SimPL

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Welcome to the SimPL wiki.

SimPL Overview

Hi there! Thanks for visiting the SimPL wiki page. For members of our lab, this page contains helpful information for lab operation and logistics.

SimPL stands for Sensing in Biomechanical Processes Lab, established in 2018. As the name implies, we work a lot with sensors, and focus on studies of biomechanics. Currently, the main types of sensors we work with are those that measure biomechanics parameters (e.g. inertial sensors), and those that measure human physiology (e.g. biopotential sensors). The main application areas in the lab are mild traumatic brain injuries (e.g. concussions, subconcussive trauma) as well as sleep. Our lab belongs to the Mechanical Engineering department at UBC, in the Biomechanics & Biomedical Engineering research cluster. Our lab director Dr. Lyndia Wu is also an Associate Member of the School of Biomedical Engineering, Principal Investigator at ICORD, and member of the STITCH and OBDAF clusters.

Lab Space

Our main lab space is in the ICICS building, room X015. Space for student desks, experimental set ups, prototyping, and meetings are all in X015. This is set up in a way that allows for easy interactions with your colleagues and convenient access to your research equipment/set up. Research space becomes increasingly limited at the university, and we are fortunate to have access to an excellent research space. It is everyone's responsibility to help maintain and maximize the utilization of our space.

Sharing space with CARIS: We share ICICS X015 with the Collaborative Advanced Robotics and Intelligent Systems (CARIS) lab. The CARIS lab was established by Dr. Elizabeth Croft, has been around for over 20 years and are the original occupants of the X015 space. SimPL has been warmly welcomed into the X015 space by the current director Dr. Mike van der Loos. Since both SimPL and CARIS have some mechatronics, sensing, and biomedical projects, it helps create opportunities to share knowledge and resources among members of the two labs. Students are also encouraged to socialize and build a friendly community within the common space. While in general there is no clear physical boundary between the two labs, please respect desk and experimental space of students from the CARIS lab.

Other space: We can also share space with Dr. Peter Cripton and Dr. Tom Oxland's injury biomechanics lab space at ICORD, which has equipment and custom set ups for injury biomechanics testing. It is also possible for SimPL students to get temporary or permanent desk space at ICORD. Please feel free to ask Lyndia about this resource if you're interested.

Lab Jobs

Graduate students in the lab are also encouraged to take on leadership roles, and help with different aspects of lab management. The table below summarizes lab jobs and assignments.

Summary of lab job/czar assignments
Task/Duty Czar Description
Lab tours Calvin

Mahsa (Caris)

Point of contact of the lab for tours. In charge of coordinating lab tours, and reminding everyone about upcoming tours (coordinate with CARIS czars for joint tours)
Lab meeting Ahmad Managing lab meeting schedules, set up, and maintaining meetings space/equipment. (joint with CARIS)
Social Keili, Delun Organizing social activities for the lab. (coordinate with CARIS czars for joint activities)
Safety Tim Provide safety training for new members. Be points of contact in case of safety incidents. (joint with CARIS)
Purchasing Calvin, Cidnee In charge of supplies and small equipment purchases in the lab.
Lab website Lyndia Maintaining and updating lab website.
SimPL Lab wiki Calvin

Lyndia

Maintaining and updating lab wiki.
CARIS Lab wiki TBD Adding new people to the CARIS lab's wiki and joint meeting slides.
Lab cleanliness David, Cynthia, Haomiao (kitchen) Organizing lab cleaning. (coordinate with CARIS czars for joint cleaning)
Computing Calvin, Cidnee Managing computing equipment, software, data storage, and server. (coordinate with CARIS czars for shared equipment)
Equipment David, Cynthia Keeping track of lab equipment, training needs, and maintenance. (coordinate with CARIS czars for shared equipment)
Outreach Keili Planning and organizing outreach activities outside of lab tours.
Robot island Delun Managing equipment around the robot island.

Lab Meetings

Research meetings and lab meetings help provide opportunities for communication and feedback. Students normally have regular one-on-one/subgroup meetings and less frequent long-term planning meetings with Lyndia, as well as weekly joint lab meetings with the CARIS lab. More detailed lab meeting instructions: Meetings.

Weekly Email Reports

Every Friday by noon, please send an email to Lyndia with the following information. This is both to help with planning your week, and to keep good documentation of weekly progress. This is required for graduate students, encouraged for full time undergraduate students, and optional for other students.

  1. Weekly progress
    • Be as specific as possible (e.g. conducted trial IMU and EEG experiment on March 20 with one subject, 12 headers, data available at link/directory)
    • Summarize main findings
  2. Challenges/roadblocks
    • Summarize any challenges you're facing, especially any that you need help with
  3. Goals for next week
    • Again be as specific as possible
  4. (Optional) Request for ad-hoc meeting
    • If you need to meet outside of the regular meeting to discuss anything, let Lyndia know
  5. (Optional) Anything else you'd like Lyndia or the lab to know about

Lab Funding and Finances

Currently, SimPL is mainly funded through the following external grants with Lyndia as the Principal Investigator: an NSERC Discovery grant titled ''Biomechanical dose and real-time neurophysiological response during direct and whiplash head loading in humans", a New Frontiers in Research Fund grant titled "Investigating Brain Trauma Accumulation from Subconcussive Head Impacts and Differences between Male and Female Ice Hockey Players", a Michael Smith Foundation Scholar Award titled "Investigating the Biomechanical Mechanism of Concussions in Sports", a CIHR Project titled ''A prospective and longitudinal investigation of concussive and subconcussive mild traumatic brain injury mechanisms in ice hockey", and a CFI/BCKDF JELF grant titled ''Investigating the neurophysiological effects and accumulation of subconcussive sports head impacts". These grants define the lab's funded research directions.

Research funding is always highly competitive, and each grant application could take months of hard work to complete, without guaranteed success and funding. As an example, a CIHR project grant could have only 10-15% success rate. As such, please help the lab maximize the use of limited resources in making scientific and research discoveries. In addition, please note that stipend and tuition support of lab members come from the lab's funded grants, and thus you are expected to contribute to progressing the research in these funded areas. Sometimes grant applications may also need help from students, especially if an application is related to a student's research project. Your help in generating figures and text for the application is highly appreciated and crucial to obtaining continued funding.

Senior graduate students and postdocs that have an interest in academic careers are also encouraged to talk with Lyndia, if you would like to gain more experience in grant writing. This is a key skill to succeed in academia. You can also get practice through writing your own fellowship and scholarship applications, which are essentially mini grant applications.

Purchasing Procedures

Our lab's instructions on how to purchase supplies and equipment for your research projects: Purchasing Procedures. Noting the lab funding section, please be aware of the importance of maximizing/optimizing the use of lab resources and funding.

Purchasing Wishlist here

Reimbursement Procedures

Some of the lab's purchases can be made through ECE purchasing or MECH purchasing. Please note that efforts have been made to set up the purchasing procedures such that we minimize out of pocket expenses for students.

There are some cases where students may need to make purchases and get reimbursed. For example, common scenarios are printing a research poster for an event, or getting a small item purchased quickly at a local shop. In certain cases, such as conference travel, students would need to book their own travel and get reimbursed after the trip.

Submitting claims in Workday: Currently, only those students/employees who have an active UBC appointment (e.g., GRAs, UAAs) can submit out of pocket expense reports in Workday. For detailed step-by-step instructions, please refer to the following knowledge base article found on the UBC Service Now website: https://ubc.service-now.com/selfservice?id=kb_article&sys_id=a322746b1b7e68d01cfdeac3b24bcbb0&table=kb_knowledge.

Submitting claims to MECH finance: All other students that do not have an appointment (i.e., those who are not an employee) should email their reimbursement claims to MECH Finance (send to [[1]] or [[2]]) for processing. Generally, even students/employees with active UBC appointments can also submit claims through MECH Finance instead of Workday (it may just take longer if the Finance department is busy). The MECH Finance reimbursement instructions and forms for non-travel and travel related reimbursements are on the lab server, found in the forms folder. In general, please keep good record of all receipts and proofs of payment, to avoid any administrative hassles in getting reimbursed.

Conferences and Work Related Travel

Students are encouraged to attend conferences to present your research, and network with others in the field. Below are work related travel policies.

  • Individuals who are presenting will be supported by travel on research funds with expectation that work to be presented will be submitted for journal publication around or shortly after the conference time. However, it is expected that lab members should apply for additional travel support (e.g. UBC grad student travel fund, ICICS conference support, conference-specific travel awards) to supplement research funds.
  • Given funding limitations, typically grad students and postdocs attend 1 conference per year, unless extra travel funding can be found through other sources.
  • All conference abstracts need to be submitted to Lyndia for review and approval at least 2 weeks before the abstract deadline, unless there are special circumstances.
  • After confirmation of abstract acceptance, please arrange and book your own travel.
  • Reimbursements of accommodation and flights will be according to timing and duration of the conference scientific program. If any personal arrangements (e.g. detours, extended stays) need to be made, a discussion is needed prior to booking. Additional documentation may be needed and only conference-related costs will be reimbursed.
  • Reservations should be made as far in advance as possible, ideally early enough to take advantage of any discounted conference fees/hotel rates/airfare.
  • For same-gender travelers in the lab, please share a room if possible to keep costs reasonable. You may work those details out on your own, feel free to reach out to folks from other labs or on room-share forums for the conference as well.
  • For meals you can be reimbursed for actual charges. See university policy on meal costs.Per diem is possible if the meeting/conference does not provide any meals. Please keep costs down by taking advantage of all meals provided by the conference. You will not be allowed to charge for meals provided by the conference, i.e. if the conference provides breakfast, don't submit a charge for breakfast.
  • Keep all receipts and boarding passes. Please also save the conference program and any mention of your participation.
  • Follow travel-related reimbursement instructions on the server for reimbursement.

The idea of this is to keep the reimbursement process consistent, clear, and justifiable for the project being charged.

Upcoming Conferences

Table. Upcoming Conferences
Name of Conference Notes Abstract Submission Deadline Conference Dates Conference Location Conference Link Planned Submissions/Attendance
BMES We regularly attend BMES - large biomedical engineering conference. TBD, normally early May Oct 12-15, 2022 San Antonio, USA https://www.bmes.org/annualmeeting
SB3C We regularly attend SB3C - mid-sized, more biomechanics-specific, student-friendly with more presentation award opportunities. TBD, normally Jan 15 June 20-23, 2022 Eastern Shore, Maryland https://sb3c.org/
WCB (World Congress of Biomechanics) Occurs every 4 years, large biomechanics conference. Nov. 15, 2021 July 10-14, 2022 Taipei https://www.wcb2022.com/
EMBC IEEE's large biomedical engineering conference, conf. paper opportunity available for smaller projects, less frequently attended by us. Jan 10, 2022 (paper)

Apr 1, 2022 (poster)

July 11-15, 2022 Glasgow, Scotland https://embc.embs.org/2022/
IRCOBI Injury biomechanics conference, conf. paper opportunity available, less frequently attended by us. Dec. 15 (abstract for full paper), paper due Apr 1. Apr 1 (short comm paper). Sept 14-16, 2022 Porto, Portugal http://ircobi.org/wordpress/general-information-europe/#navone
Neurotrauma More clinical, we infrequently attend unless there is a suitable project. TBD June 26-29, 2022 Atlanta, USA https://www.neurotrauma.org/NNS-Atlanta-2022
Northwest Biomechanics Symposium (NWBS) More regional biomechanics symposium, small conference, student-friendly. to be updated
Ohio State Injury Biomechanics Symposium Small student-friendly conference focused on injury biomechanics, student travel funding provided to those selected for talks. to be updated
Canadian Society of Biomechanics (CSB) Meeting Canadian biomechanics conference, every 2 years. to be updated
World Congress on Brain Injury Every 2 years, more on the clinical / translational side than engineering, less frequently attended. to be updated

Lab Server

We have a SimPL server hosted on the Mechanical Engineering server to keep files and documentation for the lab. Instructions to connect to the server can be found here: Server Setup.

  • Please follow established folder organization on the server, use meaningful file names, and provide readme documentation when appropriate.
  • Please note that we have ~100GB space on the server, and it is not meant for large data file storage. Please talk to Lyndia if you have other storage needs.

Software

Please refer to the SimPL software access page for documentation related to Arduino, Matlab, Solidworks, LS-DYNA, and CORA.

Equipment

List of equipment, their locations and current owners (so you can hunt them down!): Equipment.

Collaborations

SimPL has a number of internal and external collaborators. Below are brief descriptions of our current close collaborators. If you are interested in getting introduced to any collaborator to 1) have them as potential advisory committee members, 2) get their feedback on your related research, or 3) learn more about their work, Lyndia is happy to make the introduction so please let her know.

Dr. Peter Cripton (expertise: injury biomechanics, neck biomechanics, spinal cord injury): Dr. Cripton has an injury biomechanics lab at ICORD. He is known for his work on the Pro-Neck-Tor helmet for protecting the cervical spine, and also the CHIMERA device for animal brain injury testing.

Dr. Jean-Sebastien Blouin (expertise: sensorimotor function, human balance, vestibular function): Dr. Blouin is an expert in assessing and modeling human balance. He is known for designing and applying balance robots in understanding the neural circuitry behind balance and vestibular function.

Dr. Naz Virji-Babul (expertise: concussion EEG, resting state brain network analysis): Dr. Virji-Babul is an expert in concussion EEG assessments and analysis. Her group has found changes in brain networks of concussed patients. We have ongoing field study collaborations with UBC Varsity athletes.

Dr. Gunter Siegmund (expertise: TBI biomechanics): Dr. Siegmund is a director at MEA Forensics and also a UBC faculty member. He has extensive experience in injury biomechanics, and has set ups at MEA to model injury scenarios (e.g. sled tests, drop tests).

Dr. Alex Rauscher (expertise: myelin imaging, TBI neuroimaging): Dr. Rauscher is an expert in a novel MRI technique called myelin water imaging, which can be applied in mTBI to study subtle changes in myelin structure in the brain.

Outreach

SimPL is supportive of outreach activities. Ongoing outreach events include Teen Tuesday and SWEET at the Science World. We currently have an EEG & IMU headband demo developed by John Cookson (please reach out to John if you'd like to learn more about the demo). If you're interested in participating/leading an outreach activity, have suggestions about outreach, or want to develop a new outreach demo, please talk with Lyndia and/or the outreach czar.

Resources

Orientation Resources

Vacation Policy

Our lab's vacation policy: Vacation Policy.

Useful Links for New Students

Contact

Our lab's current people: People.