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 for the Motion Research Group under 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 design optimization and control of robotic lower-limb prostheses and exoskeletons for assisting geriatric and rehabilitation patients with walking and standing. His research incorporates dynamic modelling and simulation of biomechatronic (human-robotic) systems, deep learning and machine vision, and control systems engineering. Brock’s previous research focused on biomechanical modelling and simulation of Paralympic sport movements for wheelchair design optimization. His Paralympic sports engineering research has been conducted in collaboration with the Canadian Sport Institute Ontario.

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. To date, Brock has accumulated over $238,000 in scholarships and awards, including the Doctoral Scholarship from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC). 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 award-winning research has been featured on many media networks, including CBC’s Paralympic and ParaPan American Games coverages, Maclean’s Magazine, Ontario Society of Professional Engineers newsletter, and 94.9 radio.

Research

• Research Objective: Dynamic Modelling, Control, and Design Optimization of Robotic Lower-Limb Prostheses and Exoskeletons for Geriatric and Rehabilitation Patients
• Research Perspective: Biomechatronic Systems Engineering
• Research Methods: 
1) Deep Learning and Machine Vision for Autonomous Control of Walking Exoskeletons and Prostheses
2) Human Motor Control Modelling via Control Systems Engineering and Optimization
3) Dynamic Modelling and Simulation of Lower-Limb Biomechanical and Biomechatronic Systems
4) Design Optimization of Energy-Efficient Robotic Actuators for Dynamic Walking
5) Experimental Measurement and Evaluation of Human Movement Biomechanics

Education

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

Publications

• Laschowski B, Razavian RS, and McPhee J. (2019). Biomechanical Modelling of Sitting Movements for Designing Robotic Lower-Limb Prostheses and Exoskeletons with Energy Regeneration. Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation. Submitted.
• Laschowski B, Razavian RS, and McPhee J. (2019). Modelling and Biomechanical Evaluation of Sitting Movements: Implications for Energy-Efficient Lower-Limb Prostheses and Exoskeletons. International Society of Biomechanics Congress. Accepted.
• 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, Mehrabi N, and McPhee J. (2016). Forward Dynamic Optimization of Paralympic Wheelchair Curling. Canadian Society for Biomechanics Biennial Meeting. Accepted. 
• 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
Contact information: