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MEMP - Thesis Defense - Richard Fineman

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Biomechanical Human Performance Metrics of Coordination and Balance for Operational Decision-Making

The overall goal of this work is to develop a series of biomechanically-driven human performance metrics that aid operational decision-making. By quantifying inter-limb coordination and balance, we enable decoupling motor patterns without direct visual observation, providing objective feedback to decision-makers on the quality of human motion. To effectively develop and validate metrics for coordination and balance, we take a human-centered approach, contextualizing and evaluating in specific domains of interest. This work will focus on two: clinical geriatrics and aerospace spacesuit assembly (SSA) design. While these domains might seem distinct, both require a detailed understanding of nominal human motion and are interested in measuring deviation from desired motor patterns. To this end, we will test the hypothesis that we can augment decision-making in the domains of clinical geriatrics and aerospace SSA design through the development and validation of biomechanically-driven human performance metrics for coordination and balance.

Thesis Supervisor:
Leia Stirling, PhD
Charles Stark Draper Assistant Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics, MIT
Associate Faculty, Institute for Medical Engineering and Science, MIT
Thesis Committee Chair:
Thomas Heldt, PhD 
W.M. Keck Career Development Professor in Biomedical Engineering, MIT
Associate Professor of Electrical and Biomedical Engineering, MIT
Thesis Readers:
Jonathan Bean, MD
Director, New England Geriatric Research Education and Clinical Center (GRECC)
Associate Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, HMS
Andrew Abercromby, PhD
Lead, Human Physiology, Performance, Protection & Operations (H-3PO) Laboratory
Deputy PI, Biomedical Research and Environmental Sciences Division, NASA Johnson Space Center
Date and Time: 
Tuesday, May 14, 2019 - 12:00pm to 2:00pm

MIT 33-116