PhD Candidate

Brock LaschowskiPhD Candidate in the Department of Systems Design Engineering at the University of Waterloo 

Summary 

Brock Laschowski is a PhD Candidate in Biomedical Systems Design 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 previously worked at the Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital. Brock specializes in simulation-based optimization, control, and evaluation of human movement biomechanics and wearable assistive technologies for rehabilitation engineering. His doctoral research focuses on 1) dynamic simulation of lower-limb biomechatronic (human-exoskeleton) systems with energy-efficient actuators, and 2) biologically-inspired robotic vision and artificial intelligence for autonomous exoskeleton control during locomotion. In collaboration with the Canadian Sport Institute Ontario, Brock’s masters research focused on predictive biomechanical modelling and optimal control of Paralympic sport movements for wheelchair design optimization. His athlete-specific biomechanical models were developed using medical imaging and wearable sensors. 

Brock serves as Section Editor for the University of Toronto Medical Journal and reviewer for IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics, Journal of Applied Biomechanics, Sports Engineering, IEEE Reviews in Biomedical Engineering, Journal of Sports Engineering and Technology, 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 designing 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 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.

Research

• Research Mission: Simulation-based optimization, control, and evaluation of human movement biomechanics and wearable assistive technologies for rehabilitation engineering 
• Research Methods
1) Computer modelling of human movement control using optimization
2) Simulation-based optimization and evaluation of wearable assistive technologies (exoskeletons) 
3) Biomechanical model design using medical imaging and wearable sensors
4) Simulation-based optimization and evaluation of human movement biomechanics 

Education

• PhD in Biomedical Engineering, University of Waterloo
Research: Development of Energy-Efficient and Autonomous Lower-Limb Biomechatronic Systems
• MASc in Mechanical Engineering, University of Waterloo
Research: Biomechanical Modelling and Optimal Control of Paralympic Sport Movements for Wheelchair Design Optimization
• MSc in Kinesiology (Biomechanics), University of Western Ontario
Research: Experimental Sports Biomechanics and Equipment Modelling and Evaluation 
• BSc in Kinesiology (Biomechanics), University of Toronto
Research: Measurement and Evaluation of Human Movement Biomechanics

Publications

• 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. Under Review.
• Laschowski B, McNally W, Wong A, and McPhee J. (2020). ExoNet Database: Open-Source Wearable Camera Images of Human Locomotion Environments. Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society. Under Review. 
• Laschowski B, Razavian RS, and McPhee J. (2020). Simulation of Stand-to-Sit Biomechanics for Designing Lower-Limb Exoskeletons and Prostheses with Energy Regeneration. ASME Journal of Medical Devices. Under Review.
• Laschowski B, McNally W, McPhee J, and Wong A. (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 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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