Tilak Dutta

Tilak Dutta

Tilak is a Scientist at TRI and leads the Home and Community Team. He completed his PhD in Mechanical Engineering in 2012 at the University of Toronto focused on preventing back injury in caregivers (Two resulting papers can be found here.) The video below is targeted at caregivers to give them a better understanding of how back injuries happen and how they can prevent them in their day-to-day work. This work as included developing new materials for training healthcare workers  and new equipment for making their work safer such as SlingSerter.

His past work includes studies of scooter maneuverability to make recommendations for changes to building codes as well as the design of anti-collision systems for power wheelchairs to give more wheelchair users greater independence. More recently, Tilak has also turned his attention to footwear slip-resistance testing on ice and snow. His goal is to provide consumers with ratings that define how well the footwear works on snow and ice so that we can all make more informed purchases.

Another theme in Tilak’s work includes finding ways to measure things in the real world rather than in the lab. During his PhD, he measured patient handling activities in the clinical environment. He has evaluated the Microsoft Kinect to see if it can be used as a portable motion capture tool in the workplace for performing biomechanical studies. This paper is currently (as of November 2016) the most cited article from Applied Ergonomics and has been cited over 250 times. It is described here:

Finally, Tilak wants to change the way engineering design is taught to students. Design requires testing out ideas to see if they will work and to keep trying when they do not. Typical courses don’t give students enough time to test iterations of prototypes. Tilak incorporates design within students’ graduate projects.

Here is a list of his patents, appointments, grants and papers:

SlingSerter – King EC, Sobchak AM, Griggs GT, Fernie GR, Wilcox PJ, and Dutta T. Lifting Assist Device. US Patent 8,403,299 B2 Filed Jan 26 2012, published Jul 19 2012, granted/issued Mar 26, 2013.

RoboNurse – Fernie GR, Sobchak AM, Dutta T, Smyth TD, Chin C. Patient Lift and Positioning System, and Adjustable Components Thereof. US Patent Application No. US61/728,689 filed 20 November 2012.

Anti-collision wheelchair – Griggs GT, Dutta T and Fernie GR. Powered wheelchair. US provisional application, filed 9 September 2008; US patent application #12/585,250, filed 9 September 2009.

SlingSerter – King EC, Sobchak AM, Griggs GT, Dutta T, Fernie GR and Wilcox PJ. Lifting Assist Device. US provisional patent application #60/924,318 filed 9 May, 2007; PCT patent application #CA2008/000929 and US patent application #12/149,845, filed 8 May 2008.

Scientist, Team Leader – Home and Community Team

iDAPT Centre for Rehabilitation Research
Toronto Rehabilitation Institute – UHN

Assistant Professor (Status only)
Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department
University of Toronto

Assistant Professor (Status only)
Graduate Department of Rehabilitation Sciences
University of Toronto

Assistant Professor (Status only)
Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering
University of Toronto

Selecting slip-resistant footwear for workers to use outdoors in winter
Principal Investigator: Dutta T
Co-Lead: Fernie G
Co-investigator: Holyoke P, Perry S,
Ministry of Labour (Ontario) – Research for the Workplace (R4W)
$228,365 CAD
June 2016 – May 2018

Wearable caregiver posture coaching feedback system
Principal Investigator: Dutta T
Strategic Investment Program: $25,000 CAD
April 2016 – March 2017

Pressure ulcer prevention: a novel prompting system for patient repositioning
Principal Investigator: Dutta T
Co-investigator: Fernie G
Canadian Institutes of Health Research
Proof of Principle: Phase I $137,401 CAD
April 2016 – March 2017

Evaluation of winter footwear: comparison of test methods
Principal Investigator: Gauvin C
Co-investigators: Dutta T, Li Y, Pearsall D
Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et en sécurité du travail
$58,315 ($34,230 – held at TRI) CAD
January 2016 – June 2017

Reinventing the Wheel: A Think Tank to Optimize Community Mobility for Older Adults
Principal Investigator : Paula Gardner
Co-investigators: Alvaro C, Rudman D, Treviranus J, Dutta T
Canadian Institutes of Health Research
May 2016 – April 2017

RERC on Universal Design in the Built Environment
Principal Investigator: Ed Steinfeld
Co-investigators: (from TRI) Fernie G, Novak A and Dutta T
Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center
$200,000 USD sub-award held at TRI
November 2015 – October 2020

Field measurement of ergonomic stressors experienced by community-based PSWs
Principal Investigator: King E
Co-investigators: Callaghan J, Kulic D; Dutta T
Centre of Research Expertise for the Prevention of Musculoskeletal Disorders
$9,900 CAD
September 2015 – April 2016

Identifying risk factors for injury in community-based PSWs and potential interventions for injury prevention
Principal Investigator: Jaglal S
Co-Lead: Dutta T
Co-investigator: King E; Holyoke P; Kajaks T
Ministry of Labour (Ontario) – Research for the Workplace (R4W)
$225,000 CAD
May 2015 – April 2017

An innovation for relocating a toilet to ease access for the frail elderly at homecare in the home
Principal Investigator: Dutta T
Co-investigators: Fernie G
Technology Evaluation in the Elderly Network
$19,949 CAD
March 2015 – April 2016

Wearable caregiver posture coaching feedback system
Principal Investigator: Dutta T
Co-investigators: Fernie G, Ray K
Technology Evaluation in the Elderly Network
$19,588 CAD
March 2015 – July 2016

Shining the light on the physical challenges of providing care in the home
Principal Investigator: Dutta T
Co-investigators: King E, Ray K, Kajaks T, Beaton D, Cameron J
Women’s Xchange $14,980 CAD
January 2015 – July 2016

Preventing back injury in nurses
Principal Investigator: Dutta T
Collaborators: Geoff Fernie and David Wong
Workplace Safety and Insurance Board funded $39, 850 CAD
Bridging the Gap grant # 12121
April 2013 – May 2014

Ford, Daniel; Ortega, Theodoce; Kajaks, Tara; Longfield, Amanda, Dutta T, 2016. PostureCoach: A pilot study of a wearable,real-time posture coaching system. Applied Ergonomics. Submitted.

Anwer A, Bagheri ZS, Fernie G, Dutta T, Naguib HE. (2016). Evolution of the Coefficient of Friction with Surface Wear for Advanced Surface Textured Composites. Advanced Materials Interfaces. Submitted.

Semple M, Kajaks T, Orozco F, Prout EC, Dutta T, 2016. PostureCoach: Validation of a wearable movement-basedfeedback system for reducing risk of back injury. Applied Ergonomics. Submitted.

Eftekhar P, Mochizuki G, Dutta T, Richardson D, Brooks D, 2016. Goal Attainment Scaling in Individuals with Upper Limb Spasticity Post Stroke. Occupational Therapy International. In Press.

Rizvi R, Anwer A, Fernie G, Dutta T, Naguib H, 2016. Multifunctional Textured Surfaces with Enhanced Friction and Hydrophobic Behaviors Produced by Fiber De-bonding and Pullout. ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces. Online before print

Eftekhar P, Li MH, Semple MJ, Richardson D, Brooks D, Mochizuki G, Dutta T, 2016. Implementation of kinematic upper-limb spasticity assessment (KUSA): a case series. Disability and Rehabilitation. Submitted.

King E, Callaghan J, Boscart, Weiss B, Dutta T, Fernie G, 2016. Assisting frail seniors with toileting in a home bathroom: Approaches used by home care providers. Journal of Applied Gerontology. Revision Requested.

Hsu J, Li Y, Dutta T, and Fernie G, 2015. Maximum achievable inclines for footwear while walking on icy slopes and cross-slopes. Applied Ergonomics, 50: 218-225.

Rizvi R, Naguib H, Fernie G and Dutta T, 2015. High friction on ice provided by elastomeric fiber composites with textured surfaces. Appied Physics Letters, 106(11): 11-16.

Dutta T, Fernie GR, 2014. Outcomes rather than outputs: Collaborative closed-loop design and commercialization. Technology Transfer and Entrepreneurship, 1(1): 9-14.

Hsu J, Shaw R, Li Y, Novak A, Dutta T, Ormerod M, Newton R, and Fernie G, 2014. Slip resistance of winter footwear on snow and ice measured using maximum achievable incline. Ergonomics, in-press.

Hsu J, Li Y, Dutta T, and Fernie G. 2014. Comparison of footwear slip resistance measurement parameters to gait on icy surfaces. Industrial Health, submitted.

Hsu J, Denbeigh K, Li Y, Dutta T, and Geoff Fernie, 2014. Footwear and anti-slip device testing in simulated winter conditions, Industrial Ergonomics, submitted.

Vena D, Novak A, Dutta T, King E, Fernie G, 2015. The evaluation of vertical pole configuration and location on assisting the sit-to-stand movement in older adults with mobility limitations. Assistive Technology, in press.

Dutta T, Holliday, PJ, Gorski SM, Baharvandy MS, Fernie GR, 2014. A biomechanical assessment of sling insertion using one or two caregivers for patient transfers. Applied Ergonomics, accepted with minor revsions.

Dutta T, 2014. Spine shrinkage and cumulative load during sitting and standing. Theoretical Issues in Ergonomics Science, 15 (6) pp. 636-646.

Dutta T, 2012. Evaluation of the KinectTM sensor for 3-D kinematic measurement in the workplace. Applied Ergonomics, 43, 645-649.

Dutta T, Holliday, PJ, Gorski SM, Baharvandy MS, Fernie GR, 2012. A biomechanical assessment of floor and overhead lifts using one or two caregivers for patient transfers. Applied Ergonomics, 43, 521-531.

Dutta T, Holliday PJ, Gorski SM, Baharvandy MS, Fernie GR, 2011. The effects of caregiver experience on low back loads during floor and overhead lift maneuvering activities. International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics 41, 653-660.

King EC, Dutta T, Gorski SM, Holliday PJ, Fernie GR,  2011. Design of Built Environments to Accommodate Mobility Scooter Users: Part II.  Disability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology 6(5), 432-439.

Wang RH, Mihailidis A, Dutta T, Fernie GR. 2011. Usability testing of a multimodal feedback interface on a simulated collision-avoidance power wheelchair for long-term care home residents with cognitive impairments. Journal of Rehabilitation Research and Development.  48(6), 801-822.

Dutta, T, King EC, Holliday PJ, Gorski SM, and Fernie GR. 2011. Design of Built Environments to Accommodate Mobility Scooter Users: Part I. Disability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology. 6(1), 67-76.

Dutta T, Fernie GR, 2005. Utilization of ultrasound sensors for anti-collision systems of powered wheelchairs, IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering. 13(1), 24-32.