Research Assistant, Head Impact Analysis – SimPL lab

This is an undergraduate research position, made available through either the NSERC USRA or the Work Learn IUA program.

Role Details

Project Name:  Research Assistant, Head Impact Analysis – SimPL lab

Supervisor Name: Lyndia Wu, Zaryan Masood  |  Preferred Contact:

Deadline to Apply: Application procedures and timelines are different for NSERC USRA or WLIURA – visit our undergraduate Research Opportunities page for application details.

  • NSERC USRA: If you are interested and eligible, please contact Zaryan as soon as possible, at the latest by Feb. 15, 2023.
  • WL IUA: The position will be posted to UBC CareersOnline from March 13 – 26, 2023. Interested students can also contact Zaryan directly with resume and transcript by Mar 26.

Project Description

Concussions are a major public health concern, and are highly prevalent in sports participants due to repetitive head impact exposure. Athletes in contact sports such as ice hockey and American football may sustain hundreds to thousands of head impacts over each season. These impacts may not only cause acute concussions, but also may contribute to long-term neurological deficit. At the Sensing in Biomechanical Processes Lab (SimPL), we develop and apply wearable sensor technologies to collect sports head impact exposure data. By analyzing the correlation between the frequency/severity of head impacts and injury risk, we may develop injury screening/diagnostic tools to aid in prevention of brain trauma. Currently, we have established collaborations with multiple UBC sports teams and collected a head impact dataset. We are looking for a research student to process and analyze the head impact data. The student will help establish data processing pipelines and accelerate the process of identifying potential risk functions relating head impact exposure to brain injury risk.

Duties and Responsibilities May Include

  • Processing of head impact sensor data
  • Extraction of key biomechanical parameters from head impact data
  • Identifying and mitigating noise in the data
  • Analyzing the correlation between impact data and concussion risk
  • Documenting and presenting research methods and results


The student will be supervised by Dr. Lyndia Wu and senior graduate student Zaryan Masood. The student will work closely with a number of graduate students in SimPL, with the opportunities for daily interactions and communication. Students will be trained to use sensor tools and any pre-existing code for the project. In addition, the student will have access to lab computers and equipment during their work.

Special requirements (department, GPA, specific courses, year level, skills)

Preferred skills/knowledge

  • Solid background in mechanical, electrical, and software engineering. Experience with programming with MATLAB.
  • Strong organizational, communication (oral and written English) and interpersonal skills
  • Highly motivated and detail oriented
  • Experience with data collection and analysis is an asset


Students who are interested in concussion research, data analysis, and biomechanics would be a good fit for the project.

Other Information

Position duration: May-August 2023, possible to start early on volunteer/part-time basis or extend beyond this timeframe.

Total pay including award: $9K for the summer

Will you still hire for position if the student does not receive the WL IURA or NSERC USRA award?: Possible, if a good fit is demonstrated.

Lab website: Home Page | Sensing in Biomechanical Processes Lab (SimPL) (