Brian R. Umberger

University of Massachusetts Amherst Kinesiology faculty Brian Umberger
Associate Professor
107 Totman Building


B.S., Central Connecticut State University, 1993; M.S., Springfield College, 1997; Ph.D., Arizona State University, 2003

Area(s) of Specialization: 

Biomechanics; Energetics; Computer Simulation

Research Description: 

The goal of Dr. Umberger’s research is to advance our understanding of the mechanics, energetics, and control of bipedal locomotion. He studies basic and clinical aspects of locomotion in humans and other bipeds, using a combination of experimental and computer modeling techniques. Much of his research is focused specifically on how the mechanical and energetic properties of skeletal muscles influence human movement.

Key Publications: 

Umberger BR & Miller RH. (2017). Optimal control modeling of human movement. In B Müller & SI Wolf (Eds.), Handbook of Human Motion. Berlin: Springer. 1-22.

O’Neill MC, Umberger BR, Holowka NB, Larson SG & Reiser PJ. (2017). Chimpanzee ‘super strength’ and human skeletal muscle evolution. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 114, 7343-7348.

Lee, L-F & Umberger BR. (2016). Generating optimal control simulations of musculoskeletal movement with OpenSim and MATLAB. PeerJ 4, e1638.

O'Neill MC, Lee L-F, Demes B, Thompson NE, Larson SG, Stern JT Jr & Umberger BR. (2015). Three-dimensional kinematics of the pelvis and hind limbs in chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) and human bipedal walking. Journal of Human Evolution 86, 32-42.

Umberger BR, Augsburger S, Resig J, Oeffinger D, Shapiro R & Tylkowski C. (2013). Generation, absorption, and transfer of mechanical energy during walking in children. Medical Engineering & Physics 35, 644-651.

Umberger BR & Rubenson J. (2011). Understanding muscle energetics in locomotion: new modeling and experimental approaches. Exercise and Sport Sciences Reviews 39, 59-67.