PhD Candidate

Brock LaschowskiPhD Candidate in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Waterloo 

Biography  

Brokoslaw (Brock) Laschowski is a PhD Candidate in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Waterloo and a Graduate Research Assistant working with Dr. John McPhee, Canada Research Chair in Biomechatronic System Dynamics. He also holds affiliations with the Waterloo Artificial Intelligence Institute. Brock specializes in using mathematical, computational, and machine learning methods to optimize the design and control of humans interacting with wearable robotic systems and technologies. Applications of his research include rehabilitation engineering, human-machine interfaces, biomechatronics, rehabilitation robotics, and wearable assistive technologies (i.e., exoskeletons and robotic prostheses). His doctoral research focuses on 1) modelling and computer simulation of human-exoskeleton systems with energy-efficient actuators, and 2) computer vision and deep learning for autonomous exoskeleton control during locomotion. In collaboration with the Canadian Sport Institute, Brock’s masters research focused on developing mathematical models that predict the movement control of wheelchair athletes with neurological disabilities. His predictive models allowed for efficient testing and optimization of wheelchair designs via computer simulation.

Brock serves as Section Editor for the University of Toronto Medical Journal and reviewer for IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics, Journal of Applied Biomechanics, IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering, and IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering. He recently served on the Executive Committee of the Canadian Society for Biomechanics and Co-Supervisor for an undergraduate student group developing a thermoregulation monitoring system for wheelchair athletes. He previously worked at the Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital and as a Part-Time Professor of Biomechanics at Humber College. To date, Brock has accumulated over $234,000 in scholarships and awards (e.g., from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada) and co-authored grant proposals that received over $197,000 in research and infrastructure funding (e.g., from the Canada Foundation for Innovation). Brock has presented at numerous national and international conferences and was recently a Best Paper Award Finalist at the 2019 IEEE International Conference on Rehabilitation Robotics. His research has been featured in print and broadcasting media including BBC News, CBC, and Maclean’s Magazine.  

Education

PhD in Biomedical Engineering, University of Waterloo
MASc in Mechanical Engineering, University of Waterloo
MSc in Kinesiology (Biomechanics), Western University
BSc in Kinesiology (Biomechanics), University of Toronto

Publications

• Laschowski B, McNally W, Wong A, and McPhee J. (2021). Computer vision and deep learning for environment-adaptive control of robotic lower-limb exoskeletons. bioRxiv. DOI: 10.1101/2021.04.02.438126. 
• Laschowski B, Razavian RS, and McPhee J. (2021). Simulation of stand-to-sit biomechanics for robotic exoskeletons and prostheses with energy regeneration. IEEE Transactions on Medical Robotics and Bionics. DOI: 10.1109/TMRB.2021.3058323. 
Laschowski B, McNally W, Wong A, and McPhee J. (2020). ExoNet database: Wearable camera images of human locomotion environments. Frontiers in Robotics and AI, 7, 562061. DOI: 10.3389/frobt.2020.562061.
Laschowski B, McNally W, Wong A, and McPhee J. (2020). Comparative analysis of environment recognition systems for control of lower-limb exoskeletons and prostheses. IEEE International Conference on Biomedical Robotics and Biomechatronics (BioRob). DOI: 10.1109/BioRob49111.2020.9224364.
Laschowski B, McNally W, Wong A, and McPhee J. (2019). Preliminary design of an environment recognition system for controlling robotic lower-limb prostheses and exoskeletons. IEEE International Conference on Rehabilitation Robotics (ICORR), pp. 868-873. DOI: 10.1109/ICORR.2019.8779540.
Laschowski B, McPhee J, and Andrysek J. (2019). Lower-limb prostheses and exoskeletons with energy regeneration: Mechatronic design and optimization review. ASME Journal of Mechanisms and Robotics, 11(4), pp. 040801-040801-8. DOI: 10.1115/1.4043460.
Laschowski B and Andrysek J. (2018). Electromechanical design of robotic transfemoral prostheses. ASME International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference. DOI: 10.1115/DETC2018-85234. 
Maryniak A, Laschowski B, and Andrysek J. (2018). Technical overview of osseointegrated transfemoral prostheses: Orthopaedic surgery and implant design centered. ASME Journal of Engineering and Science in Medical Diagnostics and Therapy, 1(2), pp. 020801-020801-7. DOI: 10.1115/1.4039105.
Laschowski B, Mehrabi N, and McPhee J. (2018). Optimization-based motor control of a Paralympic wheelchair athlete. Sports Engineering, 21(3), pp. 207-215. DOI: 10.1007/s12283-018-0265-2.
Laschowski B, Mehrabi N, and McPhee J. (2017). Inverse dynamics modelling of Paralympic wheelchair curling. Journal of Applied Biomechanics, 33(4), pp. 294-299. DOI: 10.1123/jab.2016-0143.
Laschowski B and McPhee J. (2016). Quantifying body segment parameters using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry: A Paralympic wheelchair curler case report. Procedia Engineering, 147, pp. 163-167. DOI: 10.1016/j.proeng.2016.06.207. 
Laschowski B and McPhee J. (2016). Body segment parameters of Paralympic athletes from dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. Sports Engineering, 19(3), pp. 155-162. DOI: 10.1007/s12283-016-0200-3.


Affiliation: 
University of Waterloo
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