International Society of Biomechanics
Gold sponsor


Annemarie F. Laudanski

University of Waterloo, Canada

Supported by the International Society of Biomechanics and the ISB Student International Travel Grant, I had the opportunity to travel to Erlangen, Germany and to collaborate with Dr. Bjoern Eskofier’s Machine Learning and Data Analytics (MaD) Lab at Friedrich-Alexander University. Throughout the course of this visit, I was able to work with experts on theoretical and applied research in machine learning algorithms. I was additionally exposed to state of the art research applications for wearable sensors through group meetings, ongoing discussions, and weekly seminars with both students and faculty members.

The aim of my PhD research has been to develop a wearable sensor based system capable of classifying and quantifying exposures to high knee flexion within occupational childcare settings, given their association to increased risk of osteoarthritis development. While I was able to gather theoretical knowledge of machine learning applications through courses and perform data collections at the University of Waterloo, it was important for me to have the opportunity to work with and learn from a group specializing in algorithm development to gain experience in the application of these techniques. Thanks to Dr. Eskofier and Dr. Kluge at the MaD Lab I was able to connect with students pioneering applications for human motion measurement based on wearable sensing technologies. This experience therefore lead to the application of many of these techniques to the data I had previously collected in order to calculate lower limb joint angles based on wearable sensor data.

Further to this analysis, I attended bi-weekly meetings of the Dr. Kluge’s Gait group and was able to participate in discussions involving the application of novel analysis methods to solve ongoing research questions. The other students and faculty I worked with were continuously open to discourse on machine learning tools while providing insight into the optimal means of leveraging these tools to solve a wide variety of problems within real world settings. This exposure helped increase my knowledge of machine learning applications and think critically about which techniques might be most appropriate in my own research.

In addition to the thesis related work and discussions completed while visiting the MaD Lab, I had the opportunity to collaborate on two projects involving the intersection of machine learning and virtual reality. These experiences broadened by perspective on the myriad of biomechanical applications which exist and fostered new research questions and collaboration ideas which I hope to pursue later in my research career in order to continue make impactful contributions to the field.

I sincerely thank the International Society of Biomechanics for having permitted me the opportunity to travel and learn from Dr. Eskofier and his team in Erlangen. The knowledge I gained throughout this experience will significantly impact the outcomes of my PhD and the direction of my future research endeavours while the opportunity to work within a new laboratory setting and make so many new personal connections is one I will never forget.



Lauren Forsyth

University of Strathclyde, United Kingdom

I was very humbled to be awarded an ITG from ISB for my trip to Australia at the beginning of 2019. During my 2nd year of my PhD I established a relationship with Dr Jason Bonacci at Deakin University as I looked for additional expertise to further my research through international collaboration. Dr Bonacci and the Exercise Science department resonated with my research and after further discussion a visit was planned to complete data collection in Australia. The expertise within Deakin University would be able to give invaluable clinical insight for my stability-based application, as well as providing an environment encouraging of new methods of rehabilitation.

My PhD research has created and developed a stability-based training package which I had developed for people with chronic ankle instability. By combining both biomechanical analysis and virtual reality the training aimed to enhance rehabilitation performance and experience. I completed testing in both Glasgow and Edinburgh in Scotland before travelling to Victoria, Australia in January 2019, at the beginning of my final year of my PhD. My 4-month visit gave me approximately 1 month to prepare and recruit participants, while leaving enough time for the 6 weeks participation time required for testing and training. My data collection was extremely successful and was very well received by the Australian community. Even though I was only there for a short period of time I had more interest than in the UK and collected more data. Following this, my research has successfully had 3 peer-reviewed abstracts accepted at ISB 2019, International Ankle Symposium 2019, and the British Association of Sport and Exercise Medicine conference 2019. 

This opportunity allowed me to visit a country I had never been to before and travel alone, which I had also never experienced. I left the UK during the Christmas holidays in 2018 to explore Australia as a solo traveler before beginning work where I was welcomed into the department and exposed to the different research, technologies, and processes of the Exercise Science department. It was a rewarding experience and following my month of travelling and 4 months at Deakin University I have gained a lot of confidence and focus both professionally and personally.

I would like to express my gratitude to the ISB team for providing the financial support that allowed me to go to Australia, as without it I would have found very difficult and stressful to have funded myself. All the experience and learning I acquired during my exchange period was of great importance to both my academic and personal life. It was indeed a wonderful experience with unparallel learning opportunities and I would recommend anyone considering it that it is possible and 100% an experience you will never regret and never forget!


Érica Queiroz da Silva

University of Sao Paulo Medical School, Brazil

I would like to thank the International Society of Biomechanics (ISB) Council for awarding me the ISB Student Travel Grant to visit PhD. Claudia Giacomozzi at the Istituto Superiore di Sanita' (Rome, Italy) for 4 weeks (October 14th to November 15th 2019) .

My project aiming was the validation of an anatomical masking of plantar pressure for the diabetic foot. Professor Claudia gave me the opportunity to discuss the work and helped me to understand important methodological issues in anatomical masking of plantar pressure for the diabetic foot. This was a great opportunity to improve my knowledge about biomechanics of the foot and especially about the anatomical masking that I use in my research in Brazil developed by Professor Claudia. During this period, I learned new biomechanical methodologies and analyses, besides that, ways to implement in projects. As a primary result of this grant, we had an abstract approved in International Foot and Ankle Biomechanics Meeting (I-Fab) that will occur at São Paulo (Brazil) from April 05-08, 2020.

I also had the opportunity to give a presentation (November 19th) at a meeting at the Istituto Ortopedico Rizzoli (Bologna, Italy) in which myself, Dr. Alberto Leardini, Paolo Caravaggi and other members of the institute discussed about exercise to diabetic foot. Another opportunity was to visite (November 21th) the University of Padova (Department of Information Engineering); there I had a meeting with the members of Professor Zimi Sawacha laboratory and did a seminar to Professor Zimi´s student of Kinesiology, the title of seminar was “A biomechanical assessment and the effect of physical therapy in the diabetic neuropathic foot”. I had the chance to meet other researches and to discuss about exercise to improve foot dysfunction.

Professor Claudia and other members of the Department were wonderful, and I was very well welcomed into there. Spending 4 weeks in Rome was very rewarding, there I could visit some museums, churches, soccer match and I tried a lot of Italian food and wines that were amazing. One more time I would like to thank the ISB for the financial support that allowed me to have this unique experience.