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news News Monday, April 22, 2019 Monday, April 15, 2019 6:25 PM - Monday, April 15, 2019 6:25 PM

Bruce MacWilliams, Ph.D., leader in motion analysis

Bruce MacWilliams, Ph.D., leader in motion analysis

Bruce MacWilliams, Ph.D., is the director of the motion analysis center at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Salt Lake City and serves on the board of directors as past president of the Gait and Clinical Movement Analysis Society (GCMAS).

Dr. MacWilliams spent a decade earning three degrees at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, and also earned a postdoctoral fellowship at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. He joined Shriners Hospitals for Children — Salt Lake City in 1996. Since then, he and his team have provided comprehensive motion analysis studies for over 3,600 children. These analyses help patients’ medical teams make more informed decisions regarding treatment plans.

In addition to his local work and national leadership in the field of motion analysis, Dr. MacWilliams serves as an editorial board member for Gait and Posture, the official journal of the GCMAS. He was also program chair for the 2010 joint meeting of the European Society of Movement Analysis for Adults and Children and GCMAS.

An associate professor of orthopaedics at the University of Utah, Dr. MacWilliams has directed students and published 49 peer-reviewed papers.

Dr. MacWilliams’ interest in orthopaedic biomechanics began as early as he can remember, though at a young age he didn’t know there was a name for it. “I always enjoyed biology and physics, and this was a natural combination of the two.”

Dr. MacWilliams said he prefers to work in the relative anonymity of his lab, which is located in the lower level of the hospital. His favorite part of the job is collaborating with surgeons and therapists, allowing him to work with patients' clinical problems, which is something rare for an engineer.

Keeping the technology up-to-date and at peak performance is a big priority for Dr. MacWilliams. He oversaw the lab’s upgrade in 2016, which included a major motion capture hardware update. This included two additional cameras which were positioned to enhance foot modeling capabilities. The cameras also went from visible red strobe to infrared. Additionally, all force plates and amplifiers have been replaced.

Shriners Hospitals for Children — Salt Lake City Chief of Staff Kristen L. Carroll, M.D., appreciates Dr. MacWilliams' tremendous knowledge and the assistance he offers to the orthopaedic surgeons in interpreting gait lab results. On a daily basis, these interpretations help clarify the choice of therapy and surgical interventions with children. “We are pleased and proud to have such a dedicated and accomplished biomechanical engineer and orthopaedic specialist here at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Salt Lake City,” said Dr. Carroll.

Doctor MacWilliams working on a camera in the lab