Take 10 with...Yanxin Zhang

Dr Yanxin Zhang, Senior Lecturer at the School of Exercise Sciences, gives us 10 minutes of his time to discuss his research of human movements using engineering techniques and mathematical modelling.

Dr Yanxin Zhang
Dr Yanxin Zhang

1. Describe your research topic to us in 10 words or less.
Studying human movements using engineering techniques and mathematical modelling.

2. Now explain it in everyday terms!
I develop quantitative methods to study human movements to identify movement patterns which can enhance activity performance and reduce injury occurrence.

3. Describe some of your day-to-day research activities.
Reading literature, reviewing articles, meeting with students and collaborators, computer programming, conducting experiments.

4. What do you enjoy most about your research?
Combining theories from scientific literature and engineering techniques to solve real-world problems.

5. Tell us something that has surprised or amused you in the course of your research.
We are conducting projects to develop and test a virtual reality rehabilitation system for prescribing exercise for the clinical population. The system is based on low-cost motion capture technology, which may create a more cost-effective solution for long-term patient rehabilitation. In addition, the development of this system would free clinicians from some manual work and would allow for remote data collection, leading to a better quality of rehabilitation.

6. How have you approached any challenges you’ve faced in your research?
My research is multidisciplinary. To be able to combine theories from scientific literature and emerging engineering techniques, I must learn and update knowledge from different fields every day (not only from the scientific community, but also from industry).

7. What questions have emerged as a result of your recent work?
How research findings can be transferred to an application?

8. What kind of impact do you hope your research will have?
Create a more cost-effective solution for patient rehabilitation using technology.

9. If you collaborate across the faculty or University, or even outside the University, who do you work with and how does it benefit your research?
I collaborate with many researchers, clinicians, and industrial partners in New Zealand and overseas. This collaboration can help me to understand people’s thoughts in different areas and achieve a common research goal.

10. What one piece of advice would you give your younger, less experienced research self?
Stay with (research) problems longer (Albert Einstein).