Our visions for BioMEx were to:
- Congregate research and researchers in biomechanics in Stockholm into an established center in order to more vigorously meet the future demands in medical applications, technological progress and product development.
- Create a research environment for Swedish biomechanics expertise both within basic research and in applied clinical and industrial research.
- Become a central academic unit in Stockholm, with collaborators at other universities, industrial developers and manufacturers in clinical, sports and technical biomechanics.
- Survey and analyze educational needs for master and doctoral students at primarily KTH and KI, at GIH, SU and other Swedish research institutes, and among clinical professionals, and create an inspiring and attractive research education program in biomechanics in order to enable a constant expansion and renewal of top research students.
- Inspire and be inspired by industry to research the development of new products and processes.
- Serve as the leading Scandinavian center in biomechanics research
Biomechanics is a large, and ever-growing field that broadly can be defined as applying mechanics to study living systems in healthcare, rehabilitation, sport, injury prevention, and ergonomics, among others. While biomechanics has existed in research and industry in less defined forms for hundreds of years, biomechanics research has practically exploded in the last few decades.
Nowadays, education and research in biomechanics is well established in many leading medical and technical universities throughout the world. The importance of biomechanics in various industrial and institutional branches has also increased vastly over the past few decades.
Several different groups and departments perform biomechanics research at KTH using their specific expertise within classical mechanics, solid mechanics, computational mechanics and experimentation, among others. Despite the different focuses, the common link is using mechanics to solve problems, analyze consequences, explore potential clinical treatments, and predict likely outcomes. All KTH researchers within biomechanics have collaborative partners within academia, healthcare, industry, sports institutes and other research organizations.
Some societal and public health trends can be identified today that motivate continued research in biomechanics. To name a few, thanks to today’s very high standard of medical care, both a longer life expectancy and a higher survival probability of extremely premature babies can be observed. Higher expectations and demands for high quality of life is also observed, whereas general fitness and obesity problems adversely can vary widely. The positive phenomena named above can, however, have consequences: Premature babies and babies born to older parents have much higher risk of suffering from e.g., neuromuscular disabilities. A rising life expectancy, particularly in combination with increased obesity and decreased physical fitness, incurs much higher likelihood of acquiring both degenerative joint diseases and cardiovascular diseases. With the massive increase in automotive transportation, infrastructure, and speed capacity in recent decades, the risk for traumatic injury increases.
While there have been large ventures in medical research in the past few decades, technical research and development can make a large contribution to medical advances, through both engineering knowledge, but perhaps even more from the typical engineering methodology of experimentation, assessment, analysis and simulation.
In short, biomechanics research plays an important roll in societal advancement; fundamental research of mechanisms and processes, applied research prediction of treatment and injury outcome and consequences, and in innovation and product development.