PhD Candidate

Brock LaschowskiPhD Candidate in Biomedical Engineering at University of Waterloo 

Biography  

Brock Laschowski is a PhD Candidate in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Waterloo, a Graduate Research Assistant with Dr. John McPhee (Canada Research Chair in Biomechatronic System Dynamics), and a Part-Time Teaching Professor of Biomechanics in the Faculty of Health Sciences at Humber College. He also holds affiliations with the Waterloo Artificial Intelligence Institute. Brock specializes in biomechatronics engineering, with an emphasis on computer modelling, optimization, and control of human biomechanics and wearable robotic exoskeletons and prosthetic technologies. His doctoral research focuses on 1) modelling and computer simulation of lower-limb 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 forward dynamic simulations.

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. To date, Brock has accumulated over $234,000 in scholarships and awards (e.g., 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., Canada Foundation for Innovation). Brock has presented at numerous national and international conferences and was recently awarded 4th Prize Best Paper of the 2019 IEEE International Conference on Rehabilitation Robotics. His research has been featured on media networks like CBC’s Paralympic Games coverage 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. (2020). ExoNet Database: Wearable Camera Images of Human Locomotion Environments. Frontiers in Robotics and Artificial Intelligence. Under Review. 
• Laschowski B, Razavian RS, and McPhee J. (2020). Simulation of Stand-to-Sit Biomechanics for Design of Lower-Limb Exoskeletons and Prostheses with Energy Regeneration. IEEE Transactions on Medical Robotics and Bionics. Under Review.
• 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. 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, 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, Hopkins C, De Bruyn J, and Nolte V. (2017). Modelling the Deflection of Rowing Oar Shafts. Sports Biomechanics, 16(1), pp. 76-86. DOI: 10.1080/14763141.2016.1194890.
• 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.
• Laschowski B, Nolte V, Adamovsky M, and Alexander R. (2015). Effects of Oar-Shaft Stiffness and Length on Rowing Biomechanics. Journal of Sports Engineering and Technology, 229(4), pp. 239-247. DOI: 10.1177/1754337115582121.

Affiliation: 
University of Waterloo
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