International Society of Biomechanics
Silver sponsor
Journal of Applied Biomechanics

Student Travel Reports

I would like to thank the International Society of Biomechanics for the $1000 Conference Travel Grant award for the purpose of attending the XVIIth International Congress of Biomechanics held August 8-13, 1999 and the VIIth International Symposium on Computer Simulation in Biomechanics held August 5-8, 1999. The travel award provided the financial source that enabled me to attend these meetings. By attending these meetings, my academic and professional development was further enhanced.

The purpose of the International Society of Biomechanics Congress Travel Award is to alleviate the financial burden to students presenting their research at the XVIIth ISB Congress of Biomechanics. Generally the travel grant provides a means for academic and professional development of students wishing to attend an international meeting. As a student recipient of this award, I benefited from the chance to meet and interact with excellent biomechanists during this time, particularly with those involved in computer modeling and simulation of human movement. It was exciting to finally put a face to the authors of research papers that I have read. In addition, I also interacted with fellow students with varied backgrounds coming from around the world. Finally, this meeting allowed me to assess the current state of the biomechanics field in general and the computer modeling and simulation field in particular.

Attending the VIIth International Symposium on Computer Simulation in Biomechanics for the first time was very stimulating and enjoyable. The symposium consisted each of a 15 minutes slide presentation and a software demonstration session afterwards. The success of the meeting was due to the efforts of Dr. Ton van den Bogert from the Cleveland Clinic Foundation and faculty and students from the University of Calgary. In addition, the small number of participants provided a very intimate atmosphere conducive for in-depth discussions. I was impressed by the sophistication of the computer simulation models presented in the symposium and the level of presenters. As a result, I was able to assess my current abilities and identified skills that I needed to develop. On a lighter note, I enjoyed my interaction with Dr. Fred Yeadon from Loughborough University. Dr. Yeadon’s sense of humor was a festive ingredient to this meeting, particularly at the dart game and during the banquet. As a result of attending the modeling symposium, my future plans includes submitting for presentation my research in the VIIIth International Symposium on Computer Simulation in Biomechanics which will take place in Milan, Italy in 2001.

The XVIIth International Congress of Biomechanics provided me the opportunity to be introduced to the research being done throughout the world. I also enjoyed the keynote speakers, particularly the chance to listen to the Nobel laureate Sir Andrew Huxley, the Warthenweiler Memorial Lecturer. Dr. Benno Nigg set the motto of the meeting: "Enjoy Nonsense". The majority of podium and poster presentations did make sense. The poster and podium sessions covered a wide range of topic from cellular to whole body biomechanics. The good number of human movement modeling and simulation podium and poster presentations encouraged me. The excellent poster viewing and podium presentation schedule promoted an environment for learning and for further discussions. I was able to both actively and passively participate in in-depth discussions during the lunch and coffee breaks. Furthermore, I enjoyed the student luncheon session with Sir Andrew Huxley. I was amazed with his ability to expand on varied topics, from his specific research to his life experiences. It was exhausting yet extremely stimulating.

In the XVIIth International Congress of Biomechanics, I presented a poster entitled "Modification in Joint Control in Anticipation of Contact". The poster presentation session allowed me to introduce my research to an international audience. More importantly, I received some very constructive feedback both from known researchers as well as from peers with similar research interests. I not only gained further presentation skills; I also obtained ideas regarding future research questions and the methods necessary to answer those questions.

In conclusion, I benefited both financially and professionally from the ISB travel grant award. The XVIIth International Congress of Biomechanics provided a very positive experience in the academic and professional development stage of my career. The VIIth International Symposium on Computer Simulation in Biomechanics further enhanced my specific research development. I was not only able to assess the current state of my research skills, but was able to determine the necessary skills needed to become a successful scientist and educator. Hopefully, other students will have the opportunity to receive the same award for future conferences. I believe that the award provides a vital source of funding for students wishing to improve their chances at succeeding in the field of Biomechanics.