Koen Dwarshuis wins TGS Award

| Michaela Nesvarova

This year’s Twente Graduate School (TGS) award goes to Koen Dwarshuis for his research on flexible musculoskeletal models. The student of Mechanical Engineering received the award today during the Opening of the Academic Year ceremony.

Photo by: Arjan Reef

The TGS award is given to one excellent UT Master’s student who has the ambition to pursue a PhD trajectory at TGS. Koen Dwarshuis won thanks to his project titled ‘The integration of flexible bodies in musculoskeletal models’.

‘The goal of my research project is to develop models of human bodies and the human gait,’ explains Dwarshuis. ‘Such models are already used in medical practice, for example, but I want to improve them, make them flexible instead of rigid.’ Specifically, the research will focus on modelling the foot, as the foot is one of the most challenging and important parts to model.

Personalized health care

Dwarshuis’s project aims to develop patient-specific musculoskeletal models, which could be applied in biomechanical industry and most importantly in personalized health care – the models can be used to predict how the locomotion of a person will be affected by surgery and prostheses. ‘It will allow us to scan the patient and make a personalized model. That can, for instance, help us decide if and what type of surgery the patient needs,’ clarifies the TGS award winner.

Besides its medical application, the research will help to understand the general functioning of the foot. And although it focuses on the foot, the project also aims for ‘the development of an approach to model part-specific flexible bodies (e.g. the foot) and the integration of these bodies in a complete model (e.g. a model of the whole human body)’, as is stated in Koen Dwarshuis’s research proposal.

Cheque for € 2,500

Every winner of the TGS award receives a cheque of 2,500 euros. Does Dwarshuis have any plans for this money? ‘Not yet,’ he says. ‘I was very surprised to win, because there were two other very nice proposals in the mix. However, getting this money is a great opportunity for me, because now I will be able to, for example, go to an important conference or a workshop.’