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Chairholder Profile

Carl-Éric Aubin

Carl-Éric Aubin

Department of Mechanical Engineering
École Polytechnique de Montréal

Chair Title

NSERC/Medtronic Industrial Research Chair in Spine Biomechanics

Chair Program

Industrial Research Chairs Program


Associate Chairholder since 2006


The research program addresses fundamental, technical and practical problems faced by orthopedic surgeons when treating spinal pathologies, and industrial needs to develop relevant technological solutions. During the first term, several innovative simulation tools and prototypes were developed. One example is a "Spine Surgery Simulator"—a surgeon-friendly software allowing users to virtually plan a spinal instrumentation surgery and iterate towards an optimal, patient-specific instrumentation configuration. A state-of-the-art patient positioning device was also developed that allows for improved correction of spinal alignment and provides the per-operative ability to modify spinal shape to facilitate surgeon's works. The industrial partner—Medtronic of Canada—is in close contact with Aubin and his team to follow up, provide weekly feedback and support the research activities. The partner was also in close contact for the establishment of the first research and development-oriented "integrated operating room of the future" that will link the surgery simulator to imaging and navigation technologies. CHU Sainte Justine—the other Chair partner—provided significant support to the realization of the Chair program.

During the second term, the Chair will continue improving biomedical devices and treatment approaches of spinal pathologies and will innovate the next generation of surgical technologies. The Chair aims to develop and apply biomechanical engineering methods to:

  • develop simulation tools aimed at improving spinal instrumentation and providing pre-operative planning, intra-operative guidance, and post-operative analysis of spinal surgeries;
  • develop and validate novel minimally invasive fusion-less devices; and
  • improve understanding of the three-dimensional balance of spine and, concurrently, develop guidelines to improve instrumentation technologies.


  • Medtronic of Canada Ltd.
  • CHU Sainte-Justine

Contact Information

Department of Mechanical Engineering
École Polytechnique de Montréal
2900 Boul. Edouard-Montpetit
CP 6079 Succ Centre-Ville
Montréal, Québec
H3C 3A7

Tel.: 514-340-4711, ext. 2836
Fax: 514-340-5867