Tamara Reid Bush wins national biomechanics award

National recognition honors focus on translational research

Exceptional leadership in the specialized field of biomechanics has won another national honor for a professor in the College of Engineering at Michigan State University.

ASME’s Shannon Stott and MSU's Tamara Reid Bush.  Biomechanics award.
ASME’s Shannon Stott and MSU’s Tamara Reid Bush.

Tamara Reid Bush was awarded the Savio L-Y. Woo Translational Biomechanics Medal, one of only six recognitions presented annually by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Bioengineering Division.

The medal was established in 2015 to recognize an individual who has translated meritorious bioengineering science to clinical practice. Bush’s award was for her “career-long focus on translational biomechanics research, including recent work in thumb biomechanics and wheelchair seating that have clinical applications and will improve patient outcomes.”

“This is a very prestigious and select honor,” said Engineering Dean Leo Kempel. “It is presented for translating basic bioengineering science into new or improved medical devices or pieces of equipment. The clinical applications can include new approaches of disease or injury treatments.”

Along with being a professor of mechanical engineering at MSU, Bush is currently the associate dean for inclusion and diversity in the College of Engineering.

Find out more on her in this video, Breaking Barriers: A Mission To Help.

She has received several national recognitions in recent years. In 2021, she shared a national medal for her ongoing commitment to ASME in strategically improving gender diversity and inclusiveness within the bioengineering division. In 2021, she was also named a Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering for her success in applying fundamental tissue biomechanics to rehabilitation engineering, and for her continuous support of women in STEM.

Bush is a principal investigator on a grant sponsored by the National Science Foundation through the Partnerships for Innovation program. This work has led to the design and development of a new wheelchair for reducing the risk for pressure injuries among wheelchair users.

Bush was also a co-principal investigator on the National Science Foundation ADVANCE grant at MSU. The funding helped establish the position of Faculty Excellence Advocate across the university – a position she previously held in the college.[BT1]

She received a 2020 Founders Award from the American Society of Biomechanics in recognition of her significant research contributions in biomechanics. In 2018, she was awarded the “Inspirational Woman of the Year” honor by the MSU Center for Gender in the Global Context. In 2017, she became a Fellow of ASME.

Bush is the founding director of the Michigan State University Biomechanical Design Research Laboratory, where she and her students apply engineering techniques and principles to the human body. Specifically, they study kinetic and kinematic interactions that occur between people and devices, or during clinical procedures.

Her research interests include biomedical, mechanics of seating, hand function, musculoskeletal dysfunction, pressure ulcers, and soft tissue responses to loading.

She joined MSU as a faculty member in 2009.

This story was first published by the MSU College of Engineering

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