task demands, and equipment design on ice hockey skills.


Rachid Aissaoui, PhD

Conference Co-Chair (2020)

Département de génie des systèmes
École de Technologie Supérieure
E-mail: rachid.aissaoui@etsmtl.ca

Dr. Rachid Aissaoui has contributed to the fields of biomechanics and rehabilitative engineering. his recent work has improved our understanding of gait forces and kinematics, in both typical and differently abled participants. he has published over 76 peer-reviewed articles, 48 conference proceedings, 2 book chapters, a book, and a patent. he is a member of the Laboratoire de Recerche en Imagerie et Orthopédie (LIO; Imaging and Orthopaedics Research Laboratory). his research areas include: accelerometry, assistive technology, wheelchair, biomechanics, inverse dynamics, quaternion, 3D gait analysis, osteoarthritis, cartilage, and digital human modeling. 


Dr. Andrew Laing PhD

Past President

Associate Professor
Department of Kinesiology
University of Waterloo
E-mail: actlaing@uwaterloo.ca

Dr. Andrew Laing's general field of interest is musculoskeletal biomechanics related to human health and injury prevention, and the role that advanced age has on these relationships. He uses a systematic approach to guide his research projects which involve: i) identifying the injury of interest, ii) determining the biomechanical age-related differences that may influence injury risk, and iii) developing and testing age specific interventions to prevent or treat the injury. Within this framework, his research focuses on two injury categories: 1) fall-related tissue trauma including hip fractures, spinal cord injuries, and traumatic brain injuries; and 2) workplace musculoskeletal disorders (WMSD). For the former he uses a combination of mechanical impact simulators (e.g. drop towers, impact pendulums) and mathematical models to measure and predict the loads applied to the body during falls, and the protective capacity of a range of protective devices. The research related to WMSD involves the measurement of age-related differences in exposures and/or tolerances to loads applied to the body at work, and the development of interventions that target specific age groups. This research complements existing knowledge related to age-specific injury mechanisms and effective injury prevention across the lifespan.



Diana De Carvalho, PhD

Associate Professor
Faculty of Medicine
Memorial University of Newfoundland
E-mail: ddecarvalho@mun.ca

Dr. Diana De Carvalho completed her BSc at the University of Guelph, Doctor of Chiropractic at the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic college, and MSc and PhD in Kinesiology at the University of Waterloo. She has created the SPine biomechanics and INterventional Ergonomics Laboratory, where her team explores the effects of seated postures on the back, clinical low back pain, and ergonomic/treatment interventions.


Samuel Veres, PhD

Associate Professor
Division of Engineering
Saint Mary's University
Email: sam.veres@smu.ca

Dr. Samuel Veres studies structure-function relationships in collagenous tissues with the goal of understanding the development and maintenance of physiologic performance in healthy tissue, and the interplay between disruption or alteration to tissue structure and disease. Investigations are often multiscale in nature, extending through the collagen hierarchy from macro to nanoscale. In relation to pathology, key areas of focus have included overload strain injury and repetitive overuse injury in tendon, and development of annular tears and herniation in intervertebral discs. Dr. Veres earned a Bachelor of Engineering (mechanical) from Dalhousie University, and a PhD in Chemical and Materials Engineering from the University of Auckland, New Zealand, under the supervision of Dr. Neil Broom. This was followed by a Killam post-doctoral fellowship at Dalhousie's School of Biomedical Engineering working with Dr. J. Michael Lee. 

Student Representatives


Franziska Onasch

Doctoral Student
Faculty of Kinesiology
University of Calgary
E-mail: franziska.onasch@ucalgary.ca

Franzi Onasch completed a BSc (Physical Activity and Health) and a MSc (Biomechanics - Motor Skill - Human Motion Analysis) at the University of Giessen in Germany, and is now pursing a PhD under the supervision of Dr. Walter Herzog at the University of Calgary. Thus far, her research has mainly been about large-scale biomechanics in an applied context of various sports like basketball, handball, cross-country skiing, cycling, bobsleigh (currently focused on exploring full-body force-velocity in sled pushes).


Jackie Zehr

Doctoral Student
Department of Kinesiology
University of Waterloo
E-mail: jackie.zehr@uwaterloo.ca

Jackie Zehr is a PhD Candidate at the University of Waterloo working under the supervision of Dr. Jack Callaghan. Jackie has previously completed a Bachelor of Kinesiology (2015) and MSc (2017), both at the University of Toronto. the overarching aim of her doctoral research program is to understand the fundamental processes of damage and fatigue-failure in lumbar spine tissues. She hopes to apply these basic science findings to improve load management practice in training, occupational, and rehabilitation settings.