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Thurmon E Lockhart


  • Editor, Ergonomics
  • Associate Editor, Annals of Biomedical Engineering
  • Ph.D., Texas Tech, 2000
  • M.S., Texas Tech, 1997
  • B.S., Texas Tech, 1992

Present Position

  • Professor of the Grado Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering
  • Primary Faculty of the VT/Wake Forest School of Biomedical Engineering and Science
  • Guest Professor, Ghent University, Department of Industrial Management, Belgium
  • Director, Locomotion Research Laboratory
  • NIH Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation Sciences Study Section Member (2010-2016)
  • Associate Editor, Annals of Biomedical Engineering
  • Editor, Ergonomics


  • Research Excellence, College of Engineering, Virginia Tech (2013)
  • Alexander C. Williams, Jr., Design Award (HFES) (2008)
  • College of Engineering Faculty Fellow Award, Virginia Tech (2008)
  • ADA Disability Research Award (Research performed 2004-2005) (2007)
  • Liberty Mutual Best Paper Award (Published in Ergonomics, 2003-2004) (2005)
  • Dean’s Award of Excellence for Outstanding Assistant Professor Virginia Tech (2003)
  • The Whitaker Foundation Biomedical Engineering Grant Investigator (2001)
  • CDC/NIH Special Emphasis Research Career Award (SERCA K01)
  • Achievement Rewards for College Scientists (ARCS) Scholar (1999)

Research Interests and Expertise

  • Fall Accidents
  • Human locomotion/movement variability
  • Postural control and dynamic stability
  • Wearable sensors, mobility assessments
  • Occupational biomechanics
  • Visual control

Recent Course Responsibilities

  • Locomotion Biomechanics
  • Occupational Biomechanics
  • Design of Experiments
  • Ergonomics/Human Factors
  • Work Measurement

Journal Papers:  Selected Manuscripts Accessible from the PubMed (Please select the title to open the manuscripts)

Selected Ongoing Research Projects

  • Non-Intrusive Multi-Patient Fall-Risk Monitoring in Health Care Facilities
  • NSF-Information and Intelligent Systems (IIS) and Smart Health and Wellbeing -1065442 (VT), 1065262 (UVA) – PI:  Lockhart, T., Lach, J., CoPIs: Roberto, K., and Ha, D., ($1,200,000: 8/01/2011 to 7/31/2015).  
  • This project enables a new paradigm in elderly patient care to target fall prevention interventions to high fall risk individuals before fall incidents occur, preserving patient's health and quality of life while reducing health care costs.
  • Effects of Localized Muscle Fatigue on Risk of Occupational Slips and Falls
  • CDC/NIOSH – R01-OH009222 ($1,196,460.00:  9/01/09 – 8/31/14)  PI: Lockhart (80%) Co-I: Nussbaum (20%).  
  • This project will combine experimental and biomechanical modeling of localized muscle fatigue to quantify the effects of localized muscle fatigue on slip propensity and balance recovery.
  • Low Cost Gait and Frailty Assessment on Smartphone Platforms
  • NSF-ICorps:   PI:  Thurmon Lockhart, ($50,000: 7/01/13 to 8/31/2014).  
  • This is a collaborative research project to develop an ambulatory assessment device and algorithms to measure gait and posture utilizing the iphone platform.
  • A Biomechanical Investigation into the Effects of Slip, Trips, and Falls on Energetic Materials
  • B&W Pantex and Los Alamos National Security ($473,732 :  8/04/2010 to 9/30/2014).  PI :  Lockhart
  • This project will address the human motor control characteristics on falling behavior utilizing two laboratory experiments and theoretical modeling of impulse momentum relationships and impact characteristics.
  • NSF/REU Supplement – SHB: Multi patient fall risk monitoring.  
  • NSF/REU ($48,000 :  8/01/2012 to 7/31/2014).  PI :  Lockhart
  • This project will support the main NSF project in developing the human machine interfaces to the fall risk monitor.
  • Safety and Ergonomics Training.  
  • NIOSH:  PI: M.A. Nussbaum (36%); Co-Is: M.J. Agnew (5%), J.G. Casali (5%), B. Kleiner (3%), T. Lockhart (3%:  $14,121), T. Smith-Jackson (25%), W.W. Winchester (3%), and D. Young (20%).  $470,703; 07/01/11 – 06/30/16
  • This is a training grant to support our HF/E graduate students.


Industries Serviced

  • Construction
  • Delivery Service Providers
  • Nursing Homes
  • Military

Additional links

    Thurmon Lockhart portrait 2

  • (540) 231-9088
  • 557 Whittemore Hall
    MC 0118
    Blacksburg, VA 24061