Biomechanics--the study of the motion and causes of motion of living things.

The Biomechanics program in the Department of Kinesiology is focused on applied biomechanics of human sport and exercise. The curriculum, resources, and faculty are all dedicated to using biomechanics to improve human movement and reduce the risk of injury.


All undergraduates are required to take the introductory biomechanics course that includes the mechanical bases of human movement and the analysis of human movement technique. Students may take an advanced biomechanics course in which they perform and report applied biomechanics research. Students who emphasize biomechanics in the master’s program complete courses in biomechanics and related areas and write a thesis.

Facilities & Equipment

The Biomechanics program is fortunate to have several areas (over 4700 square feet) dedicated to instruction and research. Two instructional areas (Yolo 124 & 119), a digitizing room, the Maglischo Research Lab (Yolo 116), and storage areas form the Biomechanics Suite. Biomechanics projects are also conducted in the Fitness Lab (2900 square feet) and other department sites.

Equipment available for student research includes:

  • Three Kistler Force Platforms and one portable Pasco 2-axis Force Platform
  • 2D and 3D Vicon (Peak) Motus Hardware and Software for Kinematic Analyses
  • Analog & Digital Video Cameras (regular 30/60 Hz and high-speed 180 and 240 Hz)
  • Four Channel Delysis EMG System
  • Biodex System 3 Pro Isokinetic Dynamometer
  • Hand dynamometers, electrogoniometers, & accelerometers
  • Math Works Matlab Software
  • Computers


The biomechanics faculty are Jackie Hudson, Ph.D., ChengTu Hsieh, Ph.D. and Melissa Mache, Ph.D. Dr. Hudson is well known for her research on basketball, jumping, and coordination. In 2007 she won the Ruth B. Glassow Award of the Biomechanics Academy. Dr. Hsieh’s research interests are volleyball, jumping, and teaching and learning in biomechanics.  Dr. Mache's research interests are the biomechanical and neuromuscular factors which contribute to the risk of knee injury, jumping, and teaching in learning in biomechanics.


Cheng Hsieh

Cheng Hsieh, Ph.D.

Office: Yolo 277
(530) 898-4329

Melissa Mache, Ph.D.

Office: Yolo 254
(530) 898-6617

Jackie Hudson

Jackie Hudson, Ph.D.

Office: Yolo 285
(530) 898-4896