When Benjamin Hansen ’11 was a student at MSOE he had two passions—biomechanics and baseball. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering, the former MSOE pitcher found a way to combine those passions in his professional life, becoming the vice president and chief technology officer of Motus Global.
Based in New York, Motus Global combines innovative wearable technology with 3D movement and performance analytics software to help athletes, their coaches and trainers prevent injury and improve performance. Over the past five years, Motus Global has worked with 27 Major League Baseball organizations.
Hansen first saw the need for safe training and proper biomechanics during his MSOE baseball career when he battled injuries to his throwing arm. During that time, Hansen started working for the Brewers Biomechanics Lab at the Medical College of Wisconsin. He and the other members of the MSOE pitching staff participated in biomechanical testing. “I owe a lot of my arm health in my senior year to those biomechanics,” Hansen said.
After graduation, Hansen went on to work as a motion analysis engineer for the Milwaukee Brewers. Then in 2012, he joined forces with Joe Nolan and Keith Robinson (founders of Motus Global) as their first employee. Hansen came full circle in September when Motus outfitted MSOE baseball players
with smart compression sleeves and batting glove sensors.
The sleeve contains accelerometers and gyroscopes, and performs much like a Fitbit—but for the elbow—and with higher-end biomechanical data. “The sleeve measures the amount of torque (stress) that a thrower puts on his elbow’s ulnar collateral ligament (UCL)” Hansen said. “The information provides objective workload data on the player’s elbow. Players have access to their workload analytics in an iPhone app, as do the coaching and athletics training staff.”
Hansen hopes his story shows students that they can make their own paths in life. “If what you are passionate about doesn’t exist, then you go out and find like-minded people to help create new opportunities.”