Careers in Biomechanics

| Careers in Biomechanics -An article about the scope and fields in Biomechanics. | Careers in Biomechanics

Biomechanics is the research and analysis of the mechanics of living organisms or the application and derivation of engineering principles to and from biological systems. The discipline has had a very early beginning. Aristotle is supposed to have written the first book on biomechanics, called De Motu Animalium (On the movement of Animals). 

Initially, there was a controversy between the terms to be used to represent this science. In the US, the use of mathematical and mechanical principals to study human movement was termed kinesiology while in Europe it was called biomechanics. Biomechanics has gradually come to be the most widely accepted term worldwide.

Bio mechanists apply the principals of mechanics and engineering to study the forces that act on the body and the effects they produce. Biomechanics is divided into different areas such as Kinesiology, Statics, Dynamics, Temporal Analysis, Kinematics and Kinetics. 

  • Kinesiology: It is considered to be the parent discipline of biomechanics that investigates movement. It can be divided into the mechanical and anatomical aspects of human movement. The mechanical aspects can be further subdivided into statics and dynamics. 
  • Statics: It is a branch of mechanics that investigates bodies, masses and forces at rest or in equilibrium.
  • Dynamics: It investigates bodies, masses and forces in motion. Dynamics consists of temporal analysis, kinematics and kinetics. 
  • Temporal analysis: It uses time as the sole basis for analysis. 
  • Kinematics: It investigates motion without reference to masses or forces. 
  • Kinetics: It investigates the actions of forces in producing or changing the motion of masses.

           {Source: University of Nebraska}

Biomechanics plays a major role in sports. Sports bio mechanists provide valuable guidance to athletes to improve their skills and performance. Sports biomechanists also concentrate on reducing the injury levels of athletes by providing them with an elaborate exercise regimen. Biomechanical analysis is also conducted in areas such as competition, training and injury diagnosis.

Bio mechanists analyze the changes in an athlete’s technique under competition stress. Training analysis concentrates on variables that are important for a sustained good performance. Injury is also diagnosed through biomechanical analysis and a proper rehab plan is charted out for injured athletes.

The field of biomechanics has evolved in a major way in recent times, and is today a professional area of study. To pursue a career in Biomechanics usually an MS or a PHD is required. There are university programs in biomechanics in over 85 universities in the US and Canada. The various universities in the US that offer courses in biomechanics are as follows

 

Masters Courses

  • University of Michigan Ann Arbor
  • University of California, Los Angeles
  • Marquette University
  • University of Kentucky
  • New York University
  • Pennsylvania State University Park Campus
  • Ball State University
  • Worcester Polytechnic University
  • University of Tennessee
  • University of Missouri-Kansas City
  • University of Nevada, Las Vegas
  • New Jersey Institute of Technology
  • University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee
  • Indiana University Bloomington
  • Illinois State University
  • University of Georgia
  • Texas Woman’s University
  • University of Florida
  • Tufts University
  • Drexel University
  • Virginia Tech
  • University of Rhode Island
  • East Carolina University
  • University of Delaware

 

Undergraduate Courses

  • University of Akron
  • Marshall University
  • The University of Vermont
  • New Jersey Institute of Technology
  • University of Maryland
  • Columbia University
  • University of Connecticut
  • Virginia Tech
  • Temple University
  • University of Arizona
  • University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
  • University of Houston
  • Drexel University
  • Marquette University
  • University of Utah
  • Rutgers
  • College of Charleston
  • Duke University
  • Worcester Polytechnic Institute
  • Case Western Reserve University
  • Oklahoma State University
  • Boise State University

 

Thousands of bio mechanists are employed today in diverse areas such as universities, institutes and industries throughout the world. Depending on the qualification the primary or the senior position is given to a biomechanics engineer. The various careers that are available are

 

  • Research and Development in Sport Companies
  • Design In Sport Companies
  • Designing Man-Machine interactive devices
  • Observing testing on sportspersons and athletes
  • Strength, flexibility and durability checking

Source (University of Massachusetts Amherst)

A combination of human anatomy and engineering makes this career path spread across many fields like Biomedical related application, Biomechantronics, Evolutionary physiology etc.   


The salary package of biomechanical engineers differs according to the specialty, industry and education. The average median income of biomechanical professional with a Master’s degree ranges from $60,000 to $80,000 annually. The top companies in the world for biomechanics are LUMO BodyTech, Diamond Kinetics, Crisalix Sarl, wellwave.net ag, Run 3D, LLS Biomechanics GmbH, Fusion Implants, Zhor-Tech, Gamma Spine, Plantiga, Engage Biomechanics, TMG-BMC and many others.