Associate Professor, Department of Kinesiology University of Waterloo

Clark Dickerson.Dr. Clark Dickerson is an associate professor in the Department of Kinesiology at the University of Waterloo. His research focuses on identifying, quantifying, and reducing work-related stresses in the shoulder through mathematical modeling and experimentation.

In order to quantify the impact of work tasks on the shoulder, he is developing and experimentally evaluating several biomechanical computer models. His laboratory experiments are monitoring movement, muscle activity, work perception, and hand forces. The outputs of the models are then compared with this collected empirical data.

The primary purpose of this approach is to enable informed prospective job design. Integration of the models with existing software allows simulated jobs to be analyzed for potentially injurious stresses to shoulder tissues in digital design environments, using technologies such as digital human modeling (DHM). Secondarily, increased worker comfort and decreased effort can be achieved in designs through implementation of force-perception relationships that are unique to the shoulder.

This research results in the creation of computerized design tools and biomechanical insights. These can then be used together to improve the safety and usability of workspaces and other man-machine interfaces, thereby reducing the frequency and severity of occupational shoulder injuries.

University of Waterloo

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