Dr. Richard C. Nelson: An Important Multigenerational Father of Biomechanics

in Journal of Applied Biomechanics

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Robert W. NormanUniversity of Waterloo

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Stuart M. McGillBackfitpro Inc

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James R. PotvinMcMaster University

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Dr. Richard Nelson is internationally acknowledged in many countries as an extremely important leader in the emergence of biomechanics of human movement as a respected scientific discipline. As his PhD graduates, and, subsequently, their graduates, have become faculty members at many universities, Dr. Nelson’s influence has grown for more than 50 years via several generations of his biomechanics “children.” It was probably never known to him that he also had significant influence on all laboratory-based subdisciplines of the undergraduate and graduate education and faculty research programs of the then new (1967) Department of Kinesiology at the University of Waterloo, Canada. The teaching and research programs included not only biomechanics but also exercise and work physiology, anatomy, biochemistry, and neurophysiology of human movement.

Norman and McGill were with the Department of Kinesiology, Faculty of Applied Health Sciences, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON, Canada. McGill now heads Backfitpro Inc, Gravenhurst, ON, Canada. Potvin was with the Department of Kinesiology, Faculty of Science, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, Canada.

Norman (norman@uwaterloo.ca) is corresponding author.

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  • 1.

    Norman R, Komi P. Mechanical energetics of world class cross-country skiing. Int J Sports Biomech. 1987;3(4):353369. doi:10.1123/ijsb.3.4.353

  • 2.

    Norman RWK. The Use of EMG in the Calculation of Dynamic Joint Torque [PhD thesis]. The Pennsylvania State University; 1977. (Supervisor R.C. Nelson)

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  • 3.

    McGill SM. Back Mechanic: The Step-By-Step McGill Method to Fix Back Pain. Backfitpro Inc.; 2015. www.backfitpro.com.

  • 4.

    McGill SM. Low Back Disorders: Evidence Based Prevention and Rehabilitation. 3rd ed. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics; 2016.

  • 5.

    McGill SM, Carroll B. The Gift of Injury. Backfitpro Inc; 2018. www.backfitpro.com.

  • 6.

    Potvin JR, Brown SHM. Less is more: high pass filtering to remove up to 99% of the surface EMG signal power, improves EMG-based biceps brachii muscle force estimates. J Electromyogr Kinesiol. 2003;14(3):389399. doi:10.1016/j.jelekin.2003.10.005

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  • 7.

    Potvin JR, Brown SHM. An equation to calculate individual muscle contributions to joint stability. J Biomech. 2005;38(5):973980. doi:10.1016/j.jbiomech.2004.06.004

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  • 8.

    Cholewicki J, McGill SM. Mechanical stability of the in vivo lumbar spine: implications for injury and chronic low back pain. Clinical Biomech. 1996;11(1):115. doi:10.1016/0268-0033(95)00035-6

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