Stephen W. Hill

Associate Professor Manager, Motion Analysis Research Center (MARC) Adjunct Professor, College of Podiatric Medicine, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy BSc in Kinesiology, MSc in Kinesiology, PhD in Kinesiology (Biomechanics)

Programs and Courses Taught

PM 794 3rd year Biomechanics Rotation in the MARC, pilot, plan, train biomechanics data collection, processing, analysis, interpretation, assist with preparation of presentations, Aug 2017 - present.
PM 773 2nd year Biomechanics Workshop in the MARC, quantitative and qualitative gait analysis; footwear biomechanics, Oct 2017 - present.
PM 772 Biomechanics 3 (third year lecture class) Quantitative Clinical Gait Analysis.

OT 754 Capstone Project: External Mentor for Matthew Pencavel (Internal Mentor, Donna Breger Stanton) A Case Study of Lower Extremity Muscle Strength in CP, Jan – Apr 2022. 
OT 715 Scholarly Writing: Systematic Review: Motion Analysis for Occupational Therapy, with Elaina DaLomba and Donna Breger Stanton, May – Aug 2020.    
OT 615/715 Scholarly Writing, OT 622/722 Guided Research, OT 630/730 Synthesis Project: IRB-approved, SEED grant-funded study “Within-session effects of physical rehabilitation interventions for a dysfunctional arm after a stroke on arm motion and EMG”, co-taught with Prof. Donna Breger Stanton, Aug 2017 – Apr 2020, Assisted Rolando Lazaro Aug. 2016 – May 2017.

DEPARTMENT OF PHYSICAL THERAPY                        
PT 724 Functional Anatomy, Biomechanics and Kinesiology I: Zeno walkway, clinical gait analysis   
PT 726 Functional Anatomy, Biomechanics and Kinesiology II: 3D motion capture projects: 
Lead project groups in motion analysis projects: 4 upper limb projects: Spring 2016, 4 lower limb projects: Fall 2015, Fall 2018: meet with groups for project plan and design, data collection, processing, analysis, assist with interpretation for preparation of group presentations

GENED748 Neuro Bases of Posture Balance Gait, Sept-Dec 2017.

About Me

In high school, I ran cross-country and track, and did cross-country skiing. Even then, I was intrigued with fine tuning movement techniques. I have always been interested in the ways people move: walking, running, jumping, reaching, lifting, etc. I am grateful for quantitative three-dimensional motion analysis technologies in the MARC that enable us to engage students, faculty, and others to capture a wide array of objective data to analyze human physical function during many activities of daily living: motion, forces, pressures, muscle activity, strength, balance, coordination.  

I strive to highlight the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion in education, research, healthcare, the workplace, and daily life. Every individual has something important to bring to the table. Everyone deserves to be included, seen and heard, and should be encouraged to experience the joy of sharing their perspectives, approaches, knowledge, experience, skills, abilities, talents, needs, opportunities and applications... to contribute to the process, to test their ideas and understanding, and to learn by interacting with others. We can all learn from each other.



UNIVERSITY OF WATERLOO, Waterloo, Ontario Canada:

Ph.D. in Kinesiology (Biomechanics), Thesis: Recovery responses to unexpected medial / lateral trunk perturbations during over-ground locomotion.

Master of Science in Kinesiology (Biomechanics), Thesis: Corrective postural responses to unexpected posterior trunk perturbations during treadmill gait.

Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology: Biomechanics, Anatomy, Evaluation of Human Motor Performance, Sports Medicine, Movement Disorders, Psychomotor Behaviour, Ergonomics, Research Design

other courses:
Biodex System4 Sports Medicine User Workshop, Santa Ana, CA.
NeuroCom Clinical Integration Seminar, Natus Balance & Mobility Smart EquiTest platform, Mundelein, IL.
Noraxon Telemyo EMG system training, Scottsdale, AZ.

Clinical gait analysis courses: 

Teaching Interests

I thoroughly enjoy engaging students, faculty, and others from a wide variety of backgrounds and specialties in hands-on instrumented clinical biomechanics learning and research experiences. This approach prepares them to implement emerging technologies to improve quality of life. By participating in these opportunities, people can develop a deeper understanding of the underlying biomechanics of movement, which advances their ability to collaborate in interdisciplinary teams, to provide and assess physical function and healthcare interventions, as well as communicate this information to patients, families, care givers, and other concerned individuals.

Scholarly Interests

Co-Primary Investigator with Dr. Timothy Dutra DPM, An investigation of the effects of wearing customized orthotics on gait biomechanics and plantar pressures, funded by a $10,000 gift by a College of Podiatric Medicine alumnus.

Industry Partner, Master of Engineering Program, University of California Berkeley: Capstone project:  Anterior Cruciate Ligament ACL study, UCB MEng students with Professor Drew Smith of SMU, and Professor Tarek Zohdi of UC Berkeley Engineering, Sept 2022 - present.

Co-Investigator with Dr. Chia-Ding Shih DPM, MPH, MA and Dr. Chuck Starrett DPM, Long vs. Short Leg Control Ankle Motion Walker Effects on Foot Motion and Balance: A Biomechanical Analysis. Awarded $4,000 by Samuel Merritt University Faculty Research "Seed" Grant Program, Apr 2021 - present.

Co-Investigator, with Andrew Smith PhD (2020) A Comparison of the Biomechanical Performance of Two Styles of Running Shoes: IRB approved contract research ($46,625) with DECKERS OUTDOOR CORPORATION AS THE BRAND HOKA ONE ONE.


Hill, S. W., Mong, S., & Vo, Q. (2022). Three-Dimensional Motion Analysis for Occupational Therapy Upper Extremity Assessment and Rehabilitation: A Scoping Review. The Open Journal of Occupational Therapy, 10(4), 1-14.

Dutra T, Hill S (2020) Clinical Teaching Collaborative Program with California School of Podiatric Medicine and the Samuel Merritt University Motion Analysis Research Center. Top Research in Podiatry: Elsevier, Volume 37(2):263-277.

Harris-Adamson C, Lam E, Fathallah F, Tone AD, Hill S, Smith A (2019) The ergonomic impact of a mattress lift tool and bottom sheet type on hotel room cleaners while making beds. Applied Ergonomics, Volume 81, November 2019, 102880.

Gage W, Zabjek K, Hill S, McIlroy W   (2007) Parallels in control of voluntary and perturbation-evoked reach-to-grasp movements: EMG and kinematics, Experimental Brain Research, 181(4): 627-637, August, 2007.

Ettinger S, Nair P, Perfect J, Hill S, Smith A (2022) 3D Motion Capture to Determine Trunk Motion in Patient Post Hemipelvectomy with Limb Salvage. Abstract accepted for poster presentation for 2023 American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) Combined Sections Meeting (CSM), San Diego, CA, February 23-25, 2023.

Hill S, Greenspan S (2022) 3D Motion Analysis of Straddle Inversions. Greater Bay Area Working Group on Circus, Stanford University, Stanford CA, Dec 8-9, 2022.

Hill S, Shih C-D, Espinoza M, Shumway T, Smith C, Nguyen K (2022)
Long vs. Short Control Ankle Motion (CAM) Walkers:  Sagittal ankle immobilization. American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine, Oct 21-23, Seattle WA.

Hill S, Smith A, Dutra T, Duhra S, Kaur B, Ly O, Peralta S (2022) Plantar foot pressure distribution during walking & running in neutral cushioning versus stability running shoes. American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine, Oct 21-23, Seattle WA.

Smith A, Hill S, Dutra T (2022) Inter- and Intra-Rater Reliability of Oxford Foot Model Marker Placement.   International Society of Posture and Gait Research World Congress 2022, July 3-7, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

Hill S (2021) Motion Analysis: How innovation advances patient care.  Invited Instructor for 2020 wasn’t all bad: Innovations in Podiatric Care 2 CECH: Moderator: Cristian Neagu, DPM. Western Foot and Ankle Conference, June 25, Sacramento, CA.

Professional Affiliations & Memberships

Member, Gait and Clinical Movement Analysis Society (GCMAS, formerly known as North American Society of Gait and Clinical Movement Analysis), Chair of the GCMAS Standards Committee, 2017-2023.
Member, International Society for Posture and Gait Research
Member, Society for Neuroscience

Community Service

I wrote a successful Brooks Running Grant (August 2023)  to establish the SMU + Special Olympics Northern California Brooks Walking Club to bring together Special Olympics athletes and coaches with Samuel Merritt University students, faculty, and staff. Brooks provided running shoes and apparel for 50 participants.  The Walking Club launched Nov 2023 with 20+ Special Olympics athletes, 15+ Physical Therapy students, 10+ Podiatry students.

Faculty volunteer for Special Olympics, Northern California, Healthy Athletes Program: Fit Feet with Dr. Tim Dutra DPM: mentor first, second, third year Podiatry students in gait assessments and recommendations for Special Olympics athletes

Presenter, hands-on biomechanics learning experiences in the Motion Analysis Research Center for Oakland community high school and college students

Presenter, mentor for Jackson Orthopedic Foundation undergraduate interns: Quantitative Motion Analysis for teaching, research, clinical diagnostic testing, and rehabilitation

Journal Article Reviewer: Journal of Biomechanics, Gait and Posture, JMIR Rehabilitation and Assistive Technologies, Simulation: Transactions of the Society for Modeling and Simulation International, Science and Medicine in Football, Journal of the American Podiatric Medical Association

Inserts for Diabetic Footwear: ANSI.ABMSPSDO®ASN-001-2018, American National Standard for Presentation to the American Board of Multiple Specialties in Podiatry Standards Development Organization National Standards Board.

Member, SMU Faculty Organization Research Committee (FORC), September 2021-present.
Co-chair with Rhea Kimpo, PhD, SMU Faculty Development Committee Sept 2018 - Sept 2020.

Learn 5 easy steps for preventing falls 
A public service announcement video posted on SMU Facebook page 
Falls Prevention Awareness Day, Sept 22, 2016
Mirrored on YouTube:

Honors & Awards

2019 Faculty of the Year Award from Samuel Merritt University Student Body Association

University of Waterloo Graduate Scholarships