kurt manal

kurt manal

Research Assistant Professor

Office Location:
201J Health Sciences Complex

Research Interests

My research interests integrate motion analysis, electromyography (EMG) and musculoskeletal modeling to quantify muscle and joint mechanics of normal and pathological movement. The very nature of this work is highly interdisciplinary and I have been fortunate to work with outstanding collaborators at the University of Delaware. My research strengths and areas of greatest interest include model development and implementation of musculoskeletal models to address clinically relevant questions. Our modeling work and collective efforts have maintained a well-established and productive line of research contributing to the orthopaedic-biomechanics literature and research communities.

I also have a passion for assistive technologies designed specifically for people with paralysis. 


  • Post-doctoral Associate (2002) Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Delaware
  • Ph.D. (1998) Biomechanics & Movement Science, University of Delaware
  • B.S. (1988) Exercise Science, University of Massachusetts

Professional Experience

  • 9/18 to present Research Assistant Professor
    Department of Kinesiology and Applied Physiology
  • 4/03 to 8/18 Research Assistant Professor
    Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Delaware
  • 7/04 to 6/08 Director
    Center for Biomedical Engineering Research, University of Delaware
  • 6/02 to 4/03 Associate Scientist
    Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Delaware
  • 9/98 to 6/02 Post-doctoral Associate
    Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Delaware
  • 9/93 to 9/98 Research Assistant
    Biomechanics & Movement Science Program, University of Delaware

    8/92 to 8/93 Laboratory Engineer
    Human Movement Laboratory, Sainte-Justine Hospital Montreal


Representative Manuscripts

My research integrates aspects of kinesiology and engineering to investigate muscle and joint mechanics of normal and pathological movement. The following papers are representative of my research directed at clinical gait analysis, methodological & algorithmic development, and applications of EMG-driven musculoskeletal modeling.

  • Manal K, McClay IS, Stanhope SJ, Richards J and Galinat B: Comparison of surface mounted markers and attachment methods in estimating tibial rotations during walking: An in vivo study. Gait & Posture, 11(1):38-45, 2000
  • Manal, K. and Buchanan, T.S. A one-parameter neural activation to muscle activation model: Estimating isometric joint moments from electromyograms. Journal of Biomechanics,36, 1197-1202, 2003.
  • Guo, M. & Manal, K. The Influence of Foot Progression Angle on the Knee Adduction Moment during Walking and Stair Climbing in Pain Free Individuals with Knee Osteoarthritis. Gait & Posture, 26(3): 436-441, 2007.
  • Manal K, Gravare-Silbernagel K, Buchanan TS. A Real-time EMG-driven Musculoskeletal Model of the Ankle. Multibody Syst Dyn, 2012, 28(1-2):169-80, 2011.
  • Manal K. & Buchanan T.S. An Electromyogram-Driven Musculoskeletal Model of the Knee to Predict In Vivo Joint Contact Forces During Normal and Novel Gait Patterns J. Biomech. Eng. 2013, Volume 135, Issue 2, http://dx.doi.org/10.1115/1.4023457
  • Manal K, Gardinier E, Buchanan TS, Snyder-Mackler L. A more informed evaluation of medial compartment loading: the combined use of the knee adduction and flexor moments. Osteoarthritis & Cartilage. 2015 Jul;23(7):1107-11. doi: 10.1016/j.joca.2015.02.779. Epub 2015 Apr 8. PMID:25862486


2012 American Society of Mechanical Engineers Grand Challenge to Predict In Vivo Knee Forces