Visiting Scholars

The NCSRR visiting scholars program is a unique experience that fosters expertise and collaborations in biomechanical simulations for rehabilitation research.

Program Description

Application Information

2016 NCSRR Visiting Scholars

2015 NCSRR Visiting Scholars

2014 NCSRR Visiting Scholars

2013 NCSRR Visiting Scholars

2012 NCSRR Visiting Scholars

2011 NCSRR Visiting Scholars

Clark Center
Clark Center at Night. Photo by Justin Lebar licensed through Creative Commons.

Program Description

Through the visiting scholars program, NCSRR seeks to attract energetic and talented scholars from computer science, biomechanics, physical therapy and other fields to become experts in biomechanical simulation and the needs of the rehabilitation community.

This year up to four individuals will be chosen to visit NCSRR at Stanford University for a 5-week period during the summer of 2017. We anticipate that the program will run from mid June to mid July. Each visiting scholar will be reimbursed for travel and living expenses up to $8,000.  During their visit, awardees will receive training and mentoring to help them reach their research goals.  They will have the opportunity to participate in formal meetings, discussions with OpenSim experts, and brainstorming sessions with their fellow visiting scholars to advance their research and the OpenSim project.

The visiting scholars will be located together at Stanford University’s interdisciplinary research building, the Clark Center, which is centrally located relative to the School of Medicine and the School of Engineering.

The visiting scholars program is aimed at postdoctoral fellows and faculty members, but doctoral students are welcome to apply. Students and scholars who are already studying at an institution in the U.S. on a visa should enquire with their international office before applying to determine if and how they can be reimbursed for their travel.


There are two steps to applying to the program:

1) Complete an application packet, which includes a research proposal, CV, and two letters of support. See the packet for full instructions. Materials should be submitted as a single PDF to (letters of support can be sent separately).

Application Packet and Instructions

2) Complete the short online application form.

Online Form

DEADLINE FOR APPLICATIONS: Midnight PST, February 3, 2017

If you have questions about the program after reviewing the Application Packet and Instructions, please contact

2016 NCSRR Visiting Scholars

The NCSRR is pleased to announce our sixth round of Visiting Scholars:

Xiao Hu

Contribution of Muscle Function in Gait to the Selective Muscle Degeneration in Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy

Xiao received his Ph.D. in biomedical engineering from Northwestern University in 2012. His doctoral research examined the task-dependent regulation of arm mechanics using a combination of musculoskeletal modeling and simulation as well as experimental approaches. Currently, he is a Research Associate at the Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Virginia. He is integrating dynamic musculoskeletal simulation, finite-element simulation, and magnetic resonance imaging to predict the impact of various activities on the progression of muscle degeneration in Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD), thereby providing scientific guidelines for DMD care and exercise management. He is also interested developing finite-element models of muscles to optimize muscle regeneration for repairing volumetric muscle loss injuries.

Brad Humphreys

Implicit Formulation of Dynamics for Predictive Simulation

Brad received a Bachelors degree in Mechanical Engineering from The Ohio State University in 1998; he is completing a Masters degree in Mechanical Engineering at Cleveland State University.  He worked for several years in the aerospace industry in aircraft design and flight test. His background in controls, instrumentation, and dynamics took him to ZIN Technologies where he supports the development of spaceflight hardware at NASA Glenn Research Center. Brad's experience in modeling and simulation led to his involvement with Cleveland Clinic's Center for Space Medicine and then as a member of NASA's Digital Astronaut Project. He has developed a predictive simulation of arm motion using direct collocation methods in OpenSim.  He is interested in an implicit formulation of dynamics as those solution methods also utilize/produce mathematical quantities that can be directly used in predictive modeling with direct collocation optimization.

Colin Smith

Identification of Altered Neuromuscular Coordination Patterns for Restoration of Healthy Cartilage Contact in ACL Deficient Knees during Walking

Colin is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He received a B.S. degree from Clemson University (2011) and an M.S. from UW-Madison (2016). His research investigates the influence of neuromuscular coordination and passive joint properties on knee mechanics during locomotion, with a focus on mitigating post-traumatic osteoarthritis in ACL deficient and reconstructed patients. In 2015, Colin was a visiting Whitaker International Scholar at KU Leuven. He has earned Young Investigator Awards at the CMBBE and ISCSB conferences for his probabilistic musculoskeletal simulation research using a multibody knee model to predict cartilage contact pressures during walking.

Ju Zhang

Patient-specific OpenSim Model Generation Using MAP Client

Ju received his Ph.D. from the Auckland Bioengineering Institute (ABI) at the University of Auckland in 2013. During his doctoral work, Ju developed automated image processing and meshing methods to create statistical models of femur morphology. As a Research Fellow at the ABI, Ju became one of the founding developers of the Musculoskeletal Atlas Project (MAP) which aims to bridge the gap between clinical data, rigid-body models, and continuum models for musculoskeletal research. His current research involves using statistical shape models for orthopaedic implant design and fusing multi-modal clinical data for automatic musculoskeletal model generation.

2015 NCSRR Visiting Scholars

The NCSRR is pleased to announce our fifth round of Visiting Scholars:

Frank (Clay) Anderson

Simulating Gait Using Feedback and Stiffness Control

Clay earned a bachelors degree in Physics in 1987 from Johns Hopkins University. He went on to earn a masters in Kinesiology in 1992 and a doctorate in Mechanical Engineering in 1999, both from the University of Texas at Austin. His doctoral research focused on generating a three-dimensional muscle-actuated simulation of human gait using optimal control theory. In 2000, he joined the Neuromuscular Biomechanics Lab at Stanford University where he continued to focus on the development of novel algorithms for generating forward dynamic simulations of movement and on the development of analyses for quantifying muscle function. Dr. Anderson was one of the founding architects of OpenSim. He currently teaches physics at the Kinkaid School. His interests include multibody dynamics, control theory, muscle function, and software engineering.

Dimitra Blana

Development of new glenohumeral joint models for the study of shoulder stability

Dimitra is a Research Fellow at the Institute for Science and Technology in Medicine, Keele University, UK. She received her MSc and PhD degrees in Biomedical Engineering from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, OH. Her doctoral work focused on using musculoskeletal modeling to develop devices that restore arm movement in people with tetraplegia. Since moving to the UK, Dimitra has continued developing models and applying them to stroke and spinal cord injury, and in the design of upper limb prosthetics. She is interested in expanding the use of upper limb modeling for rehabilitation research, and in the clinical practice.

Thomas Geijtenbeek

A Neuromuscular Controller for Predictive Simulations of Pathological Gait

Thomas received his PhD in 2013 at the Department of Information and Computing Sciences of Utrecht University. In his research, he used musculoskeletal simulation and neuromuscular control to generate realistic and responsive character animations. Before his PhD, he was employed as lead software developer and designer of Motek Medical, a company that specializes in rehabilitation technology and virtual reality. He is currently a postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Biomechanical Engineering of Delft University of Technology, while maintaining a part-time position as senior software consultant at Motek Medical. His current research interests include neuromuscular control, artificial intelligence, and predictive simulations of human movement.

Ricardo Matias

Scapulothoracic muscle contributions to scapula winging control

Ricardo received his B.S. (Honors) degree in Physiotherapy from the Polytechnic Institute of Setúbal (PIS), and earned his Ph.D in Human Kinetics and Postdoc in Machine Learning in Biomechanics from the University of Lisbon (UL). Ricardo is currently a researcher at the Neuromechanics of Human Movement Research Group of the UL and has worked in the Physiotherapy Department of the School of Health Care-PIS since 2002. His research merges three-dimensional shoulder musculoskeletal modeling and advanced statistical pattern recognition techniques to help unveil the interactions of complex skeletal and muscle dynamics that are involved in producing healthy and pathological shoulder movements.

2014 NCSRR Visiting Scholars

The NCSRR is pleased to announce our fourth round of Visiting Scholars:

James Buffi

Muscle and Ligament Contributions to Elbow Varus Torque during Baseball Pitching

James received his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering at the University of Notre Dame in 2008 and completed his PhD in biomedical engineering at Northwestern University in 2014. His doctoral research focused on developing a musculoskeletal modeling and simulation framework for the baseball pitching motion. James is interested in understanding the mechanisms that cause elbow injuries in baseball pitchers and designing targeted interventions to help prevent these injuries.

Jason Moore

Identification of closed-loop human locomotion control with perturbed walking and running data

Jason received his Ph.D. (2012) and M.S. (2007) degrees in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from the University of California, Davis. His doctoral work spanned a collaborative project involving the theory of bicycle dynamics, control, and handling with experimental validation. During 2008-09 he was a visiting Fulbright scholar to the Netherlands and worked at Delft University of Technology. He is currently a postdoctoral research associate at Cleveland State University working on the identification of human control during gait and its applications to power prostheses. His research interests include topics in man-machine interaction, manual control theory, multibody dynamics, human biomechanics, human power utilization, system identification, open science, and computer programming for scientists.

2014 Outstanding Researcher Award Winners

Wouter Aerts, KU Leuven
Development of a contact model for the simulation of the stump-socket interface pressure for transtibial amputees

Hossein Mokhtarzadeh, The University of Melbourne
Development of a rehabilitation system using portable, low-cost game technologies including the Microsoft Kinect, Wii balance board and OpenSim

2014 Travel Award Winners

Ameet Aiyangar, EMPA
Incorporating Facet Joints, Intra-Abdominal Pressure and Six-Degree-Of-Freedom Joint Kinematics into an Existing Lumbar Spine Model

Mohammad Sharif Shourijeh, University of Ottawa
Muscle-Synergy-Assisted Musculoskeletal Simulations

Mohammad Atarod Pilambaraei, University of Calgary
A Subject-Specific Musculoskeletal Model to Predict Knee Joint Contact Loads and Muscle Forces in ACL-Deficient and ACL-Reconstructed Patients

Brooke Slavens, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Upper Extremity Joint Dynamics and Muscle Forces During Pediatric Wheelchair Mobility

Michael Hardisty, University of California, Davis
The Biomechanics of Malalignment of the Hind Foot Bones in Children with Cerbral Palsy

Wietse Van Dijk, Delft University of Technology
Simultaneous estimation of kinematics, kinetics and muscular dynamics from motion and force recordings

David Walker, University of Florida
Patient-Specific Computational Modeling to Optimize Reverse Shoulder Arthroplasty

Daniel Lopes, INESC-ID Lisboa
Musculoskeletal simulations with contact geometries represented by smooth convex surfaces: applications in foot-ground contact and joint load estimation

John Olthoff, Cornell University
Development of mouse hind limb and bird neck musculoskeletal models for a comparative study of neuromechanical control

Konstantinos Dermitzakis, University of Zurich
Modeling the frictional interaction of the tendon-sheath system in OpenSim

2013 NCSRR Visiting Scholars

The NCSRR is pleased to announce our third round of Visiting Scholars:

Luca Modenese

Articular loading in hip osteoarthritis development

Luca received a degree in mechanical engineering at the University of Padua in 2008 and completed his PhD at Imperial College London in 2013. His doctoral research focused on the development of numerical models for the estimation of joint contact forces occurring during daily living activities. He is currently a Research Fellow at Griffith University, where his main research interests are the generation of subject specific musculoskeletal models from medical images and the estimation of personalized hip articular loading in subjects affected by hip osteoarthritis.

Massimo Sartori

Electromyography driven forward dynamic simulation of human locomotion

Massimo received his master degree in Computer Engineering and his PhD degree in Information Engineering from the University of Padova, Italy in 2007 and 2011 respectively. During his PhD he was a visiting student at the School of Sport Science, Exercise and Health, University of Western Australia and at the Neuromuscular Biomechanics Laboratory, Stanford University. Since 2011 he is a postdoctoral research scientist at the Department of Neurorehabilitation Engineering, University Medical Center Goettingen, Germany. Dr Sartori’s research interests include the development of methods for bridging between the neural and the functional understanding of human movement in vivo, and the translation of these to the development of advanced neurorehabilitation technologies.

2012 NCSRR Visiting Scholars

The NCSRR is pleased to announce our second round of Visiting Scholars:

Katrina Easton

Development and validation of a rabbit hindlimb musculoskeletal model for rehabilitation research: application to the study of tendinopathy

Katrina received her PhD in Biomedical Engineering and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Colorado State University. Her PhD research focused on using the finite element method to study the effect of variations in bone geometry on the contact stress distribution patterns in the metacarpophalangeal joint of Thoroughbred racehorses. She is currently a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Western Australia studying injury and repair in the Achilles tendon.

Dominic Farris

Modeling the effects of wearing spring-loaded ankle exoskeletons on lower-limb muscle function during two-legged hopping

Dominic is a Research Fellow in the Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering at North Carolina State University and The University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. He received his PhD in 2010 from the University of Bath (UK) where his research focussed on in vivo measurements of human Achilles tendon mechanics using ultrasound imaging-based techniques. Since 2010 he has worked as a postdoctoral research fellow at NC State University. There, as part of the Human PoWeR Lab, his research has extended to studying the mechanics and energetics of healthy, pathological (e.g. post-stroke) and robotically assisted human gait. Combining ultrasound imaging, gait analysis and metabolic measurements, his research has targeted better understanding the links between the mechanical requirements and metabolic demands of these different gaits, from the muscular level through to whole body mechanics.

John Rogers

Running with an Active Transtibial Prosthesis

John Rogers is an Associate Professor in the Department of Civil and Mechanical Engineering at West Point, the United States Military Academy. He teaches mechatronic design, computer graphics, programming, and dynamics. His research interests are the design of unmanned systems, modeling of dynamic systems, and the biomechanics of running. Dr. Rogers earned the Ph.D. degree in mechanical engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 2003. Prior to joining West Point, he built and tested underwater systems, analyzed structures, and designed industrial electro-hydraulic systems. He is a registered professional engineer.

Bahar Sharafi

The impact of abnormal coactivation on locomotor stability post stroke

Bahar Sharafi is a post doctoral fellow at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago and Northwestern University, The Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. She received her PhD from The Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at the University of Virginia in 2011, where she developed a finite element micromechanical modeling framework for skeletal muscle and studied the effect of fiber-level microstructure on muscle function. Subsequently she joined the Neuro-mechanics of Impaired Locomotion Laboratory at the Sensory Motor Performance Program. Bahar is currently investigating the effect of abnormal motor templates on dynamic stability and balance recovery following stroke.

2011 NCSRR Visiting Scholars

The NCSRR is pleased to announce the inaugural Visiting Scholars:

Andrew Anderson

Coupling Patient-Specific Finite Element Analysis with Musculoskeletal Modeling to study Acetabular Dysplasia and Femoroacetabuluar Impingement

Dr. Anderson received his Bachelor's of Science degree in Biomedical Engineering from Michigan Technological University and earned his Doctor of Philosophy in Bioengineering from the University of Utah. He completed a short postdoctoral fellowship in the Orthopaedic Research Laboratory at the University of Utah prior to promotion to Research Assistant Professor in December, 2007. Dr Anderson also holds academic appointments in the Departments of Bioengineering and Physical Therapy. His research interests include computational modeling (finite element analysis, musculoskeletal modeling), image analysis (CT and fluoroscopy), and motion analysis. Dr. Anderson’s primary focus is in disorders of the young adult hip, including hip dysplasia and femoroacetabular impingement.

Marjolein van der Krogt

Personalizing musculoskeletal models by simulation of physical exam data

Marjolein van der Krogt is post-doc researcher at the Dept. of Rehabilitation Medicine of the VU University Medical Center and at the Dept. of Biomechanical Engineering of the University of Twente, The Netherlands. During her masters she received a Gerrit Jan van Ingen Schenau Promising Young Scientist Award to perform an internship at the Locomotion Lab of the University of Colorado. In 2009 she received her PhD in Rehabilitation Medicine at the VU University Medical Center. In her PhD research she used both musculoskeletal modeling and dynamic walking techniques to study underlying causes of gait deviations in cerebral palsy. After her PhD, she performed a postdoctoral fellowship at Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare and Stanford University, funded by a Ter Meulen Fund stipendium. Her current research focuses on (clinical implementation of) musculoskeletal simulation in rehabilitation and orthopedics.

Yao Li

Neuromuscular Control of Mechatronic Prosthetic Limbs: from Motoneuron to Movement

Yao Li received the B.S. degree in electrical engineering from Sichuan University, Chengdu, China in 2002 and Ph.D. degree in electrical and computer engineering, from the University of Maryland, College Park in 2010. Since then, he has been working as a research associate at University of Southern California, Los Angeles. He is mainly interested in the application of control theory and modeling of complex systems to the understanding and treatment of human sensorimotor disorders. He has developed a nonlinear optimal control model to provide insights into stability of sway in standing humans, a common research paradigm used to characterize various disorders of balance and senility.

Glen Lichtwark

Simulating the effect of muscle contracture on walking ability in young adults with cerebral palsy

Glen Lichtwark is a Research Fellow in the School of Human Movement Studies at the University of Queensland. He was awarded his PhD in 2005 from University College London (UK), where he studied the influence of muscle and tendon elasticity on power output and energetics of muscle. He has subsequently worked as a postdoctoral fellow at the Royal Veterinary College (2005), Imperial College (2006) and Griffith University (2007-2009) in the areas of biomechanics and muscle physiology. Dr Lichtwark is examining the normal structure and function of human muscles and comparing this to different populations where movement is restricted for different reasons (e.g. cerebral palsy, elderly populations). He is using innovative ultrasound techniques to examine muscle structure as well as how the muscles change length as they contract during different tasks (e.g. walking).

Justin Seipel

Reduced Whole-Body Dynamics in OpenSim

Dr. Justin Seipel received his PhD from Princeton University in 2006. There he studied the stability of legged locomotion, utilizing mathematical and simulation-based models. From 2006-2009 Dr. Seipel was a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Integrative Biology at the University of California, Berkeley, where he studied the neuromechanical control of legged locomotion of insects and its applications to bioinspired robots. Dr. Seipel is currently an Assistant Professor in the School of Mechanical Engineering at Purdue University.

Email Updates

to join our mailing list.

Jul 20, 2017

Workshop at TGCS 2017: Matlab Scripting in OpenSim 4.0

Learn how to use the Matlab scripting interface through a hands-on example and competition. more »

Jul 23 - 27, 2017

Jumping into OpenSim 4.0: Interactive Tutorial at ISB 2017

Get a hands-on introduction to generating muscle driven simulations in OpenSim 4.0. more »

Jul 23 - 27, 2017

OpenSim Research Highlights: Symposium at ISB 2017

Learn about the latest research discoveries from leaders in the field of musculoskeletal modeling and simulation. more »

Past Events