Biomechanics Laboratory

DirectorJames G. Richards

The biomechanics research group focuses on two primary areas:

  1. Shoulder function
  2. Enhancement of athletic performance
Work on shoulder function is conducted in collaboration with medical experts at the A.I. duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, Delaware, and at the Shriner’s Hospital for Children in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Our focus is on understanding how the structures comprising the shoulder contribute to motion and on improving therapeutic outcomes in children with BPBI (Brachial Plexus Birth Injury) (Shriner’s), children with Cerebral Palsy (duPont), and children with Idiopathic Scoliosis (Both Shriner’s and duPont). An overview of our work with BPBI patients can be found here
Work on enhancement of athletic performance focuses on improving the ability of elite figure skaters to perform multiple-revolution jumps on-ice. We use motion-capture technology and computer simulation, developed in collaboration with Tom Kepple and C-Motion, to identify strategies for optimizing an individual skater’s ability to rotate in the air. An overview of this work can be found here. This work is supported by United States Figure Skating.

Featured Research

More than 60 figure skaters – including many of the United States’ top competitors – have made their way to the University of Delaware’s ice rinks over the past decade. Prompted by the U.S. Figure Skating Association and their coaches, they hope to find a competitive edge in the unique biomechanical analysis done by Dr. Jim Richards.