Overview of scientific career
Work as an undergraduate student (2000-2005)
In 2005 Gert S. Faber received his Master’s degree at the department of Human Movement Sciences at the VU University in Amsterdam. During his study he assisted in projects investigating the effects on spinal loading of cart pushing  and of wearing a stiff lifting belt . During his research internship he studied how spinal loading was affected by different lifting techniques  and by lifting two loads beside instead of one load in front of the body  .
Work as a PhD student (2005-2010)
In June 2010, Gert received his PhD degree at the department of Human Movement Sciences at the VU University in Amsterdam. This PhD project, supervised by Prof. Jaap van Dieën and Dr. Idsart Kingma, focused on bringing the study of spinal loading during occupational manual work from the laboratory setting to the field.
In the first part of the PhD project, a study involving construction workers lifting heavy building blocks indicated that outcomes of standard lab-studies are not always generalizable to the field [5, 6, 7]. A follow-up study showed that this was caused by differences between the lab and the field in the kind of tasks that is performed as well as the work experience of the subjects .
Therefore, in the second part of the PhD project, two field studies were performed. In one study, a laboratory measurement method was applied to investigate the effect on spinal loading of movements of a ship sailing at sea . In another study, simple tapeline measurements were used to estimate the spinal loading of construction workers .
Because of significant limitations of latter methods as well as of video-based methods [11, 12] (e.g. constrained movement pattern, labor intensive nature), the applicability of new ambulatory methods to assess spinal loading in the field was explored in the last part of the PhD project. In one study, a wearable inertial sensor was used to assess the inclination of the trunk segment . In a second study, ground reaction forces were measured using instrumented force shoes . In the last study, the potential of combining these two wearable systems for assessment of spinal loading was investigated .
Beside his PhD project, Gert was involved in other studies investigating the use of an inertial sensor to measure stability of human walking  and the effect of a new lifting technique on spinal loading when lifting a bulky load .
Recently, Gert has been awarded with a 2-year Postdoctoral Fellow grant from the Harvard School of Public Health and Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety. In these two years, Gert will continue developing/validating new ambulatory measurement tools for the assessment of spinal loading at the workplace. In this project he will be working with Dr. Jack Dennerlein and Dr. Max Chang.
List of international publications
1. Hoozemans MJM, Slaghuis W, Faber GS & van Dieën JH. Cart pushing: The effects of magnitude and direction of the exerted push force, and of trunk inclination on low back loading. International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics, 2007, 37(11-12): 832-844.
2. Kingma I, Faber GS, Suwarganda EK, Bruijnen TB, Peters RJ & van Dieën JH. Effect of a stiff lifting belt on spine compression during lifting. Spine, 2006, 31(22): 833-839.
3. Kingma I, Faber GS, Bakker AJM & van Dieën JH. Can low back loading during lifting be reduced by placing one leg beside the object to be lifted? Physical Therapy, 2006, 86(8): 1091-1105.
4. Faber GS, Kingma I, Bakker AJ & van Dieën JH. Low-back loading in lifting two loads beside the body compared to lifting one load in front of the body. Journal of Biomechanics, 2009, 42(1): 35-41.
5. Faber GS, Kingma I, Kuijer PPFM, van der Molen HF, Hoozemans MJM, Frings-Dresen MHW & van Dieën JH. Working height, block mass and one- vs. two-handed block handling: the contribution to low back and shoulder loading during masonry work. Ergonomics, 2009, 52(9): 1104-1118.
6. Faber GS, Kingma I & van Dieën JH. The effects of ergonomic interventions on low back moments are attenuated by changes in lifting behaviour. Ergonomics, 2007, 50(9): 1377-1391.
7. van der Molen HF, Kuijer PPFM, Hopmans PP, Houweling AG, Faber GS, Hoozemans MJ & Frings-Dresen MH. Effect of block weight on work demands and physical workload during masonry work. Ergonomics, 2008, 51(3): 355-66.
8. Faber GS, Kingma I & van Dieën JH. Effect of initial horizontal object position on peak L5/S1 moments in manual lifting is dependent on task type and familiarity with alternative lifting strategies. Submitted.
9. Faber GS, Kingma I, Delleman NJ & van Dieën JH. Effect of ship motion on spinal loading during manual lifting. Ergonomics, 2008, 51(9): 1426-40.
10. van Dieën JH, Faber GS, Loos RC, Kuijer PP, Kingma I, van der Molen HF & Frings-Dresen MH. Validity of estimates of spinal compression forces obtained from worksite measurements. Ergonomics, 2010, 53(6): 792-800.
11. Xu X, Chang CC, Faber GS, Kingma I & Dennerlein JT. Comparing polynomial and cubic spline interpolation of segment angles for estimating L5/S1 net moment during symmetric lifting tasks. Journal of Biomechanics, 2010, 43(3): 583-586.
12. Xu X, Chang CC, Faber GS, Kingma I & Dennerlein JT. Interpolation of segment Euler angles can provide a robust estimation of segment angular trajectories during asymmetric lifting tasks. Journal of Biomechanics, in press.
13. Faber GS, Kingma I, Bruijn SM & van Dieën JH. Optimal inertial sensor location for ambulatory measurement of trunk inclination. Journal of Biomechanics, 2009, 42(14): 2406-2409.
14. Faber GS, Kingma I, Martin Schepers H, Veltink PH & van Dieën JH. Determination of joint moments with instrumented force shoes in a variety of tasks. Journal of Biomechanics, in press.
15. Faber GS, Kingma I & van Dieën JH. Bottom-up estimation of joint moments during manual lifting using orientation sensors instead of position sensors. Journal of Biomechanics, 2010, 43(7): 1432-6.
16. Bruijn SM, Ten Kate WR, Faber GS, Meijer OG, Beek PJ & van Dieën JH. Estimating dynamic gait stability using data from non-aligned inertial sensors. Annals of Biomedical Engineering, 2010, 38(8): 2588-2593.
17. Kingma I, Faber GS & van Dieen JH. How to lift a box that is too large to fit between the knees. Ergonomics, 2010, 53(10): 1228-38.