Graduate Students

The Injury Biomechanics Research Center welcomes applications from outstanding students interested in pursuing graduate degrees in Mechanical Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, Anatomy and Anthropology, just to name a few.  In some cases, students interested in graduate programs in other engineering disciplines or other health-related fields may also be considered.  Information and application materials can be found at the College of Engineering, the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, and the Department of Anthropology as well as the Ohio State College of Medicine.

What to expect:

The Injury Biomechanics Research Center typically has 10 to 20 students pursuing graduate degrees. The IBRC prides itself on teamwork and readily welcomes student participation in all research and testing activities. Students will graduate from the Center not only with an advanced degree, but with knowledge of research equipment and processes that far exceed what is taught in the classroom environment.

  • Students should plan on spending a minimum of 20 hours per week on their research projects. Students are expected to set a regular schedule but should understand that there will be times when they will have to come in early or stay late in the laboratory to work on their own research as well as assist with other research in the lab.
  • Students are expected to be self-motivated and responsible for setting their own goals in order to make progress towards their degrees.
  • Graduate students are mentors for undergraduate students and should set good examples by teaching others skills that they've learned, following proper laboratory protocols and safety procedures, and keeping all lab spaces clean and orderly.

Interested graduate students should contact an IBRC Faculty member to discuss their research goals prior to applying to their desired graduate program. Students with external funding to support their graduate studies (e.g. through the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program, the NASA Graduate Student Researchers Program, or employer education programs) are strongly encouraged to apply.

Quotes from previous grad students:

Yadetsie “Niky” Zaragoza-Rivera (Biomedical Engineering), PhD – 2020

"Being part of the IBRC has been an incredible experience. As a grad-student in the lab I’ve had the opportunity and support to grow as a researcher within the injury biomechanics field. The support from faculty and peers has been invaluable; everyone is highly invested in your success and will help you achieve it. The IBRC family has shaped my path as a researcher and as an individual. I couldn’t be more grateful."

David Stark (Mechanical Engineering), PhD – 2019

"My time at the IBRC challenged me mentally and tested me emotionally, but it also prepared me to face any challenge and know that I could overcome. The students, faculty and staff of the IBRC became my 2nd family during my graduate studies and they helped me overcome every challenge I faced, and we did it as a team. My advisers and mentors at the IBRC were brilliant, supportive and engaging. They helped prepare me for the next chapter in my career. I would not be where I am now were it not for the experiences and opportunities I had while at the IBRC."

Michelle Murach (Biomedical Engineering), MS – 2017

"I started at the IBRC as a young undergraduate student eager to learn about the biomechanics of breaking bones and how to help people who are injured in car crashes. Five years later, I left the IBRC having gained not only the knowledge I originally sought, but with the ability ask a scientific question, manage a research project, and publish and share valuable results. However, the most important thing I left the IBRC with was colleagues and advisors who became lifelong friends and family, who taught me how important teamwork is to achieve everyone’s goals (#teamribforever) and supported me through all the trials of graduate school. Without the IBRC, I would not have landed my dream job – working for Transportation Research Center managing the Applied Biomechanics research team at NHTSA’s Vehicle Research and Test Center. I will always be grateful for my time as a student in the IBRC, and I’m so glad I still get to work with many of the folks in the IBRC every day!"

Michelle Schafman (Mechanical Engineering), MS – 2015

"My two years working on my Master's degree at the IBRC were the highlight of my university education. The research was interesting and impactful and the lab family was amazing. I was exposed to unique questions and research methods that ultimately helped me get my dream job working in industry on automotive safety. I currently work as a Safety Performance Engineer at General Motors. Outside of my normal work responsibilities I get the opportunity to work on more research-related side projects as a result of my education through the IBRC and my excellence in anatomy and injury biomechanics. I also return to campus a few times per year for college recruiting and we have hired other IBRC alumni into our safety departments.”