Since the Biomechanics Institute was founded in 1980 by Prof. Erich Schneider, the focus was always on assessment, development and testing of orthopaedic implants, and in particular hip endoprosthesis, for which Hamburg has a disproportionately high volume of clinical throughput. Projects are supported by the university, by grants from the German Research Council and by industrial partners. Studies are undertaken by undergraduate and post-graduate students and by medical students and surgeons from the many local clinics.

The research projects are maturing and have resulted in a considerable range of publications. The number of projects with hospitals in the area of Hamburg as well as in Northern Germany is continuously increasing. Simultaneously the co-operation with implant companies in the area of research, development and testing was strengthened. Such the three main interest areas of the Biomechanics Section were developed further during the last years: basic research, applied research, as well as development and testing.

The cooperation with the AO research institute in Davos is an important factor from a research as well as an educational point of view. Staff and students from either institution have the possibility to spend time at the other institute to utilize the respective equipment and expertise. This approach has shown to work well and will be extended in the future.

In 1999, the Technical University of Hamburg-Harburg has started a Biomedical Engineering program (Mediziningenieurwesen), allowing students to obtain a B.Sc. or Dipl.-Ing. degree. Early 2000, a center of excellency in Biomedical Engineering (Medizintechnik) was founded by the State of Hamburg. We view both events as an expression of the interest of the Technical University as well as the State of Hamburg in establishing a strong Biomechanics and Biomedical
Engineering community in the region. This was underlined by a visit of Olaf Scholz, the First Mayor and President of the Senat of Hamburg, to the Biomechanics Section. We are happy to be a part of these developments and look forward to a promising and exciting future.

Our particular areas of study are presented below.