Vicki was born and raised in Calgary, Canada, and moved to Toronto in 2005 to major in Biomedical Engineering through the University of Toronto’s Engineering Science program. After completing her degree in 2009, she moved to London, United Kingdom to pursue master’s studies in Biomedical Engineering and Neurotechnology at Imperial College London, where her research focussed on motor learning and control. She returned to U of T in 2011 for her PhD, for which she is based at the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute and is specializing in Rehabilitation Engineering. Vicki’s larger research interests are in promoting safe mobility in the community, which she is targeting through academic studies and product development. Her thesis studies involve using biomechanical and motor control approaches to analyze how healthy and balance-challenged populations use handholds in the environment to recover from balance loss, with the larger aim of recommending optimal and acceptable handrail design and installation parameters for reducing the risk of injury from a fall. Separately, she is undertaking an industrial internship through Staxi Corporation Ltd, for which she is helping to develop and evaluate two low-cost mobility aids for home and hospital use. Vicki has maintained a long interest in working with populations with disabilities and helping to empower them to achieve their goals and lead active lives. In addition to her current research and development work in mobility and home care, she helped develop a non-invasive aspirometer for assisting people with disordered swallowing to better manage their condition, through her undergraduate thesis work at the Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital. She has also served as a teaching assistant at the Providence Children’s Centre in Calgary (a preschool that integrates children with a variety of needs) and as a volunteer swim coach with Special Olympics Ontario. A sports enthusiast, Vicki is a former competitive ice hockey player and Varsity swimmer. In her free time, she enjoys kayaking, rollerblading, hiking and travelling.
Vicki will be teaching:
J-BIO MED-2 Rehabilitation Engineering: Designing for Ability