Photo of Alicia Gal

Alicia Gal

Contract Instructor

Degrees:PhD (Carleton University) (In Progress)

Primary field of Specialization:

Biomedical Engineering – Biomechanics / Sports Science for the sport of para-ice hockey

How I Give Back to Carleton:

Directly related to my field of research, I work with Carleton Raven’s Men’s Varsity Soccer as their biomechanics coach. I am the Chapter President and Engineering Chair for Carleton University Women in Science and Engineering (CU-WISE), and I also work in Athletics at the Fitness Centre and as a fitness instructor.

Research Interests:

My research investigates the biomechanics for the sport of para-ice hockey, commonly known as sledge hockey, for the purpose of performance enhancement, injury prevention, and equipment design. Similar to ice hockey, this para-sport is fast-paced and full body contact at the elite level. Players flip the sticks, alternating between puck control and skating. My research is first of its kind for the para-sport, and for the university itself, Carleton. By investigating various skating styles performed by naive players up to Paralympians, we are gaining knowledge and understanding to not only improve the sport as a whole, but also reduce impact and overuse related injuries to the upper limbs. My research investigations include indoor off-ice skating analysis using motion capture, force plates, electromyography (EMG), and inertial measurement units (IMUs). More recently, on-ice EMG and IMU skating, and puck control analyses. We are conducting a longitudinal review study of prior injuries to national level players in partnership with Hockey Canada, in order to gain a better understanding of the most commonly acquired injuries. From this in conjunction with sport-specific investigations, we can increase player/coaching education promoting injury prevention, rehabilitation, and performance enhancement. As this is a first of its kind research, we are also modifying/developing para-ice hockey biomechanical computer models and applications (apps), which can be used with validated biomechanial computer software, and handheld devices for real-time analysis, respectively. Finally, participation in sport provides a positive socio-economic atmosphere improving a player’s mental and physical wellbeing. As awareness for PTSD is growing, this research can be transferrable to rehabilitation programs designed to help improve the quality of life for people with disabilities.

Faculty Fun Fact:

Alicia was Athlete of the Year, and an All Academic for Lambton College while taking firefighting. She has competed in the team relay as the stair climber for the renowned Firefighter Combat Challenge. She was a captain at her local volunteer fire department for 5 of the 8 years she served, Yes, she can drive a manual firetruck, and knows how to cut you out of a car.