NATICK, Mass. (March 2, 2017) -- The U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine, or USARIEM, whose mission is to optimize warfighter health and performance through military medical research, was featured in the new TV program "Science Works!," which aired at 8 a.m. Feb. 24 on the Science Channel.
Dr. Rebecca Fellin, a biomechanical engineer from USARIEM's Military Performance Division, or MPD, was filmed in January in the Center for Military Biomechanics Research at Natick Soldier Systems Center, or NSSC, in Massachusetts.
"I was glad to share some of my research with 'Science Works!,'" Fellin said. "It is important for USARIEM to tell the story of our scientific research to kids and adults in an engaging way for them to know there are numerous scientific research opportunities in the military, not just for Soldiers but also civilians."
In the Center for Military Biomechanics Research, Fellin took television viewers behind the scenes of Army science to showcase the technology USARIEM researchers use to improve performance and prevent injury in warfighters.
Onscreen, USARIEM's Spc. Alexis Gonzalez, equipped in female body armor (developed at NSSC) and wearing reflective, spherical markers on her body, walked along the center's treadmill. Underneath the treadmill, "fancy bathroom scales, or force plates," as Fellin described, detected the force going through Gonzalez's body. Multiple cameras surrounding the treadmill captured Gonzalez's movements by tracking the reflective markers on her knees, feet, waist and shoulders.
With this technology, USARIEM researchers see where and how Soldiers' bodies move, while wearing different types of body armor and performing easy to hard work. According to Fellin, biomechanics can not only be used in sports to measure performance and exercise, but it can also be used by USARIEM for injury research.
"Biomechanics can help understand causes of injuries, which in turn, can be used to help prevent injuries," Fellin said. "By decreasing the rate of injuries, Soldier readiness improves."
"Science Works!" is a "virtual field trip" that brings students and lifelong learners of all ages behind the scenes of some of the most interesting Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, or STEM, careers, vividly affirming that math and science are not just for the classroom.
USARIEM's mission is to optimize Soldier health and performance through medical research, in part by developing guidance for military leadership, to prevent performance decrements and musculoskeletal injuries and build and sustain a healthy and resilient force.
"Army science is a fun and exciting field," Fellin said. "We have a chance to see the results of our research that have a meaningful impact on our warfighters."
Find the Science Channel on channels 82, 141 and 1265 on Spectrum (formerly Bright House Networks). It is available on channel 193 on Dish Network, 284 on DirecTV, and 258 and 1258 on AT&T U-verse.