Professor, Integrated Systems Engineering
- PhD, Wayne State University, Bioengineering and Ergonomics, 1982
- MS, Wayne State University, Industrial Engineering—Human Factors Engineering, 1978
- BS, Wright State University, Systems Engineering—Human Factors Engineering, 1976
William S. Marras’ research is critical to workers’ health as well as the economy—and is beginning to change the way spinal surgery is done today. Heavy lifting and repetitive stress injuries account for tens of billions of dollars in lost labor and worker compensation each year, and more than $100 billion in healthcare costs. Marras has pioneered methods for studying back injury and the other musculoskeletal disorders that afflict workers. Most recently, he launched the Spine Research Institute, which uses advanced technologies to enhance the prevention, evaluation and treatment of spine disorders. There, he and his colleagues map the movements of patients’ spines in 3D. These detailed computer visualizations enable doctors to test potential surgical solutions virtually—and tailor treatment to the individual patient.
Marras’ work has appeared in the New York Times, Newsday, Reuters, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Philadelphia Inquirer, San Jose Mercury News and Daily Telegraph. Good Morning America and the Big Ten Network have featured his Center for Occupational Health in Automotive Manufacturing—the only university-based, full-scale manufacturing operation in the world where automakers can test the effects of manufacturing systems on workers’ health.
A National Academy of Engineering member, Marras is the Honda Chair Professor of integrated systems engineering at Ohio State with joint appointments in the Departments of Orthopaedic Surgery, Physical Medicine and Neurosurgery.