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Summer Research Position on Biomechanical Analysis of Optimal Ladder Setup

Faculty Mentor: Erika Pliner
Title: Assistant Professor
College: Engineering
School / Department: Mechanical Engineering

Project description

Ladder falls are a leading cause of fatality in construction. This project is partnered with the Job Site-Safety Institute and Little Giant Ladder Systems to better understand the interfacing human-biomechanical mechanisms that lead to ladder falls. We are utilizing objective approaches to quantify the underlying mechanisms of ladder falls. Specifically, we are recording how people interact with the ladder through advanced biomechanical methods (i.e. force plate sensor and 3D motion capture system), while our experimental design systematically alters critical environmental factors. Extraction of this data will facilitate guidance for safer ladder designs and training. Come join our team to reduce the burden of ladder fall accidents.


Keywords: biomechanics, biomechanical, mechanics, mechanical, safety, falls, injury prevention

Student Role:
  • Mechanical design of a custom platform of various terrain and inclination conditions.
  • Assist in data collection of human motion capture.
  • Friction testing across real-world ground conditions.
  • Kinetic and kinematic data processing and analysis.
Student Benefits: Students will gain technical research skills in motion capture, human-participant data collection, and mechanical and experimental design; Students will gain knowledge in biomechanics, human-environment interactions, and safety; Students have the potential to disseminate their findings and co-author a research journal publication if their contribution is significant.
Project Duration: This is a summer research position with the opportunity to continue research in the lab during the academic year. The number of hours worked per week are flexible and will be agreed upon with a minimum of 10 hours per week.
Opportunity Type: Research Assistant
Opportunity Location Type: In Person
Is this a paid opportunity: ToBeDetermined
Paid Description:

Volunteer, This is a paid research position, This is a work-study research position, Prepare a UROP proposal, Write an Honors Thesis or Senior Thesis, Earn independent study credit.

Minimum Requirements: There are no minimum requirements but students with a strong interest in biomechanics, human research, and safety will be prioritized.
How To Apply: Contact Erika Pliner: