Research Topics

  • Armor and soldier performance
  • Clothing modeling
  • Dynamic strength and failure
  • Gait
  • Human performance
  • Immersive virtual reality
  • Intuitive interfaces
  • Motion capture
  • Musculoskeletal modeling
  • Physiology
  • Posture and motion prediction
  • Predictive dynamics
  • Spine modeling
  • Standard ergonomic assessments
  • Whole-body vibration
  • Zone differentiation

The Virtual Soldier Research (VSR) program conducts basic and applied research and development in the field of human modeling and simulation. Our research is aimed at creating interactive, intelligent, and predictive human models that operate in virtual, physics-based environments, including Santos, a physics-based human simulator that is used by the US military and industry partners. 


Portrait of Karim Abdel-Malek

Karim Abdel-Malek, PhD

Director, Iowa Technology Institute
Director, Virtual Soldier Research Program
Professor, Roy J. Carver Department of Biomedical Engineering

Featured Projects

Santos - Human Modeling

ACFT Research

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About VSR

VSR Technology

VSR Media


WHO 1040

Malek discusses Epic Games MegaGrant on 1040 WHO radio

Tuesday, October 26, 2021
University of Iowa Technology Institute
University of Iowa Technology Institute Director Karim Malek was a guest recently on the Newsradio 1040 WHO program, Need to Know with Jeff Angelo. 

Iowa Technology Institute research contributes to readiness of U.S. Army soldiers

Wednesday, October 20, 2021
University of Iowa Technology Institute
The U.S. Army turned to a multidisciplinary team of experts at the University of Iowa Technology Institute (ITI) and ITI’s internationally recognized Santos technology to provide independent review of its first new fitness test in 40 years called the Army Combat Fitness Test.
Karim Abdel-Malek

Karim Abdel-Malek

Director, Virtual Soldier Research Program

Director, Iowa Technology Institute

Professor of biomedical, mechanical, and industrial engineering and applied mathematical and computational sciences

  (319) 335-5676

Santos Brochure