David Hawkins

image of David Hawkins



Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior

Offices and Labs

275 Hickey Gym
(530) 752-2748

Profile Introduction

I am a mechanical/biomedical engineer by academic training with an interest in the mechanics of human movement and physical performance. My goal is to develop tools and interventions that facilitate people maintaining health and physical performance capabilities throughout their lifespan.


1990 PhD (Biomedical Engineering) University of California, Davis
1985 MS (Biomedical Engineering) University of California, San Diego
1984 CERT (Biomedical Engineering) University of California, Irvine
1983 BS (Mechanical Engineering) California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

Research Contribution

The nature of the research conducted in the Human Performance Laboratory has direct applications to many people. Our research is leading to improved Injury Prevention Strategies for young athletes and new technologies to monitor and prescribe customized physical activity interventions for people of varying fitness and health states.

Research Interests

My research objectives are to understand the mechanisms that influence the performance of skeletal muscle and gross human movement, and to develop tools based on this information that can be used to increase human quality of life by increasing physical performance capabilities while minimizing the risk of injury.


International Society of Biomechanics 1999 Calgary Award in the Area of Muscle Biomechanics

Department and Center Affiliations

Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior


American College of Sports Medicine
American Society of Biomechanics

Specialties / Focus

Exercise Science
  • Biomechanics

Graduate Groups not Housed in CBS

Biomedical Engineering


Human Performance Laboratory
  • Amber Sorensen Van-Cleave

Teaching Interests

During the academic year I am responsible for three courses, one graduate and two undergraduate. The graduate course deals with skeletal muscle structure and function (EXS/BIM 228). One undergraduate course (EXB 103) is a core class for EXB majors and provides an introduction to biomechanics and human movement analysis. The focus of the other undergraduate class (EXB/BIM 126) is tissue mechanics (bone, ligaments, tendons, cartilage, nerve and muscle). I developed both the 126 and 228 classes and have written text books for both of these classes that I provide to the students on-line.


BIM/EXB 126 Tissue Mechanics (Winter)
EXB 103 Intro to Human Movement (Spring)
BIM/EXS 228 Muscle Mechanics (Fall)


4/17/2014 8:40:30 AM
  • Coolbaugh CL, Raymond Jr SC, Hawkins DA Feasibility of a Dynamic Web Guidance Approach for Personalized Physical Activity Prescription Based on Daily Information From Wearable Technology. JMIR Res Protoc 2015;4(2):e67.  URL: http://www.researchprotocols.org/2015/2/e67/  doi:10.2196/resprot.3966

  • Symons, Jennifer E., Fyhrie, David P., Hawkins, David A., Upadhyaya, Shrinivasa K., Stover, Susan M., Modeling equine race surface vertical mechanical behaviors in a musculoskeletal modeling environment, Journal of Biomechanics, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jbiomech.2015.01.006

  • Hawkins, D Biomechanics, Training & Injury Prevention:  Considerations for the Taekwondo Youth Athlete. Journal of the International Association of Taekwondo Research 1(1):1-8, 2014.

  • Neugebauer JM, Collins KH, Hawkins DA  Ground Reaction Force Estimates from ActiGraph GT3X+ Hip Accelerations. PLoS ONE 9(6): e99023. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0099023, 2014

  • Coolbaugh, C.L.  and Hawkins, D.  Standardizing Accelerometer-Based Activity Monitor Calibration and Output Reporting.  Journal of Applied Biomechanics. Aug;30(4):594-7, 2014.

    doi: 10.1123/jab.2013-0240. Epub 2014 Jun 30.

  • Hawkins, D., Lum, C.,Gaydos, D., and Dunning, R. Dynamic creep and pre-conditioning of the Achilles tendon in-vivo, Journal of Biomechanics, 42(16): 2813-2817, 2009.
  • Urlando, A. and Hawkins, D. Achilles Tendon Adaptation During Strength Training in Young Adults. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 39(7): 1147–1152, 2007.
  • Burry, M.. Hawkins, D. and Spangenburg, E. Lengthening contractions differentially affect p70(s6k) phosphorylation compared to isometric contractions in rat skeletal muscle, European Journal of Applied Physiology. 100(4):409-415, 2007.
  • Koehler, C.L. Stover, S.M., LeCouteur, R.A., Schulz, K.S., and Hawkins, D.A., Effect of ventral slot procedure and of smooth or positive-profile threaded pins with polymethylmethacrylate fixation on intervertebral biomechanics at treated and adjacent canine cervical vertebral motion units, American Journal of Veterinary Research, 66(4):678-687, 2005.
  • Nevens, A. L., Stover, S., Hawkins, D. Evaluation of the passive function of the biceps brachii muscle-tendon unit in limitation of shoulder and elbow joint ranges of motion in horses. American Journal of Veterinary Research, 66(3):391-400, 2005.
  • Swanstrom, M.D., Zarucco, L., Hubbard, M, Stover, S.M, Hawkins, D.A. Musculoskeletal modeling and dynamic simulation of the Thoroughbred equine forelimb during the stance phase of the gallop. Journal of Biomechanical Engineering, 127:318-328, 2005.
  • Swanstrom, M.D., Zarucco, L., Stover, S.M., Hubbard, M., Hawkins, D., Driessen, B., and Steffey, E.P., Passive and Active Mechanical Properties of the Superficial and Deep Digital Flexor Muscles in the Forelimbs of Anethetized Thoroughbred Horses. Journal of Biomechanics. 38(3): 579-586, 2005.
  • Dellanini, L., Hawkins, D., Martin, R.B., and Stover, S. An Investigation of the Interactions Between Lower Limb Bone Morphology, Limb Inertial Properties and Limb Dynamics. Journal of Biomechanics. 36:913-919, 2003.
  • Page, P.N. and Hawkins, D.A. A Real-Time Biomechanical Feedback System for Training Rowers. Sports Engineering.6(2):67-80, 2003.
  • Baudouin, A., and Hawkins D. A Biomechanical Review of Factors Affecting Rowing Performance. British Journal of Sports Medicine. Dec;36(6):396-402, 2002.
  • Hawkins, D. A review of the technologies and methodologies used to quantify muscle-tendon structure and function. Chp 6 in Musculoskeletal Models and Techniques,Volume III of Biomechanical Systems Techniques and Applications. CRC Press. New York, New York, 2001, pp.6.1-6.23
  • Hawkins, D, and Metheny, J. Overuse injuries in youth sports: Biomechanical considerations. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exericse. 33(10):1701-1707, 2001.
  • Hawkins, D, and Barr, A. A computational approach for simulating muscle morphologic changes in musculoskeletal modeling. Computer Methods in Biomechanics and Biomedical Engineering. 4/5:399-411, 2001.
  • Hawkins, D, A non-invasive approach for studying muscle-tendon interactions in-vivo. Chapter 18 in Skeletal Muscle Mechanics: From Mechanisms to Function. Edited by Walter Herzog, John Wiley and Sons, New York, N.Y. 2000.
  • Barr, A., and Hawkins, D. An anatomical database providing three-dimensional geometric representation of lower limb structures. Journal of Applied Biomechanics. 16: 301-308, 2000.
  • Hawkins, D. A new instrumentation system for training rowers. Journal of Biomechanics. 33(2):241-246, 2000.
  • Hawkins, D. and P.A. Mole'. Modeling energy expenditure associated with isometric, concentric, and eccentric muscle action at the knee. Annals of Biomedical Engineering. 25(6):822-830, 1997.