Friday, November 21, 2014
Contact: Megan Archer, Alumni and Outreach Coordinator, College of Health Professions 304-488-8863

Marshall faculty member travels to Rome to present international biomechanics research

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Dr. Suzanne Konz of the Marshall University College of Health Professions traveled to Rome last month to give an oral presentation on her biomechanics research during the 2014 International Congress on Sport Science Research and Technology Support (icSPORTS) conference.

Konz, director of the college’s biomechanics laboratory, said her research focused on the reliability and validity of the XOS Motion Capture System, which is housed in the basement of the Henderson Center on Marshall’s Huntington campus.

“We have several motion analysis systems in our biomechanics lab at Marshall and the XOS system is relatively unknown and untested,” Konz said. “My graduate assistant and I did a reliability study on the system using a vertical jump component to test how high people jump. In our research, we found this system isn’t as reliable as other equipment such as the Vertec, which is used in strength conditioning to test the jump height of a jump.”

Konz said her research on the XOS system emphasized the technology behind the equipment instead of its practical application. Konz said this study aimed to provide protocol for strength and conditioning professionals, as well as researchers, to indicate the best practices for their assessment or research.

“By assessing the validity and reliability of the system, individuals can make research-based decisions on purchasing and implementing these new tools,” Konz said. “When one considers many of these systems cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, it becomes extremely important they provide valid and reliable results.”

David Cottrill, a 2014 graduate of the college’s exercise science master’s program, served as Konz’s graduate assistant throughout her research. Cottrill, now an adjunct faculty member at West Virginia State University teaching biomechanics, said technology is taking a much larger role in motion analysis and assessment.

“If researchers and coaches are to implement these technologies into their activities, scientific validation of these systems' capabilities must be conducted,” Cottrill said. “Prior to our research, no such investigation had been conducted on the XOS system. There is a high demand for research assessing the validity and reliability of new instruments, tools and methods within the fields of biomechanics.”

Cottrill said because of Konz’s quality of work, as well as her ability to identify research needs that may be overlooked, her work is instrumental in ensuring the field of biomechanics remains up to date and progressive.

“Dr. Konz's research provides an exciting means to apply the skills and knowledge taught within biomechanics and the exercise science department as a whole. Her high standard of performance and work ethic are contagious and set others up for future success,” Cottrill said. “I am and continue to be thankful for the opportunity to learn from her during my time at Marshall.”

In addition to Konz’s recent trip to Rome, she also traveled to Brazil this past year for her research on muscular biomechanics and sports performance. Konz said she plans to present her research at the 25th Congress of the International Society of Biomechanics held at the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Center in Glasgow, Scotland, this summer.

To learn more about the 2015 ISB conference, visit online. For more information on Dr. Konz’s research, contact her at For more information on the Marshall biomechanics program, visit online.


Photo: (Left to Right):  Conor Bolger of Norwegian University of Science & Technology, Trondheim Norway, Dr. Suzanne Konz of Marshall University and Peter Federolf of the Norwegian School of Sports Sciences, Oslo, Norway at the 2014 icSPORTS conference held Oct. 21-27 in Rome, Italy.
Photo Courtesy of icSPORTS.

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