Department of Exercise Sciences


The biomechanics of human movement is one of the four core sub-disciplines of our programme. We aim to integrate physical, biological and engineering principles to investigate the better treatment and care of patients and advance knowledge about the benefit and care of athletes at all levels.

The Biomechanics Lab is located in the Department of Exercise Sciences, Building 907, Newmarket Campus
The Biomechanics Lab is located in Building 907 on the Newmarket Campus

Our Biomechanics Group is lead by a team of three experienced scientists who integrate students into their ongoing and planned projects.

We collaborate with neurologists, surgeons, radiologists, biologists and bioengineers and this provides our students with first-hand experience in a variety of clinical and practical aspects of biomechanics.

Our goals:

  • to apply the principles of mechanics to understand biological processes and mechanisms related to the performance and failure of the human loco-motor system
  • to encourage students to perform independent, high quality research in clinical and/or sport biomechanics
  • to apply biomechanical principles to the design, analysis and development of sports or movement related equipment such as braces, casts and footwear.

Learn more about the Biomechanics Research group.

Our people


Senior Lecturer
Yanxin Zhang

Current PhD students

Past PhD students

  • Paul McAlpine | Performance and Technique Analyst at High Performance Sport New Zealand
  • Jason Gurney | Senior Research Fellow, Department of Public Health, University of Otago
  • Nico Kurpiers | Professor, University of University of Hildesheim
  • Megan Moreau | Biomechanist & Human Movement Scientist, Electronics Arts (EA)



Facilities and resources

Research in the Biomechanics lab
Research in the Biomechanics lab

Biomechanics Laboratory Facilities

Our laboratory is fully equipped to collect and analyse almost any aspect of human movement. We have an 8-camera 3D motion capture system (Vicon MX system) and a 4 camera SimiMotion Basler camera system. Combined with our three Bertec forceplates, we can provide both 3D kinematic and kinetic data for any movements, both in the lab and out in the field.

There are two electromyography (EMG) systems, a 10 channel MotionLab system and a telemetered Biovision system. Other equipment includes a Biodex machine, treadmill and Novel pressure measurement systems, both in shoe and platform.

Biomch-L: Biomechanics and Movement Science Listserver

This is intended for member of the International, European, American, Canadian, other Societies of Biomechanics, International Society of Electrophysiological Kinesiology (ISEK) and for all other with an interest in the general field of biomechanics and human or animal movement.

To subscribe, go to: (You will then receive instructions on how to post messages to the membership.)

SimTK is the home of the software framework initiated and developed by Simbios, the National Institute for Health NIH) Centre for Biomedical Computing focusing on Physics-based Simulation of Biological Structures. represents a centralised organisation, a place where like minded people can gather to collectively pursue their interests related to physics-based simulation of biological structures.

One important goal is for to serve as a repository for models that are published to create a “living” archive of simulation scholarship. Hence, anyone interested in physics-based simulation in biomedicine can come to the site and find the right project.


Projects and opportunities

The Biomechanics laboratory allows our students to develop skills and experience at a postgraduate level. 

Biomechanics laboratory Projects

Some examples of research projects from our Biomechanics Laboratory include:

  • Musculo-skeletal biomechanical modelling (Yanxin Zhang)
  • Exercise intervention on diabetic (Jason Gurney)
  • Dynamic balance in children with Cerebral Palsy (Megan Moreau)
  • Dynamics of freestyle skiing (Nico Kurpiers)
  • Gait Idenitification (Sharon Walt and Yanxin Zhang)
  • Physical Robot-Human Interaction (Yanxin Zhang)
  • New Technique for Studying Sports Injury (Yanxin Zhang)
Biomechanics Laboratory | Postgraduate projects
Download and view a selection of past PhD projects (93.7 kB, PDF)

Research opportunities

There are numerous opportunities to participate in research projects.  Our current opportunities include:

  • Clinical Gait with Dr Yanxin Zhang

    1. Changes in dynamic balance control with ageing
    2. Gait characteristics in patient populations
    3. Evaluation of treatment outcome using gait analysis
    4. The role of assistive devices in improving gait performance
  • Adaptation of Biological Tissues
  • Sport-related Injuries Analysis with Dr Yanxin Zhang
  • Musculo-skeletal Biomechanical Modelling and Simulation with Dr Yanxin Zhang

Biomechanics Group staff members are happy to discuss potential research projects (outside of the above areas) with interested students.

Please contact Dr Yanxin Zhang for further informaton.

Research in the Biomechanics lab
Research in the Biomechanics lab