Keynote Speakers

Dr. David Hu

Dr. David Hu is a mechanical engineer who studies the interactions of animals with water.  He has discovered how dogs shake dry, how insects walk on water, and how eyelashes protect the eyes from drying.  Originally from Rockville, Maryland, he earned degrees in mathematics and mechanical engineering from M.I.T., and is now Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Biology and Adjunct Professor of Physics at Georgia Tech.  He is a recipient of the National Science Foundation CAREER award for young scientists, the Ig Nobel Prize in Physics, and the Pineapple Science Prize (the Ig Nobel of China). His work has been featured in The Economist, The New York Times, Saturday Night Live, and Highlights for Children.   He is the author of the book “How to walk on water and climb up walls,” published by Princeton University Press.  He lives with his wife and two children in Atlanta, Georgia.

Dr. Alena Grabowski

Dr. Alena Grabowski is a VA Research Healthcare Scientist in Denver and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Integrative Physiology at the University of Colorado Boulder. She conducts basic and clinical human research and directs the Applied Biomechanics Lab. Her primary areas of research expertise incorporate human biomechanics, physiology, and mechatronics. Her research goals are to further understand and characterize human movement in order to implement mechanical devices that assist and/or enhance locomotion. Specifically, she conducts research on human walking, running, hopping, jumping, and sprinting, and investigates the biomechanical and physiological effects of mechanical devices such as prostheses, orthoses, exoskeletons, weight support systems, and sports equipment on people with and without physical disabilities. Dr. Grabowski has analyzed the effects of passive and powered prostheses for walking, and of running-specific prostheses in US Paralympic athletes, Service members, and Veterans with leg amputations.

Dr. Lori Setton

Dr. Lori Setton’s research focuses on the role of mechanical factors in the degeneration and repair of soft tissues of the musculoskeletal system, including the intervertebral disc, articular cartilage and meniscus. In the lab, her work focuses on engineering and evaluating novel materials for tissue regeneration and drug delivery to treat musculoskeletal disease. In 2015, Lori A. Setton joined Washington University in St. Louis as the Lucy and Stanley Lopata Distinguished Professor of Biomedical Engineering from Duke University, where she was the William Bevan Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Bass Fellow and associate professor of orthopaedic surgery. She joined the Duke faculty in 1995. She is a fellow of the Biomedical Engineering Society and of the American Institute of Biological and Medical Engineering and earned a Presidential Early Career Award from Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) in 1997, as well as several awards for excellence in mentoring. Professor Setton earned master’s and doctoral degrees, both in mechanical engineering and biomechanics, in 1988 and 1993, respectively, from Columbia University. She earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical and aerospace engineering from Princeton University.