Brock ergonomics lab partners with American virtual human simulation company

Brock University students studying the relationship between workplace injuries, ergonomics and fatigue are set to benefit from a $1.9 million contribution of related software from a U.S.-based company.

Brock University Assistant Professor of Kinesiology Michael Holmes has partnered with SantosHuman Inc. through the Santos University Program to enable Brock’s Neuromuscular Mechanics and Ergonomics Lab access to the company’s predictive virtual human modeling and simulation software for research and study purposes.

“SantosHuman has emerged as a world leader in digital human modeling and the power of this technology is an innovative step forward for the ergonomics profession,” Holmes said. “This software allows us to evaluate, in detail, the physical demands of a user while interacting with various workplace and tool designs. This approach can lead to improved worker safety.”

A Canada Research Chair in Neuromuscular Mechanics and Ergonomics, Holmes’ research examines how the brain and nervous system interact with the mechanics of hand, arm, shoulder and neck muscles as a variety of tasks are performed.

Brock Kinesiology student James Parkinson

Brock Kinesiology student James Parkinson demonstrates some of the equipment now available in the new Neuromechanics and Ergonomics Lab.

His lab integrates motion capture, robotics and neurophysiology to understand muscle recruitment, fatigue and injury. The Santos University Program will provide an additional virtual human resource to enhance and expand the University’s high-fidelity workplace simulations.

“The Santos Institute is excited to be a part of Brock University’s research on upper extremity pain and injury, including carpal tunnel syndrome and repetitive strain injury,” said Tim Marler, Chief Research Officer and Director of the Santos Institute, who called it an important area of research.

The partnership will also provide Brock students access to SantosHuman’s unique predictive human simulation software.

“Our undergraduate and graduate courses in ergonomics will use the software for unique applied and practical learning opportunities,” Holmes said. “This sets our students up for success in a competitive work environment.”

SantosHuman provides virtual human simulation solutions to some of the most recognizable companies in the world. The software offers a comprehensive approach to predicting human physical behavior and performance that can consider human strength, fatigue, flexibility, balance, vision, body-borne equipment, external forces and environmental conditions.

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