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Steve Fischer

Assistant Professor

Steven Fischer profile photo 

Contact Information

Office: BMH 1046

Phone: 519-888-4567, ext. 30368


Website: Occupational Biomechanics and Ergonomics Lab

Research interests

My research optimizes human performance in the workplace by focusing in three themes:

Discovering biomechanical determinants of occupational performance

  • This use-inspired fundamental research theme explores how our unique abilities determine how we move when completing common tasks like lifting, pushing or pulling at work.

Advancing functional capacity evaluation

  • This line of inquiry explores how the principles of biomechanics and motor control can be exploited to advance job matching and return-to-work to optimize workplace performance and prevent musculoskeletal disorders.

Advancing digital human modeling

  • Within this theme, we evaluate the strengths and limitations associated with the predictive capabilities of digital human modeling (DHM) software and conduct experimental research to generate new knowledge to improve the predictive capabilities of DHM approaches.

Inform Better, Safer Products 

  • Leveraging fundamental knowledge from our determinants of movement behaviour theme, we blend principles of biomechanics, motor control and ergonomics to develop new ways to evaluate and improve the design of “ergonomic” products.

Graduate supervision and student opportunities

  • Research volunteer
  • Undergraduate thesis
  • MSc thesis
  • Coursework interns
  • PhD thesis
  • Postdoctoral fellowship
  • Research assistant/coordinator

Contact me for more information on joining our team.

Graduate studies application details

MSc Kinesiology candidate Dan Armstrong is supervised by Professor Fischer. Watch Dan's experience of the lab he works in, and the colleagues he collaborates with.

Teaching, expertise, tools and technologies


  • Task analysis
  • Occupational biomechanics
  • Ergonomic aspects of occupational musculoskeletal injuries 


  • Task analysis
  • Occupational biomechanics
  • Ergonomic aspects of occupational musculoskeletal injuries 


KIN 320: Task Analysis

KIN 420: Occupational Biomechanics


BSc (Waterloo)

MSc (New Brunswick)

PhD (Waterloo)

​Selected publications

See Google Scholar for full list of publications.

Morales L, McEachern BM, MacPhee RS, Fischer SL. (2016). Patient acuity as a determinant of paramedics' frequency of being exposed to physically demanding work activities. Applied Ergonomics, 56, 187-193.

Coffey B, VanderGriendt C, Fischer SL. (2016). Evaluating the ability of novices to identify and quantify physical demand elements following an introductory education session: A pilot study. Applied Ergonomics, 54, 33-40.

Fischer SL, Greene HP, Hampton RH, Cochran MG, Albert WJ. (2015). Gender-Based Differences in Trunk and Shoulder Biomechanical Changes Caused by Prolonged Repetitive Symmetrical Lifting. IIE Transactions on Occupational Ergonomics and Human Factors, 3(3-4), 165-176.

Dibblee, J, Worthy P, Farrell P, Hetzler M, Reid S, Stevenson J, Fischer SL. (2015) Evaluating a prototype device designed to alleviate night vision goggle induced neck strain among military personnel. Ergonomics, 58(12), 2067-2077.

University of Waterloo