Profile of the month: Ruoli Wang, Assistant Professor in Biomechanics
Interview with Ruoli Wang
How did it start for you? What made you choose your particular subject?
I was dream of studying medicine and being a physician when I was little. Although I chose to become an engineering student, I am still particularly interested in human body. After my first year studying MSc in Engineering Mechanics in KTH, I was introduced to biomechanics and human movement. Ever since then, I became fascinated by the field of biomechanics. I felt very lucky to be able to apply my engineering knowledge in studying human body and have lots of interaction with my participants (from young to old) and other professions.
Why is research in Biomechanics needed?
Biomechanics plays an important role in the understanding of the fundamental principles in human movement. Biomechanics factors could influence human body in different scales, from cell’s metabolic activity, bone growth and overall musculoskeletal function. Fast advancement in both experimental and computational techniques in biomechanics promotes the improvement on the design of protective, surgical, and rehabilitation equipment. Biomechanics has become a crucial research field in achieving safety, health and a high quality of life for the whole society.
What is your research about right now?
My current research focuses on two aspects. One is on developing methodologies to estimate personalized musculotendon parameters non-invasively using a combination of medical imaging, musculoskeletal modeling and optimization. Musculotendon geometry and properties can vary considerably in individual, especially in people with severe neuromuscular disorders. The better quantification of these parameters can greatly enhance the fidelity of our computational models. Another focus is to understand the neuro-mechanical interplay of human movement. A wide variety of physical movements (from walking to the skillful performances of athletes) can be achieved by the human neuro-musculoskeletal system. Two PhD students will join the project in the autumn and we will work on investigating different approaches to identify neural driven signal as a system’s input and movement as an output.
How does it feel when you have made progress?
Excited of course, but it is usually soon replaced by the question ‘what will be the next?
Finally, what do you do when you are not engaged in research at KTH?
I spend most of my after-work time with my family (husband and two daughters, Ronja and Sanja). We love travel to a warm place in winter time and visit our family in China. If I have some alone time, I practice Vinyasa yoga and enjoy a hot sauna after the practicing.