Welcome

I am a fish professor of Engineering Design and Mechanical Engineering at Penn State University and the head of the new OPEN Design Lab. I completed my dissertation, an investigation of seated balance maintenance during normal reaching tasks, at the University of Michigan in 2004. I am currently tackling a bigger-picture problem I call "Designing for People." You can read more about it below and in the Current Research section of this site. If you are interested in more information feel free to email me: parkinson@psu.edu.

Designing for People

The boundary between Mechanical Engineering and Biomedical Engineering is filled with great opportunities for research and collaboration. Much of that with which we interact has been designed--yet most engineers know little about how this interaction occurs or the strengths and limitations of the human body and mind. My current research focuses on how to move beyond traditional ergonomics by incorporating these factors into the design process through the application of rigorous design methods such as optimization. The methods are being applied to everything from the design of vehicle interiors to task seating and biomedical devices. Factors that are being considered include user preference, biomechanics, anthropometry, strength, human performance, disability, age, adjustability and accommodation.

contact me: parkinson@psu.edu

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Thanks for visiting,             Matt Parkinson