Jim Potvin

Professor, Department of Kinesiology, McMaster University

Jim Potvin.
Dr. Jim Potvin is a professor in the Department of Kinesiology at McMaster University. The main focus of his basic research has been to study spine mechanics and coordination under a variety of load challenges. Studies have been conducted to assess subject responses to sudden trunk loading perturbations with manipulations of timing knowledge, load direction, local muscle fatigue and load delivery method.

These studies have helped establish the hierarchy of criteria optimized by the spine to balance the conflicting need to keep tissue loads low while maintaining sufficient joint stability. The focus of his applied research is to improve our ability to quantify injury risk and establish acceptable forces for a wide variety of automotive assembly tasks. Biomechanical and psychophysical studies have been conducted to determine maximal acceptable forces for common assembly tasks, including: dynamic hand impact, hose insertions, electrical connector mating, thumb insertion, finger pulls, hand starts, hand tool use and etc.

More recent work has focused on optimizing the growing use of human simulation and virtual reality to analyse work tasks while they are still in the computer-aided design (CAD)/computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) stage of development.