Dr. Ruth Ochia is a Professor of Instruction in Bioengineering at Temple University. Dr. Ochia’s area of expertise involves the biomechanics of human injury, with special emphasis on the areas of spine trauma and degeneration, and occupant kinematics in automobile collisions. Dr. Ochia has also performed research in degenerative disc disease and low back pain. She has extensive experience in bioengineering, primarily focusing on spine-related injuries and degeneration. Her skills include in vitro biomechanical testing in human and animal specimens, in vivo imaging, and analysis in humans and project management of large-scale government research grants.

Her current interests are in engineering education and curricular assessment with specific focus on innovation and entrepreneurship in engineering design teams, as well as, student engagement and motivation at the undergraduate level. This new research area has resulted in several publications, grant funding, and invited conference talks.

Research Interests

  • Undergraduate Engineering Education
  • Biomechanics
  • Spine Trauma
  • Low Back Pain and Spine-Related Injury

Courses Taught




BIOE 0844

The Bionic Human


BIOE 2312

Mechanics for Bioengineering I


BIOE 2401

Biodesign - Needs and Ideation


BIOE 3312

Mechanics for Bioengineering II


BIOE 3401

Biodesign - Testing and Validation


BIOE 4101

BioE Lab #3 - Biomechanics


Selected Publications


  • Phelan, M.A., Guha, A., Harrison, B.K., Moukarzel, G., Tetteh, A.A., Har-El, Y.E., & Ochia, R. (2020). WIP: Design thinking concepts in undergraduate engineering capstone projects. ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings, 2020-June.

  • Bowden, A.E., Ochia, R., & Eggett, D.L. (2015). Survey of U.S. Biomechanics instruction. ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings, 122nd ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition: Making Value for Society(122nd ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition: Making Value for Society).

  • Otsuka, Y., An, H.S., Ochia, R.S., Andersson, G., Orías, A.A.E., & Inoue, N. (2010). In vivo measurement of lumbar facet joint area in asymptomatic and chronic low back pain Subjects. Spine, 35(8), pp. 924-928. doi: 10.1097/BRS.0b013e3181c9fc04

  • Ochia, R.S., Inoue, N., Takatori, R., Andersson, G., & An, H.S. (2007). In vivo measurements of lumbar segmental motion during axial rotation in asymptomatic and chronic low back pain male subjects. Spine, 32(13), pp. 1394-1399. doi: 10.1097/BRS.0b013e318060122b

  • Ochia, R.S. & Cavanagh, P.R. (2007). Reliability of surface EMG measurements over 12 hours. Journal of Electromyography and Kinesiology, 17(3), pp. 365-371. doi: 10.1016/j.jelekin.2006.01.003

  • Otsuka, Y., An, H.S., Williams, J.R., Ochia, R.S., Yamaguchi, K., Andersson, G., & Lnoue, N. (2007). A novel in vivo measurement of three-dimensional lumbar facet joint orientation and area. Proceedings of the ASME Summer Bioengineering Conference 2007, SBC 2007, pp. 629-630. doi: 10.1115/sbc2007-175639

  • Otsuka, Y., An, H.S., Williams, J.R., Yamaguchi, K., Ochia, R.S., Andersson, G.B., & Inoue, N. (2007). MEASUREMENT OF THREE-DIMENSIONAL LUMBAR FACET JOINT ORIENTATION AND AREA; IN VIVO ANALYSIS. Spine: Affiliated Society Meeting Abstracts, &NA;(&NA;), p. 234. doi: 10.1097/01.brs.0000271533.31938.b4

  • Ochia, R.S. & Ching, R.P. (2006). Rate dependence of hydraulic resistance in human lumbar vertebral bodies. Spine, 31(22), pp. 2569-2574. doi: 10.1097/01.brs.0000240648.51087.c9

  • Ochia, R.S., Inoue, N., Renner, S.M., Lorenz, E.P., Lim, T.H., Andersson, G., & An, H.S. (2006). Three-dimensional in vivo measurement of lumbar spine segmental motion. Spine, 31(18), pp. 2073-2078. doi: 10.1097/01.brs.0000231435.55842.9e

  • Genc, K.O., Maender, C.C., Rice, A.J., Ochia, R.S., Snedeker, J.G., & Cavanagh, P.R. (2004). Treadmill exercise on the International Space Station: The effects of external loading. JOURNAL of BONE and MINERAL RESEARCH, 19, pp. S452-S452. Retrieved from

  • Rice, A.J., Maender, C.C., Genc, K.O., Ochia, R.S., Snedeker, J.Q., & Cavanagh, P.R. (2004). Bone loss and lower extremity loading during long-duration space flight. JOURNAL of BONE and MINERAL RESEARCH, 19, pp. S95-S95. Retrieved from

  • Ochia, R.S. & Ching, R.P. (2002). Hydraulic resistance and permeability in human lumbar vertebral bodies. Journal of Biomechanical Engineering, 124(5), pp. 533-537. doi: 10.1115/1.1503793

  • Ochia, R.S. & Ching, R.P. (2002). Internal pressure measurements during burst fracture formation in human lumbar vertebrae. Spine, 27(11), pp. 1160-1167. doi: 10.1097/00007632-200206010-00005

  • Ochia, R. & Ching, R. (2000). Hydraulic resistance in human lumbar vertebrae. Annals of Biomedical Engineering, 28(SUPPL. 1).

  • Ochia, R. & Ching, R. (2000). Endplate and vertebral body strength in human lumbar vertebrae. Annals of Biomedical Engineering, 28, pp. S-6.

  • Zungia, S., Ochia, R., & Roehm, P. High-Fidelity 3D Ear Model for Stapedectomy Simulation. American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery Foundation Annual Meeting, Chicago.

  • Ochia, R., Har-el, Y., & Bracey, J. Non-cognitive factors associated with freshmen undergraduate bioengineering majors. BMES Annual Meeting, Phoenix, AZ.

  • Ochia, R. Use of Needs Assessment to improve “Empathize” step in Design Thinking for freshmen bioengineers. BMES Annual Meeting, Minneapolis, MN.

  • Ochia, R., Kamrava, B., Zuniga, S., Son, H., Son, L., Drummond, S., Pittman, D., & Roehm, P. Stapedotomy Simulator for Training Otolaryngologist Residents. BMES Annual Meeting, Atlanta.

  • Ochia, R. & Har-el, Y. Rethinking Design Thinking Evaluations in Engineering Capstone Projects. BMES Annual Meeting, Philadelphia, PA.