Health and human Performance



Research Specializations

Dr. Said Audi Acute lung injury, Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS), lung transplantation, pulmonary endothelium metabolism, and pulmonary hemodynamics
Dr. Scott Beardsley Neuroengineering (neural coding/decoding), neuroplasticity and learning, human visuo-motor processing (integrated experimental/computational approaches)
Dr. Vikram Cariapa, P.E. Design of prosthesis for spinal cord injury patients, and design of implements for the elderly
Dr. Ron Coutu, Jr., P.E. Microelectromechanical systems (MEMS), smart sensors, device fabrication, micro-electrical contacts, phase change materials
Dr. Jay Goldberg, P.E. Medical device design and testing, surface modification for improved performance of implants, degradation and failure analysis of implants
Dr. Gerald Harris, P.E. Orthopaedic biomechanics, impact biomechanics, rehabilitation engineering and analysis of gait and measurement of human performance
Dr. Dean Jeutter, P.E.  Biotelemetry, biomedical instrumentation, implantable transcutaneous radio frequency power transfer
Dr. John LaDisa  Quantifying altered blood flow indices as predictors of morbidity after treatments for congenital heart disease, correlating altered blood flow indices with the severity of restenosis after stent implantation, designing novel engineering devices and interventions for the treatment of cardiovascular diseases, particularly in children, and developing tools for predictive surgical or transcatheter treatment planning
Dr. Richard Marklin, C.P.E. Ergonomics, human factors engineering, work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), and carpal tunnel syndrome
Dr. Lars Olson  Human powered nebulizer, biomedical instrumentation and optics, cell engineering/cardiopulmonary physiology, biological fluid and mass transport
Dr. Kristina Ropella  Cardiac electrophysiology
Dr. Robert Scheidt Human motor control, rehabilitation engineering, and human psychophysics of sensorimotor adaptation and learning
Dr. Joseph Schimmels Prosthetics
Dr. Brian Schmit Spinal cord injury, human neurophysiology, and neurorehabilitation
 Dr. Barbara Silver-Thorn Lower-extremity amputation and limb prostheses, prosthetic and orthotic design and functional analysis, soft tissue mechanics and tissue perfusion, and rehabilitation engineering
Dr. Jack Winters Neuromuscular control systems, movement and tissue biomechanics, rehabilitation engineering, telehealth, and neurofuzzy computing

Faculty Features:

Autism Spectrum Disorders

Dr. Robert Scheidt’s lab developed technology that uses functional magnetic resonance imaging, a simple video game and a robotic joystick handle to visualize sensorimotor information processing in brain regions involved in acquiring new movement skills. In collaboration with Dr. Amy Van Hecke, assistant professor of psychology, he aims to determine whether individual differences in sensorimotor memory processing can predict deficits in social and linguistic skills in children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Read the full article

Researcher: Dr. Robert Scheidt and Dr. Amy Van Hecke


Incomplete Spinal Cord Injuries and Exercise

Dr. Brian Schmit drew collaborators from across Marquette – in fields like physical therapy (Dr. Allison Hyngstrom), exercise science (Dr. Alexander Ng), and statistical mathematics (Dr. Naveen Bansal) – to study cardiovascular systems during exercise in people with incomplete spinal cord injuries. The results of this study will have implications for exercise training to improve functional movement in patients. The team is looking at issues like blood flow, cardiovascular health, and muscular activity in a clinical setting. Read the full article

Researchers: Dr. Brian Schmit, Dr. Allison Hyngstrom, Dr. Alexander Ng, and Dr. Naveen Bansal


Motor Control and MS

Dr. Scott Beardsley is researching the causes of the arm tremors that afflict many multiple sclerosis (MS) patients. His team determined that groups of MS patients experiencing tremors indeed were processing visual information two- to three-times slower than neurologically intact subjects. Even more significantly, related tests revealed a mismatch in the MS patients between their lengthened visual processing delays and their brains‘ subconscious perception of those delays. In essence, their brains persist in perceiving their delays to be of normal length. Read the full article.

Researcher: Dr. Scott Beardsley


Active Lower-limb Prosthesis

Dr. Barbara Silver-Thorn is currently collaborating with a team that includes Dr. Philip Voglewede and Dr. Scott Beardsley on development of a motorized ankle for a prosthetic leg. While typical prosthetic legs have a passive mechanical ankle, the system under development at Marquette uses an active powered ankle with a motor. Additionally, they are researching the possibility of using signals that amputees’ brains still send to the severed muscles to make the ankle perform. A preliminary algorithm is in development that will control the ankle during walking and even to guide it through more complex activities, such as climbing stairs. Read the full article

Researchers: Dr. Barbara Silver-Thorn, Dr. Philip Voglewede, P.E., and Dr. Scott Beardsley


Passive Lower-limb Prosthesis

Dr. Joseph Schimmels is working on a lower-leg prosthesis capable of providing user mobility close to that of a non-amputee. With support from a $600,000, three year grant from the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, he is developing a multi-directional mechanism that uses only conventional springs, cams, and linkages to store and release energy at the appropriate time to propel the body forward during walking. This energy is obtained using only the person’s weight and their normal body motion. This type of passive device can be produced at much less cost than one using active components, such as motors and batteries. Read the full article

Researcher: Dr. Joseph Schimmels



Tech4Pod stands for Technologies for Pediatric Orthopaedic Disabilities and is synonymous with Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center (RERC), a program funded by a five year, $4.75 million federal grant. Led by Dr. Gerald Harris, RERC is earning influence as a national center with a focus on advanced engineering research and development based on innovative technologies addressing children with orthopaedic disabilities. Read the full article

Researcher: Dr. Gerald Harris, P.E.


Speech Pathology

Dr. Johnson from the Opus College of Engineering and Dr. Jeff Berry from Marquette's Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology are using an electromagnetic articulography system to place small sensors on subjects’ vocal articulators – the lower and upper lip, tongue and jaw – to collect accurate position and orientation information, while simultaneously recording the corresponding acoustic sounds. The two are aiming to develop as system for “acoustic-to-articulator” inversion that will allow them to use a recording of a person’s voice to determine the motion pattern of articulators. Other applications of this research are improving Computer Aided Language Learning (CALL) systems, speech recognition, speech synthesis, and clinical speech tools. Read the full article

Researchers: Dr. Michael Johnson, P.E. , and Dr. Jeff Berry