Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Degree Granting Department

Mechanical Engineering

Major Professor

Kyle B. Reed, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Seok Hun Kim, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Craig Lusk, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Tansel Yucelen, Ph.D.

Committee Member

William E. Lee III, Ph.D.


Ambulatory Assistance, Dynamic Models, Human Walking, Rehabilitation


Walking is an important determinant of human functionality. Gait disabilities affect millions of people worldwide every year. Investigating the science of walking advances recovery techniques and assistive devices for gait rehabilitation. A functional gait promotes productivity, independence, and quality of life. Human gait, like any other moving mechanism, is a dynamic system. Understanding and analyzing the dynamic aspects of gait improves the recovery methods to fundamentally affect and interact with lower limbs.

This dissertation aims to fill the gaps in mechanical simulations of gait and dynamic analysis of rehabilitation techniques. The solutions consider kinematic, kinetic, and spatiotemporal parameters of gait as a whole system. The studies analyze the asymmetric gait through both theoretical and experimental means. Asymmetry is one of the most common indexes of walking impairment. The goals of this dissertation are to develop techniques and gait models that elevate asymmetric walking performance, create walking patterns with dynamic symmetry, and design rehabilitation therapies for hemiparetic gait. This dissertation aims to revamp gait models and simulations, develop pioneering rehabilitation methods, and enhance therapeutic and assistive outcome measures.

The studies take three different but cohesive approaches to achieve these aims. The three main segments of this dissertation include a gait-altering assistive device, dynamic simulations of gait, and multiple rehabilitation interventions. The first segment introduces the Kinetic Crutch Tip (KCT), an assistive invention that enhances the performance of crutch walking. The study of KCT indicates the kinetic shape of the device creates dynamic alteration in gait by increasing positive forces and assistive range of rotation. The second segment formulates a novel method for dynamic gait modulation using double pendulums. This new model can derive equations of motion for dissimilar systems with kinematic and kinetic symmetry. The theoretical results and simulations demonstrate a new possibility for modeling asymmetric gait with symmetric outcomes. In the final segment, a multi-rehabilitation technique is developed for gait recovery training. The technique combines two prominent physical therapies; split-belt treadmill and rhythmic stimulations. The study proposes a gait response model that measures the kinematic and kinetic performance of gait under multiple stimuli.

Enhancing the science of gait biomechanics contributes to the improvement of rehabilitation techniques. The research studies in this dissertation seek to increase the existing knowledge of functional gait asymmetries and introduce dynamic approaches for alteration and modulation of gait.