Prof. Dr. Bouwien Smits-Engelsman is an internationally recognized authority on neuromotor rehabilitation and neuromotor disorders. She is leading research on motor control deficiencies and treatment (evaluation) in children with DCD, genetic syndromes and CP. Between 2005-2015, working in Motor Control Laboratory Research Center for Movement Control and Neuroplasticity ( ULeuven), she extensively researched fine motor control deficit due to brain damage and also put in place an extensive research line whereby skills are studied using a clinical, cognitive and neurological approach. She is co-developer of the major motor performance tests used for children with developmental disorders (Movement Assessment Battery for children; Bayley scales of infant development; Functional Strength Measure, Systematic Detection of Handwriting Problems). Since 2014 she is part of an expert group of scientists working with the latest hard and software for movement analysis the kinematic analysis of fine motor deficiencies and relates them to underlying control deficits and their possible structural relation. In 2014 she accepted an honorary professorship at Cape Town University, to set up and supervise PhD students studying developmental disabilities in low socio-economic areas in Africa. Projects (USHEPIA and Orid) have been running (or are still running) in South Africa, Nigeria, Zimbabwe and Ghana.
Prof Smits-Engelsman has received several awards, one of which is the Valkhof Chair at the University of Nijmegen for outstanding female researchers. All the received grants were in the area of developmental disorders (traumatic brain injury, Turners syndrome, 22q11 deletion syndrome, cerebral palsy, mental retardation, developmental coordination disorders, guideline development, obesity in children). She has close collaborations with motor control experts around the world with Prof Bert Steenbergen (Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen), Dr Reint Geuze and Dr Marina Schoemaker (Rijks Universiteit Groningen), Prof Peter Wilson (Melbourne, Australia), Prof Arturo Forner (Sao Paulo), Professor George Asare (University of Ghana).
Recent Professional Experience
2004 – 2015 | Professor Motor Control Lab, Faculty of Kinesiology and Rehabilitation Sciences, KU Leuven, Belgium. Topics: traumatic brain injury, developmental disorders, PD and cerebral palsy.
2014 | Honorary Professor Department of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, Old Main Building Groote Schuur Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa.
1999-2011 | Head of Master Physical Therapy Programs (Sport, Manual Therapy, Geriatrics, Paediatrics), Polytechnic Breda.
2000-2004 | Assistant Professor, St. Maartenskliniek Research, Fine Motor Unit. Topic Age-related changes in fine motor control.
1999-2002 | Junior Researcher, University of Groningen, department of Movement Sciences (Topic: Developmental Coordination Disorders).
1990 – 2001 | Junior Researcher, Nijmegen Institute for Cognition en Information (NICI), department Motor Control and Rehabilitation (Topic Age-related changes in motor control, Stroke and PD)
Select Professional Activities
2016-2018 | Expert advisor Dutch adaptation of the EACD Guideline for DCD for the rehabilitation doctors and other health care workers
2013-2017 | Guest editor, Human Movement Sciences
Present | Reviewer for many journals like Human Movement Sciences, Experimental Brain Research, Developmental Child Medicine and Child Neurology, Journal of Neuroscience, PLOS one
2013 | Co-chair of the International DCD Workgroup for Diagnosis and Treatment of DCD
2015 | Principle Member of the European Guideline Committee for the revision of the “Treatment of Developmental Coordination Disorders”
2004-2012 | Executive Member of the International DCD Workgroup for Diagnosis and Treatment of DCD
2008-2010 | Principle Member of the European Guideline Committee “Treatment of Developmental Coordination Disorders”
2002 | Co-founder and board member of International Society of Research in Developmental Coordination Disorder
2004-2006 | Member of the Dutch Guidelines Committee “Treatment of Cerebral Palsy”
More than 100 publications in the field of motor control including more than 20 chapters or book publications. Visit Researchgate for a list.
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