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Panel Discussion

The 2016-2019 NBD events were hugely successful and offered the opportunity for students to participate in hands-on biomechanics activities. In 2021 NBD has gone virtual, but there are still plenty of experiences and memories to be made! NBD will give students the chance to interact with undergraduate and graduate students, meet impactful faculty members, and get first-hand exposure to fundamental principles of biomechanics. Please explore the entire site and visit the virtual lab spaces to learn more about the amazing biomechanics work being done at Virginia Tech.

This is a panel discussion with graduate and undergraduate students from the labs we're showcasing during National Biomechanics Day 2021 as well as an industry professional. The panel discusses what led them to biomechanics, their views of the future at the moment, what young students can do to prepare for a career in biomechanics; and lastly, what they love most about biomechanics. We hope you enjoy this exciting and informative conversation as much as we did.

A photo of Ann Harlos

Ann Harlos

My name is Ann Harlos, I'm a 2nd year Masters student in The Helmet Lab at Virginia Tech. I did my undergrad at Saint Louis University in Biomedical Engineering then came directly to Virginia Tech to start my graduate program in Biomedical Engineering with a focus on injury biomechanics and concussion. Our lab researches the biomechanics behind sport related concussion and how helmets can help prevent that. I work on bike helmet impacts and how to replicate real world bike helmet impacts in a laboratory setting. It's very rewarding knowing that the work I'm doing is helping improve helmet performance and decrease injury risk for cyclists.

Catilin Bowman

Catilin Bowman

My name is Caitlin Bowman and I am a senior (undergraduate) in the Human Nutrition, Foods, and Exercise Department at Virginia Tech studying exercise science. I have been a research assistant with my PI Dr. Madigan in the Grado Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering for 2+ years now, and I assist mainly with projects looking at the gait and biomechanics of lower-limb amputees. I am planning on starting my master’s in Prosthetics and Orthotics, but before I matriculate into school, I will be staying at VT in HNFE and ISE this summer to switch gears and look at the trunk biomechanics of both lean and obese individuals on an NIH grant in my own study. I guess I would say my area of interest is amputees/prosthetic devices/gait! A fun fact about me is that I am actually a dual-citizen (I was born in the UK). I also run half marathons and am obsessed with the TV show Bones!

Joshua Pulliam

Joshua Pulliam

I'm Joshua Pulliam, a 3rd year PhD candidate working in the Socha Lab here in Blacksburg. My research focuses on how the biological mechanics which allow certains species of snakes to glide affect  their ability to perform in an arboreal environment. Interesting facts about me? I've started boxing since I moved to Blacksburg which means I'm coming up on my two year anniversary with it.

Chitra Meduri

Chitra Meduri

My name is Chitra Meduri, and I am a 3rd year PhD student in the Orthopedic Mechanobiology lab (also known as the Wang lab) in the dept. of Biomedical Engineering & Mechanics. My lab investigates musculoskeletal tissue mechanics with specific focus on chronic tendon diseases. My research looks into the use of Focused Ultrasound Therapy to treat tendinopathy. I am from India and have played badminton at a professional level and am also a trained Indian classical music singer

Marisa Theroux-Jones

Marisa Theroux-Jones

I’m Marisa Theroux-Jones and I’m the Senior Engineer & Installation Manager for Qualisys North America, a motion capture company. I’ve been working with them for 7 years now and my favorite thing about the job is seeing all of the different ways people use motion capture (from biomechanics, to animal capture, and even capturing on fork lifts!) I got my M.S. in Biomechanics from the University of Delaware and B.S. in Mechanical Engineering at UMass Amherst. You all have such great interesting facts I feel like I need to step my game up… when I was in grad school and needed a side job I worked as a Zamboni driver at the Delaware ice rinks.

Hassan Farah

Hassan Farah

I'm Hassan, a 3rd year PhD candidate in the Kevin P Granata Biomechanics Lab in Blacksburg and the Neuromotor Research Clinic in Roanoke (I have 2 co-advisors). My area of focus is the biomechanics of balance and gait initiation for children with cerebral palsy. I have a twin sister and we are not identical (you'd be surprised how many times I've had to clarify that).