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Vitali Selected for Honorable Mention of the ProQuest Distinguished Dissertation Awards


Rachel VitaliRachel Vitali was co-advised by Prof. Noel Perkins (ME) and Prof. Cindy Finelli (EECS) on a dissertation that sought to advance inertial measurement unit (IMU) technology in two distinctly different areas of research: human biomechanics and engineering education. For the former, she combined engineering dynamics principles with advanced signal processing techniques to develop traditional and non-traditional metrics to quantify, understand, and distinguish human performance, health, and behavior. For the latter, she systematically introduced and investigated the effects of incorporating IMU technology (known as iNewton) into an undergraduate dynamics course (ME240) as a platform for active learning outside of the classroom. She is currently expanding her expertise with Prof. Leia Stirling (IOE) during a NASA-funded TRISH postdoctoral fellowship for which she is aiming to characterize the biomechanical and motor control capabilities required to conduct scientific fieldwork to better inform spacesuit design, field instrument/tool design, astronaut training protocols, and concept of operations mission development.