Convocation Spotlight: Torstein Daehlin

Torstein Daehlin, a competitive weightlifter and weightlifting coach in Norway, is graduating with a PhD on June 7.

06 June 2022

torstein-eriksen-daehlin---grad-student-9.13.17-2---torstein-daehlin.jpgTorstein Daehlin, a competitive weightlifter and weightlifting coach in Norway, realized studying biomechanics would help understand exercise technique, which he could then apply directly to weightlifting. 

Daehlin headed to the University of Alberta to pursue graduate studies researching movement.

Graduating next week from the Faculty of Kinesiology, Sport, and Recreation with a PhD, Daehlin shares his passion for research and reflects on  the challenges he faced.

What moment are you most proud of?
A few achievements and moments that really stand out for me include winning the Vanier Graduate Scholarship competition, passing my candidacy exam, completing a training study during the COVID-19 pandemic and of course, passing my final oral examination.

What was the biggest challenge you faced?
I think it would be completing a training intervention study during the pandemic. The constant anxiety about participants or members of the study team getting sick, and the fear of gyms and research facilities closing all took their toll. Luckily, the study came together nicely in the end, and despite a few limitations due to the pandemic, it ended up being a valuable contribution to my field.

What drew you to this area of study?
I used to be a competitive weightlifter and a weightlifting coach, and after completing my bachelor’s degree in health and exercise physiology, I realized that a specialization in biomechanics would allow me to better understand exercise technique, which is paramount for weightlifting performance. I therefore started a master of biomechanics, researching optimal technique in weightlifting exercises. This work also sparked an interest in understanding how different lower extremity muscles act together to generate the movement we can observe. From the outset of my PhD, my focus has been on studying the contributions from and coordination of different lower extremity muscles during multi-joint tasks.

What comes next?
I have accepted a postdoctoral position at the University of South Florida. I'm excited to be joining Dr. Irene Davis' lab in the School of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation at USF where I will be researching the link between landing mechanics and injury occurrence.

What advice would you give to new graduate students?
Think about what path you want this degree to put you on and work with your supervisor to form a plan for coursework, teaching, and research that takes you in this direction. After all, it is your degree and it should set you up for being successful in the field you wish to pursue.