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alicia gal

Biomechanics in the sport of sledge hockey

Alicia's research investigates the biomechanics for the sport of para-ice hockey, commonly known as sledge hockey, for the purpose of performance enhancement, injury prevention, and equipment design. Similar to ice hockey, this para-sport is fast-paced and full body contact at the elite level. Players flip the sticks, alternating between puck control and skating. Alicia's research is first of its kind for the para-sport, and for the university itself, Carleton. By investigating various skating styles performed by naive players up to Paralympians, Alicia's team of researchers are gaining knowledge and understanding to not only improve the sport as a whole, but also reduce impact and overuse related injuries to the upper limbs. Research investigations include indoor off-ice skating analysis using motion capture, force plates, electromyography (EMG), and inertial measurement units (IMUs). Acknowledgement is made to the Human Movement Biomechanics Laboratory at Lees Campus, University of Ottawa, for their invaluable assistance involving indoor skating analysis. More recently, Alicia is taking her research on-ice investigating skating and puck control using EMG and IMUs. Alicia is conducting a longitudinal review study of prior injuries to national level players in partnership with Hockey Canada, in order to gain a better understanding of the most commonly acquired injuries. From this in conjunction with sport-specific investigations, this research team will be able to increase player/coaching education promoting injury prevention, rehabilitation, and performance enhancement. As this is a first of its kind research, Alicia and her research team are modifying/developing para-ice hockey biomechanical computer models and applications (apps), which can be used with validated biomechanial computer software, and handheld devices for real-time analysis, respectively. Finally, participation in sport provides a positive socio-economic atmosphere improving a player's mental and physical wellbeing. As awareness for PTSD is growing, this research can be transferrable to rehabilitation programs designed to help improve the quality of life for people with disabilities.

Thesis supervisors: Adrian D. C. Chan and Dean C. Hay (Nipissing University)

biography

Alicia Gal completed her MASc in Biomedical Engineering here at Carleton University, and has a Bachelor of Physical and Health Education (BPHE) with a minor in Mathematics from Nipissing University. She also completed Pre-Service Firefighting (PSFF) while playing varsity soccer and hockey at Lambton College, winning Athlete of the Year and an OCAA All Academic standing. She is currently continuing her first of its kind research in the brand new Biomedical Engineering PhD degree at Carleton, within the Ottawa-Carleton Institute for Biomedical Engineering (OCIBME). During her Master's, Alicia was honoured as a TechGirl of Canada Portrait of Strength (women in "STEM who have helped break barriers and achieved great things within their industry"). During her stay at Lambton, Alicia was awarded the Ontario Colleges of Applied Arts and Technology: Memorial Awards Program for Women in Technology. Alicia is part of the new NSERC CREATE training program Research and Education in Accessibility, Design, and Innovation (READi); collaborating universities include Carleton, Ottawa, and Queens. Recently, Alicia accepted a contract instructor position within the Dept of Health Science here at Carleton, teaching the newly added graduate requirement, New Health Technologies. She has been teaching fitness since 2004, and yes, that is her you hear encouraging Ravens to push a little more in Athletics. Alicia assisted in the comeback of Raven's Football during the first three years as their Stretch Coach. She has over 15 years of sport-specific work, and is starting her 5th year here at Carleton. After a 10 year hiatus, Alicia and her canoe partner competed in a grueling 64 km canoe race from North Bay to Mattawa, earning them another year of hardware and records in the North Bay - Mattawa Conservation Hall of Fame (total races 6).

how Alicia gives back to Carleton

Directly related to her field of research, Alicia works with Carleton Raven's Men's Varsity Soccer as their Biomechanics Coach. She has been working with these gentlemen for the past 4 years and love every minute of it. Alicia is the Chapter President, Engineering Chair, and Science Chair for Carleton University Women in Science and Engineering (CU-WISE). Here she is inspired, inspires, and hopes to leave a legacy with Carleton and the surrounding STEM communities. Alicia also works in Athletics at the Fitness Centre and as a fitness instructor teaching everything from stretching to spin.

publications

  1. Gal, AM, "Biomechanical analysis of the stroking cycle in the sport of sledge hockey", M.A.Sc. Biomedical Engineering Thesis, Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada, 2013.
  2. Gal AM, Chan ADC, Hay DC, "Investigating the seated double poling cycle: Identifying baseline measures of the preparation phase", 33rd International Conference on Biomechanics in Sport (ISBS), Poitiers, France, pp. 1-4, 2015.
  3. Gal AM, Chan ADC, Hay DC, "Validating a solid-static single-armed male prototype tasked to produce dynamic movement from the shoulder through the preparation phase", International Federation for Medical and Biological Engineering (IFMBE) Proceedings, World Congress on Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering (IUPESM), Toronto, Canada, vol. 51, pp. 1146-1149, 2015.
  4. Gal AM, Chan ADC, Hay DC, "2 and 3-dimensional biomechanical analysis of the linear stroking cycle in the sport of sledge hockey: Glenohumeral joint kinematic, kinetic and surface EMG muscle modeling on and off ice", Proceedings of 13th International Symposium on 3D Analysis of Human Movement (3D AHM), Lausanne, Switzerland, pp. 108-111, 2014.
  5. Gal AM, Chan ADC, Hay DC, "Investigation of the relationship between peak impact and push-off reaction forces, and potential upper limb overuse/overloading injuries introduced from skating in the sport of sledge hockey", Own the Podium SPorts INnovation (SPIN) Summit, Calgary, Canada, 2016.
  6. Gal AM, Chan ADC, Hay DC, "Differences between sagittal plane static start and mid-cycle stroke biomechanics during skating for the sport of sledge hockey: Task nave population", Own the Podium SPorts INnovation (SPIN) Summit, Calgary, Canada, 2016.
  7. Gal AM, Chan ADC, Hay DC, "Baseline impact reaction forces in a seated downward short pole free-drop: A biomechanical investigation of elbow angle upon impact in the sport of sledge hockey", Own the Podium SPorts INnovation (SPIN) Summit, Toronto, Canada, 2015.
  8. Gal AM, Chan ADC, Hay DC, "Shoulder joint produced weight-bearing mobility: Defining gait", Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) National Conference (WISE- NC), Toronto, Canada, 2015.
  9. Gal AM, Chan ADC, Hay DC, "Propulsion in sledge hockey: A biomechanical analysis to define gait", Own the Podium SPorts INnovation (SPIN) Summit, Montreal, Canada, 2014
  10. Gal AM, Raymer GH, "Differences between forward and defense hockey players during repeated high-intensity bursts of forward and backwards skating", 5th Annual Undergraduate Research Conference, Nipissing University, North Bay, Canada, 2011.

Last updated September 11, 2017