About the Motion Analysis Research Center

Student in the Motion Analysis Research Center

The Motion Analysis Research Center at Samuel Merritt University (SMU) is among the best-equipped healthcare sciences teaching and research laboratories in northern California.  It is a 2,100 ft² state-of-the-art laboratory designed to advance the study of human movement in education, research, and patient care. The Motion Analysis Research Center serves as a teaching venue for motion analysis for faculty and students from SMU’s California School of Podiatric Medicine (CSPM), Department of Occupational Therapy, Department of Physical Therapy, and Department of Nursing.

Healthcare practitioners across several fields will also use the center to study biomechanics, gait, upper and lower body movement, and the effect of treatment modalities, and apply what they learn in clinical practice for the benefit of patients.  Furthermore, the Motion Analysis Research Center will be a venue for clinical trials of new products and interventions designed to treat movement disorders.

Annual Symposium
Each November, the Motion Analysis Research Center hosts its annual two-day symposium which highlights motion analysis and clinical biomechanics in sports medicine and rehabilitation. World-class clinicians and researchers are invited to come to Samuel Merritt University to share their expertise with faculty, students, and our community partners. Opportunities for leading tutorials and workshops, and oral and poster presentations are invited. For more information, click here.

What's New at the Motion Analysis Research Center?
Click here to read the latest on the Motion Analysis Research Center News page.

The Motion Analysis Research Center is equipped with state-of-the-art equipment for measuring three-dimensional motion, forces, pressures, balance, and muscle function.  It supports the University’s teaching programs along with faculty and student research. Download the brochure for more information.

The following is a list of the physical resources available in the Motion Analysis Research Center:

  • Motion Analysis Corporation Kestral 4200 12-Camera Motion Capture System **NEW IN 2019 **
  • Xsens MVN Analyze Multi-IMU Motion Capture System **NEW IN 2019 **
  • Qualisys 9-Camera Motion Capture System, featuring Qualisys Tracking Manager (QTM) software
  • C-Motion Visual 3D
  • AMTI Force Platforms (6 x floor-mounted force platforms)
  • AMTI Instrumented Treadmill (2 x force platforms)
  • Delsys 16-Channel Wireless Electromyography (EMG) System
  • Biodex System 4 Pro Isokinetic Dynamometer
  • Novel EMED Pressure Mapping System - platform
  • Tekscan Pressure Mapping System - in-shoe
  • Protokinetics Zeno Gait Walkway - 26' walkway
  • Natus Smart Equitest
  • APDM Mobility Lab Comprehensive Gait & Balance Analysis (5 x IMUs)
  • Cosmed K5 Wearable Metabolic Testing System
  • Lumbar Motion Monitor
  • Aretech Zero-G Passive Gait Training System


Andrew (Drew) Smith, Ph.D., the director of the Motion Analysis Research Center, has more than 35 years of experience in the field of movement analysis and kinesiology and has worked internationally in academic settings, clinical settings, and research labs. His primary area of research is in gait and balance, in particular, neuromuscular control of motion across a wide spectrum of movements. Before coming to SMU, Drew was an associate professor and associate head of the Department of Health and Physical Education at The Education University of Hong Kong.

Stephen Hill, Ph.D., is the laboratory manager of the Motion Analysis Research Center, having joined SMU in December 2014.  He has over 25 years of experience in kinesiology and biomechanics of human movement.  His clinical and research work has included orthotics & prosthetics, back injury, and neurological disorders.  Before coming to SMU, Steve collaborated in, developed, and managed multidisciplinary clinical and research motion analysis labs in Canada and the US, and taught several biomechanics courses.  His primary research focus is on clinical and occupational applications of biomechanics of gait and posture.

Questions? Contact marc@samuelmerritt.edu or call 510-879-0337


To check the bookings in the Motion Analysis Research Center, click here (dailly, weekly, and monthly views available).


Thank You
The Motion Analysis Research Center was funded entirely by philanthropic support. Foundations, corporations, employees, alumni, board members and friends of Samuel Merritt University contributed to date more than $800,000 to renovate space and purchase the equipment.


November 14, 2018 is the 5th Anniversary of the Grand Opening of the Motion Analysis Research Center.  Plan to join us for a celebration of where we've been and where we're headed!

Click here to read about the Grand Opening in November 2013.

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