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Thurmon Lockhart to serve on National Institutes of Health review board


Thurmon Lockhart Thurmon Lockhart poses in front of a UPS truck. Virginia Tech College of Engineering faculty teamed with the delivery giant to form a work safety program, cutting on-the-job injuries.

BLACKSBURG, Va., Aug. 25, 2010 – Thurmon Lockhart, an associate professor with the College of Engineering at Virginia Tech’s Grado Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, has been invited to serve a five-year term on the Center for Scientific Review’s Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation Sciences Study Section at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

The term began July 1 and expires June 30, 2016. Study section members review grant applications submitted to the NIH, and making recommendations on these applications to the appropriate national advisory council or board. They also survey the status of research in their respective field of study.

Selection is based on the member’s demonstrated expertise and achievement in their area of study, including quality of their research accomplishments, publications in scientific journals and peer-group honors, among other factors, according to the Center for Scientific Review.

Director of the Virginia Tech’s Locomotion Research Lab, Lockhart earned his bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in industrial engineering from Texas Tech University. His research focus includes gait biomechanics, postural control, and slips and falls in both the young and elderly populations.

Lockhart is known nationally for his work in slip prevention training. Along with several current and former Virginia Tech College of Engineering faculty, he created a slip simulator, a large, parallel framework that a person walks under, while a computer-controlled, linoleum-covered floor shifts, causing the walker to lose his or her footing. Rather than fall, though, the person is harnessed to the frame’s top section and stays upright. Hence they “learn” to fall, and catch themselves. The device is now used be several corporations, including delivery giant UPS, which trains its employees on the device to reduce workplace injuries.

The College of Engineering at Virginia Tech is internationally recognized for its excellence in 14 engineering disciplines and computer science. The college's 6,000 undergraduates benefit from an innovative curriculum that provides a "hands-on, minds-on" approach to engineering education, complementing classroom instruction with two unique design-and-build facilities and a strong Cooperative Education Program. With more than 50 research centers and numerous laboratories, the college offers its 2,000 graduate students opportunities in advanced fields of study such as biomedical engineering, state-of-the-art microelectronics, and nanotechnology. Virginia Tech, the most comprehensive university in Virginia, is dedicated to quality, innovation, and results to the commonwealth, the nation, and the world.