Feb 23, 2016
Analyzing Individual Risk

Researchers at the University of Iowa are collaborating with the U.S. military to analyze injury risk associated with specific tasks carried out by Marines. Funded with a $2.6-million grant from the Office of Naval Research, the research is being conducted through UI’s College of Engineering along with the athletics and physiology departments.

An article from the Iowa City Press-Citizen explains that this research will use models developed by the UI Virtual Soldier Research Program, which incorporates computer simulations to test how soldiers will perform while weighed down with various weaponry and heavy equipment. The new project would incorporate a Marine’s physiological characteristics, then show how different training environments would affect his or her condition.

“Both in athletics and military settings, it’s not just young males that are involved in these activities,” UI professor of human physiology Kevin Kregel told the Iowa City Press-Citizen. “It’s males and females. It’s different ages, different body types, different activity levels… It’s a pretty complex process because we are trying to get down to the individual and to groups of individuals or profiling large segments of the population.”

The goal of this research is to take the information from the computer simulations and have the program develop an individualized strength and conditioning program to help Marines recover from and prevent injuries. Developed in 2003, UI’s Virtual Soldier Research Program has attracted a number of research partnerships with the U.S. military as well as private organizations.

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