April 24 – 26, 2022
WearRAcon 22 – Speakers
David Brodie is the Ergonomics Lead for the North America region of Cargill, Inc. In this role Brodie oversees the implementation of programs, processes, solutions, and technology across the region. In 2011, Brodie joined Cargill as a Corporate Ergonomist for their Protein Group, where he worked with fellow ergonomists and plant EHS personnel to implement an ergonomics process that resulted in >70% reduction in musculoskeletal injuries. Brodie has 25 years of experience in office, industrial, meat processing, transportation, and healthcare settings. He is co-chair of the National Ergonomics Conference and Expo, co-chair of the AExG, and has held volunteer positions as the President of the Board of Certification in Professional Ergonomics (BCPE) and Administrator of the Ergonomics Practice Specialty within the American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP). A Certified Professional Ergonomist, David holds a Master of Science in Kinesiology.
Gwendolyn M Bryan, PhD
Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition (IHMC)
Dr. Gwendolyn M Bryan, PhD, received her bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering from University of New Mexico in 2016 and her doctorate in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University for her work in the Stanford Biomechatronics Laboratory under the supervision of Dr. Steve Collins in 2021. Her dissertation focused on the design of a hip-knee-ankle exoskeleton emulator and human-subject studies using the device to optimize assistance patterns to reduce the metabolic cost of walking. Currently, Dr. Bryan is a research scientist at the Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition (IHMC) where she leads a team that is developing exoskeletons for augmentation of able-bodied individuals as well as continuing IHMC’s research on exoskeletons for people with spinal cord injuries.
Woody Dwyer is the Director of Loss Control for AmTrust Insurance. Woody is passionate about helping businesses assess their operational risks and work towards building a safe and productive workplace. He has conducted numerous high impact presentations throughout the world on diverse topics ranging from implementing effective risk management strategies to developing effective and efficient safety and ergonomic programs. Woody has written or been featured in numerous industry and trade publications discussing workers compensation, health and safety and ergonomics.
Kyle Embry, PhD
Shirley Ryan AbilityLab
Kyle Embry’s interest in robotics began at the Missouri University of Science and Technology, where he conducted undergraduate research in volumetric error compensation for manufacturing robots with Dr. Douglas Bristow and Dr. Robert Lammers. Dr. Embry would later obtain his PhD in Mechanical engineering from the University of Texas at Dallas with advisor Dr. Bobby Gregg, where he developed a love for rehabilitation research. His dissertation focused on modeling and control of agile powered prosthetic legs. Dr. Embry now works as a postdoctoral researcher at Shirley Ryan AbilityLab with director Dr. Arun Jayaraman. His recent projects include exoskeleton gait therapy, computer vision for monitoring Parkinson’s disease, and wearable airbag technology designed to reduce the rate of hip injury after a fall. Dr. Embry looks forward to learning more about the frontiers of rehabilitation robotics, and utilizing his background in robotics, human subject research, convex optimization and machine learning to tackle increasingly important problems.
Deanna Gates, PhD
University of Michigan
Deanna Gates, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Movement Science, Biomedical Engineering, and Robotics at the University of Michigan. She earned her B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Virginia (2002), M.S. in Biomedical Engineering from Boston University (2004), and Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin (2009). Dr. Gates worked in engineering consulting and in civilian and military clinical gait laboratories, before arriving at the University of Michigan in 2012. The goal of her research program is to improve function and quality of life in individuals with musculoskeletal impairments. Dr. Gates’ lab focuses on understanding how individuals adapt their neuromechanics in response to assistive technology. Her research explores the factors that relate to a person’s ability to successfully use assistive devices, how to train individuals for optimal use, and the development of appropriate outcome measures to assess success of new technology. Dr. Gates is also an Associate Editor of IEEE Transactions on Neural Engineering and Rehabilitation and a consulting Editor for the Journal of Biomechanics.
Jason Gillette, PhD
Iowa State University
Jason Gillette is an Associate Professor and the Director of Graduate Education with the Department of Kinesiology at Iowa State University. Dr. Gillette is a member of the ASTM International F48 Exoskeletons and Exosuits Committee. His research interests include biomechanics, ergonomics, and injury mechanisms. Dr. Gillette performs exoskeleton assessments using EMG and motion analysis to quantify effects on muscle activation and fatigue. He has completed exoskeleton studies in lab, manufacturing, and construction settings with companies such as Toyota, John Deere, and Granite Construction.
Connor Glass, PhD
Dr. Connor Glass is the Founder & CEO of the human-machine interfacing company, Phantom Neuro. Dr. Glass received his MD at the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine and completed a two year research fellowship in the Departments of Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery and Biomedical Engineering at Johns Hopkins where he studied microsurgical interventions for neuromuscular injury. While at Johns Hopkins, Dr. Glass invented and patented the technology Phantom seeks to commercialize. Dr. Glass founded Phantom in 2020 and recently closed a multi-million dollar financing round that included high-profile Silicon Valley venture capitalists such as Tim Draper.
Levi J. Hargrove, PhD, P.Eng
Shirley Ryan AbilityLab
Levi J. Hargrove, PhD, P.Eng, received his MScE and PhD in Electrical Engineering from the University of New Brunswick (2005, 2008). He is currently the Director and Scientific Chair of Center for Bionic Medicine at the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab and an Associate Professor in the Departments of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation and the McCormick School of Engineering at Northwestern University. His research interests include signal processing, pattern recognition, and control of bionic limbs. A major goal of his research is to develop clinically realizable myoelectric control systems that can be made available to persons with limb loss in the near future. In 2012, Dr. Hargrove co-founded Coapt, a company to commercialize control algorithms for prosthetics and orthotics. To date, the company has received three FDA Class II Medical Device Clearances, and sells controllers to patients worldwide. The company also sells EMG measurement systems to research groups looking to incorporate EMG signals into the control of bionic legs and exoskeletons. His research addresses all levels of amputation and has been published in the Journal of the American Medical Association and the New England Journal of Medicine and has resulted in multiple patents. Key projects include the development of advanced and adaptive control systems for prosthetic legs, improving control of robotic hand prostheses, and intramuscular EMG signal processing.
Liberty Mutual Insurance
Jesse Jacobs is the Product Director of Science and Research for Risk Control Services at Liberty Mutual Insurance. He supports development of new research in safety and risk and the translation of the results into practice. Prior to his current role, Jesse was a Director of Data Science and also worked as a Senior Research Scientist for the Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety. Before joining Liberty, Jesse was a faculty member of the Dept. of Rehabilitation and Movement Science at the University of Vermont. He holds a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Oregon Health & Science University and a BA in Neuroscience from The Colorado College.
Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering
Verena Kopp is a research associate at the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation IPA in Stuttgart, Germany in the department Biomechatronic Systems.
She received her B.Sc. degree in Physical Activity and Health from Justus Liebig University, Giessen, Germany, in 2016 and the M.Sc. degree in Biomechanics – Motor Skill – Human Motion Analysis from Justus Liebig University, Giessen, Germany, in 2019.
Shirley Ryan AbilityLab
Francesco Lanotte is a Postdoctoral Fellow within the Max Näder Lab for Rehabilitation Technologies and Outcomes Research (Shirley Ryan AbilityLab, Chicago, USA) and Northwestern University (Chicago, USA). He is currently investigating the use of wearable sensors combined with machine learning techniques to enhance the rehabilitation therapy in stroke survivors. Francesco received his MS degree in Bionics Engineering from the University of Pisa and Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna in 2017, and his PhD in Biorobotics from Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna in 2021. Dr. Lanotte’s PhD research was focused on the development, benchmark, and experimental assessment of control algorithms for powered exoskeletons and lower-limb prostheses.
Brokoslaw Laschowski, PhD
Toronto Rehabilitation Institute
Dr. Brokoslaw Laschowski is a postdoctoral research fellow at the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute working in the Intelligent Assistive Technology and Systems Laboratory (IATSL) and the Artificial Intelligence and Robotics in Rehabilitation (AIRR) Lab. He also holds an affiliation with the Faculty of Medicine and the Temerty Centre for Artificial Intelligence Research and Education in Medicine (T-CAIREM) at the University of Toronto. As a scientist and biomedical engineer, Dr. Laschowski specializes in using mathematical, computational, and machine learning methods to optimize the design and control of humans interacting with wearable robotic systems and technologies. Applications of his research include rehabilitation robotics, neural engineering, human-computer interaction, and wearable assistive technologies (e.g., exoskeletons and robotic leg prostheses). Dr. Laschowski’s clinical research focuses on assisting individuals with mobility impairments due to aging and/or physical disabilities such as stroke, cerebral palsy, Parkinson’s disease, amputation, and spinal cord injury.
Bérenger Le Tellier
Bérenger Le Tellier graduated with a Mechanical Engineering degree then a PhD in Biomechanics. After a few years working in collaborative innovation projects, Bérenger joined ErgoSanté as their Scientific Director. Bérenger ensures the development of ErgoSanté products are following a methodology based on the latest scientific knowledge.
Tommaso Lenzi, PhD
University of Utah
Tommaso Lenzi, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and a Core Faculty in the Robotics Center at the University of Utah. Previously, he was a Research Scientist at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (2015-2016) and a Postdoctoral Fellow at Northwestern University (2013-2014). Dr. Lenzi received his Ph.D. degree in Biorobotics from Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna in 2012 and the MS degree in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Pisa in 2008. At Utah, he directs the Bionic Engineering Lab, where he conducts research sponsored by the Department of Defense, the National Science Foundation, and the National Institute of Health. Dr. Lenzi received the CAREER award from NSF in 2021. His main research interests include robotics, mechatronics, and rehabilitation medicine with a major emphasis on the design and control of wearable robots for human assistance and rehabilitation. He serves as Associate Editor for IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters, the International Conferences on Rehabilitation Robotics (ICORR), and Biomedical Robotics and Biomechatronics (BIOROB). He is a member of IEEE, the Robotics and Automation Society (RAS), and the Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (EMBS).
Zachary Lerner, PhD
Northern Arizona University
Zachary Lerner is an Assistant Professor in Mechanical Engineering at Northern Arizona University where he directs the Biomechatronics lab (biomech.nau.edu). He received his Ph.D. degree in Biomedical Engineering from Colorado State University in 2015 before completing a postdoctoral fellowship at the National Institutes of Health in 2016. Dr. Lerner’s research seeks to improve mobility and neuromuscular function in individuals with disabilities through advancement in the design, control, and implementation of robotic exoskeletons. Dr. Lerner is also the CTO and co-founder of Biomotum, Inc. (Biomotum.com), a rehab robotics company.
Dr. Maulik Majmudar is a cardiologist and Chief Medical Officer and Co-Founder at Biofourmis, a rapidly growing virtual care delivery and digital therapeutics company. At Biofourmis, Dr. Majmudar leads product, data science, clinical operations, and clinical affairs functions. Prior to joining Biofourmis, he was a Medical Officer at Amazon, responsible for the development and launch of Amazon Halo, Amazon’s first health and wellness focused membership service. Dr. Majmudar was also Associate Director of the Healthcare Transformation Lab at Massachusetts General Hospital, and an Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School, where he was responsible for the identification, validation, and implementation of digital health solutions to improve care delivery as well as the patient and provider experience. While at MGH, he was awarded an education grant from the Aetna Foundation to launch a new Fellowship in Healthcare Innovation, aimed at fostering the next generation of clinician innovators.
Dr. Majmudar attended Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and then completed residency training in Internal Medicine at The Johns Hopkins Hospital, followed by a cardiovascular medicine fellowship at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He also holds two patents and has had several publications in high-impact journals, such as Nature, Circulation, JAMA, and Journal of Healthcare Delivery and Implementation Science.
Matthew Marino is the Director of Ergonomics and Human Performance at HeroWear where he’s been involved in the design, testing, and implementation of exosuits since 2019. Matt has accumulated extensive experience as a practitioner providing rehabilitation, injury prevention, performance optimization, and ergonomics consulting services since beginning his career as a Physical Therapist, coach and ergonomist over 2 decades ago. He began working with exoskeletons in 2015, helping people and companies test and implement dozens of different devices, and fitting them on thousands of people in clinical applications and physically demanding jobs. He is an active member of the ASTM F48 Committee on Exoskeletons and Exosuits and is a founding partner of the ASTM Exo Technology Center of Excellence. Matt has published articles on exoskeletons and exosuits in a wide variety of publications, including peer reviewed journal articles, and presented related work at dozens of health, safety, ergonomics and wearable technology conferences.
Borislav “Bobby” Marinov is the Co-Founder of the Exoskeleton Report news and information website. He has over a decade of experience in manufacturing and manufacturing engineering. Bobby is the current Vice Chair of ASTM Committee F48 on Exoskeletons and Exosuits, and a founding member of the ASTM Exo Technology Center of Excellence.
North Carolina State University
Varun Nalam is a postdoctoral researcher at the Neuromuscular Rehabilitation Engineering Laboratory (NREL) at North Carolina State University. He received his PhD degree in Mechanical Engineering at Arizona State University in 2020. Dr. Nalam’s research is focused on learning based adaptive control for wearable robotic devices, specifically aimed at the lower limb. His research applications include developing rehabilitation and assistive technologies for people affected by amputations, stroke and Multiple Sclerosis.
Dr. Karen J. Nolan
Dr. Karen J. Nolan is the Assistant Director in the Center for Mobility and Rehabilitation Engineering at Kessler Foundation and Associate Professor of PM&R at Rutgers NJMS, Clinical Research Scientist at Children’s Specialized Hospital, and Affiliated Faculty of Biomedical Engineering at the New Jersey Institute of Technology. Dr Nolan is a recognized leader in the field of biomechanics and motor rehabilitation. Her research focuses on improving neurophysiological and functional motor recovery through robotic, orthotic and clinical interventions; and to begin to understand how the CNS recovers after acute and chronic brain injury. Dr. Nolan has over 17 years leading randomized clinical trials in rehabilitation research and most recently, investigating the impact of rehabilitation robotics for recovery of walking function in adults and children post brain injury. She has received over 15M in extramural funding through the National Institutes of Health (NIH R01); National Institute on Disability Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR), Department of Defense (DOD CDMRP) and industry-sponsored funding. These clinical trials have led to translation of research interventions into clinical practice at rehabilitation hospitals Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation and Children’s Specialized Hospital as well as academic collaborations with TIRR Memorial Hermann Hospital, Rutgers, NJIT, and Stevens Institute for Rehabilitation. Dr Nolan has maintained a strong commitment to research training and mentoring and has served as a primary and secondary mentor to more than 40 graduate, postdoctoral fellows, residents and clinical fellows at Kessler Foundation, Rutgers-NJMS, New Jersey Institute for Technology, Stevens Institute and Montclair State University. These mentorship experiences have resulted in publications, presentations and federal grant awards (NIH, DOD, NIDILRR).
College of Engineering and Engineering Technology at NIU
Dr. Donald Peterson is the Dean of the College of Engineering and Engineering Technology at NIU. He is also an affiliated professor in Biomedical Engineering at Texas A&M University and a Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering. Dr. Peterson is a graduate of Worcester Polytechnic Institute, earning degrees in Aerospace Engineering (BS) and Biomechanical Engineering (BS) and a graduate of the University of Connecticut, earning degrees in Mechanical Engineering (MS) and Biomedical Engineering (PhD). His research has been focused on measuring and modeling injury biomechanics and human, organ, and cell performance, including exposures to various physical stimuli and the subsequent biological or physiological responses, which has led to the generation of new technologies, such as PPE, exoskeletons, surgical and dental devices, medical devices, and biotechnology systems. He is currently the Chair of the ASTM International Committee F48 on Exoskeletons and Exosuits and a US delegate on the International Standards Organization Technical Committee (ISO/TC) 108/SC4 on Human Exposure to Mechanical Vibration and Shock.
Ryan Porto is a Technical Specialist in Ergonomics at General Motors. Mr. Porto received a Bachelor of Human Kinetics and a Masters in Human Performance from the University of Windsor. For the past 15 years, he has worked with design and manufacturing engineering, managing new program launches in all sectors of the industry including Vehicle, Powertrain and Advanced Propulsion. Ryan leads the advancement of virtual human simulation in product and manufacturing for GM’s Global Ergonomics program. He also provides technical support to the development and implementation of evolving wearable technologies. Ryan is a Co-Chair of the Automotive Exoskeleton Group (AExG), sponsored via the Wearable Robotics Association. And a member of the Ergonomic task force at the United States Council for Automotive Research (USCAR).
Arizona State University Polytechnic Campus
Sangram Redkar is an Associate Professor in the School of Manufacturing Systems and Networks at the Arizona State University Polytechnic Campus. He works on “wicked” problems that are high risk, high reward, and high impact and develops technologies that are transformative, transdisciplinary, use-inspired, and mission-critical. In addition to developing theoretical and mathematical tools to understand and control complex nonlinear systems, he specializes in designing, building, testing, and ruggedizing electro-mechanical/ robotic systems used by military and commercial entities. He focuses on developing novel techniques for measuring physiological signals via wearable sensors to detect the onset of adverse events such as hypoxia and finally using these physiological signals to control robots designed to improve “quality of life” and “quality of work.” More information about his research can be found here.
Dr. Samuel Reimer is Head of North America for Ottobock’s Bionic Exoskeleton division and CEO of the newly acquired entity U.S. Bionics, Inc. (dba suitX). His focus and passion lie with clients to empower their workforce to protect their well-being and improve their quality of life with a vast exoskeleton portfolio of ergonomic solutions.
Before joining Ottobock, Samuel worked as a management consultant at The Boston Consulting Group. He is a graduate of Imperial College London in Biomedical Engineering and holds a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering at the Technical University of Munich with honors. Together with his wife, he lives in Berkeley, CA.
Robotics Institute at the University of Michigan
Elliott Rouse is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and a Core Faculty Member in the Robotics Institute at the University of Michigan. He directs the Neurobionics Lab, whose vision is to reverse engineer how the nervous system regulates the mechanics of locomotion, and use this information to develop better wearable robotic technologies. He is the recipient of the NSF CAREER Award and is a member of the IEEE EMBS Technical Committee on BioRobotics. In addition, Elliott is on the Editorial Boards for IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters, IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering, and Wearable Technologies. Elliott received the BS degree in mechanical engineering from The Ohio State University and the PhD degree in biomedical engineering from Northwestern University. Subsequently, he joined the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as a Postdoctoral Fellow in the MIT Media Lab. Prior to joining the University of Michigan, Elliott was faculty in the Schools of Medicine and Engineering at Northwestern University and worked in professional autoracing. In 2019 – 2020, he was a visiting faculty member at (Google) X, where he maintains an appointment. Elliott and his research have been featured at TED, on the Discovery Channel, Digital Trends, and Business Insider, among others.
David Roy is a 2nd Vice President at the Travelers Engineering Laboratory where he is responsible for field operations and the general liability and workers compensation subrogation forensic engineering initiatives. He joined The Travelers as an Ergonomics Specialist where he consulted with employers to reduce ergonomic related injuries. In 1996, Risk & Insurance Magazine awarded David the “Top Product of the Year Award” for developing “The Travelers Office Ergonomics Consulting Product.” In 1997 David began working with Claim. His duties included identifying ways to integrate science and technology into claim investigations. He has authored several articles and a book chapter on the subject of ergonomics and human factors. He is currently serving as a member of the ANSI Z 535 committee on Warnings and Instructions. David is currently Co-Chair of the Center for the Promotion of Health in the New England Workplace external advisory committee.
W. Zev Rymer
W. Zev Rymer trained in Medicine in Melbourne, Australia and then completed doctoral training in Neuroscience at Monash University in Victoria before moving to the United States. After postdoctoral training at the NIH/NINDS and Johns Hopkins, Dr. Rymer assumed faculty appointments at Northwestern University medical school, then moved to become the Director of Research at the Rehabilitation institute of Chicago in 1989. He is now a Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Neuroscience and Biomedical Engineering at Northwestern University. Dr. Rymer’s research work addresses the use of advanced technology to improve diagnosis and treatment of neurological disorders especially hemispheric stroke and spinal cord injury.
Gregory S. Sawicki
Georgia Institute of Technology and Institute for Human Machine and Cognition (IHMC)
Gregory S. Sawicki, PhD is an Associate Professor with appointments in the Schools of Mechanical Engineering and Biological Sciences and the Institute for Robotics and Intelligent Machines (IRIM) at Georgia Tech. He also serves as a Senior Research Scientist at the Florida Institute for Human & Machine Cognition (IHMC) helping to direct interdisciplinary teams focused on developing the next generation of wearable technology capable of augmenting human movement for people across the ability spectrum over their lifespan.
Sawicki directs the Human Physiology of Wearable Robotics (PoWeR) laboratory and has spent >15 years conducting research on the human side of the human-machine interface — combining tools from engineering, physiology and neuroscience to discover neuromechanical principles underpinning optimal locomotion performance and applying them to develop lower-limb robotic devices capable of improving both healthy and impaired human locomotion (e.g., for elite athletes, aging baby-boomers, post-stroke community ambulators and workers in industrial settings).
Urs Schneider, M.D.
Wearable Robotics Association
Dr. Schneider is recognized internationally as an expert in exoskeleton and prosthetics and orthotics technologies and biomechatronic research in respect to protection and treatment of the human musculoskeletal system. Urs Schneider has served in a variety of leadership roles in prosthetics & orthotics, rehabilitation and exoskeleton research committees in Europe and US. He serves as director of the health technology division at Fraunhofer IPA in Stuttgart and manages the Biomechatronics department. He also serves as head of the Human Technology Interaction department at IFF, University of Stuttgart and teaches biomechatronics at Stuttgart University. With Tom Sugar and Joe Hitt he is the initiator of WearRACon Europe and the Exoworkathlon study format.
Levitate Technologies, Inc.
Kirk has 20+ years of sales management and industrial engineering experience with ITW (Illinois Tool Works) prior to joining Levitate in 2017 as Vice President of Sales for Levitate Technologies, Inc. Kirk has a MBA in International business and globalization from Cornerstone University and a B.S. in Welding Engineering from Ferris State.
Logan Van Engelhoven
Dr. Van Engelhoven leads the industrial research and development team at suitX in Emeryville, California. He earned his PhD from UC Berkeley under Dr. Homayoon Kazerooni in the Human Engineering and Robotics Lab, co-advised by Dr. Carisa Harris-Adamson at the UC Ergonomics Research and Graduate Training Program. Throughout his career, Dr. Van Engelhoven has worked on medical, military, and industrial systems and designed various technologies targeting the knees, hips, back, shoulders, elbow, wrists and neck. He has developed and tested devices for numerous industries across the globe and managed the commercial release of the first shoulder supporting exoskeletons. Dr. Van Engelhoven has authored several patent and academic publications on the design and evaluation of exoskeleton technologies.
Mikael Wester has extensive experience in marketing and communications from large organizations like IBM, Atlas Copco and Telenor as well as smaller international companies like Novator, Åkerströms and Abilia. Mikael’s experience covers a wide spectrum of industries, eg; IT, telecom, aerospace, manufacturing, mining and Med tech.