Mike Poval 

Associate Professor
Oregon State Universtiy
Biological and Popullation Health Sciences


Email: mike.pavol@oregonstate.edu

Phone: (541) 737-5928

Address: School of Biological and Population Health Sciences 230 Langton Hall Oregon State University Corvallis, OR 97331

Website: health.oregonstate.edu/people/pavol-mike


Dr. Pavol’s primary expertise is in biomechanics.  His education includes B.S. and M.Eng. degrees in Computer & Systems Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from The Ohio State University.  He was also a post-doctoral research associate in the departments of Physical Therapy at Northwestern University and the University of Illinois at Chicago.  Prior to his doctoral studies, Dr. Pavol worked as an industrial control systems engineer for Texas Instruments.  Dr. Pavol came to Oregon State University in 2002 and is an Associate Professor in the Kinesiology program of the College of Public Health and Human Sciences.  He teaches courses in biomechanics and research methods.  Dr. Pavol’s main research foci are on preventing falls and fall-related fractures in older adults and reducing the risks of injury during manually-assisted transfers of people with disabilities. Experimental and mathematical modeling approaches are used.  Sources of funding for this research have included the U.S. Department of Education.  Other past research has been related to sports injuries and locomotion by people with disabilities.  Dr. Pavol is a member of the American Society of Biomechanics.

Research Interest 

  • Preventing falls and fall-related fractures in older adults
    • Neuromechanics of balance recovery
    • Exercise for bone health
  • Safer transfers of people with mobility disabilities to or from a wheelchair

Current, Recent, and Upcoming HCD Courses

  • KIN 523 – Biomechanics of Motor Activities – 3 Credits – Winter 2018
  • KIN 575 – Research in Human Movement – 3 Credits – Spring Term annually
  • BIOE 599 – Physiology for Engineers – 4 Credits – Winter 2018


Location: 15 Women's Building
Phone Number: (541) 737-5933
Website: TBD
Research Equipment and Software:

  • Motion capture system (OptiTrack)
  • 3 force platforms (Bertec)
  • Electromyography and neural stimulation systems (Noraxon, Biopac, Grass)
  • Isokinetic dynamometer (Biodex)
  • Smart Balance Master (Neurocom)
  • Data collection and analysis software (MotionMonitor, OptiTrack, Vicon, LabView, Biopac, AnyBody, MATLAB)

Current Projects

  • Effects of Better Bones and BalanceTM on voluntary and reactive stepping
  • Effect of angle of pull and trunk position on spinal loading during a row exercise
  • Identifying different types of fallers through gait analysis
  • Techniques for transfers between a wheelchair and motor vehicle

Selected Publications

  • Kadono, N., & Pavol, M.J. (2013).  Effects of aging-related losses in strength on the ability to recover from a backward balance loss.  Journal of Biomechanics, 46, 13-18.
  • Pai, Y.C., Bhatt, T., Wang, E., Espy, D., & Pavol, M.J. (2010).  Inoculation against falls: rapid adaptation by young and older adults to slips during daily activities.  Archives of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, 91, 452-459.
  • Kipp, K., & Pavol, M.J. (2008).  Effects of the seat armrest and assistive devices on trunk kinematics during dependent transfers on an aircraft.  In Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, 52nd Annual Meeting.
  • Philbrick, K.A., & Pavol, M.J. (2008).  Spatial consumption and kinematics for an assisted transfer in an aircraft lavatory.  In Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, 52nd Annual Meeting.