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Kinesiology remembers professor David Winter

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

David WinterIt is with sadness that the Department of Kinesiology announces the passing of David Winter, Distinguished Professor Emeritus and internationally renowned scholar in biomechanics and gait. Winter died Monday, February 6, 2012 at the age of 81.

Winter came to Waterloo in 1974 from his post as Director of Biomedical Engineering at the Shriner's Hospital in Winnipeg with appointment in Surgery at the University of Manitoba. There he had developed one of the world’s first automated video-based methods of measuring and analyzing normal and abnormal walking (gait) patterns. He brought his significant engineering skills and his “Gait” laboratory, also one of only two or three in the world, to broaden and strengthen the biomechanics teaching and research program in the then quite new Department of Kinesiology.

Now, nearly 40 years later, David Winter has left us with four iconic books on the measurement, biomechanics and motor control of normal, elderly and pathological balance, posture and walking and many, many scientific publications and invited addresses. He remained a recognized international scholar in his field well into his retirement in 1994. Only a year and a half ago (2010), he was invited to Portugal to deliver a week-long workshop on the biomechanics of gait.

His peers have recognized the significance of his scientific contributions with distinctions of “Fellow” and life time achievement awards from the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, the Canadian Society for Biomechanics, the Gait and Clinical Movement Analysis Society and the International Society of Biomechanics (ISB). In December 2011, the ISB named an award to encourage young people to stay involved in biomechanics research the “David Winter Young Investigator Award.” This recognition was instigated by Dave’s former students, one of whom had risen to become a President of the organization.

He was predeceased by his wife Judith, and survived by his children Merriam, Andrew, and Bruce, and loving grandchildren. Visitation will be held at the Henry Walser Funeral Home, 507 Frederick Street, Kitchener, on Wednesday, February 8th from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. and 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. A funeral service to celebrate David’s life will be held at St. John the Evangelist Anglican Church, 23 Water Street North, Kitchener, on Thursday, February 9 at 2:00 p.m. Obituary

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