Marshall faculty member travels to Rome to present international biomechanics research


SuzanneKonz_icSPORTSDr. Suzanne Konz of the  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 the 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.

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.   “Her high standard of performance and work ethic are contagious and set others up for future success” he 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.

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Photo:  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.