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UMTRI's Biosciences Group conducts research on the biomechanics of motor vehicle occupants as it relates to occupant injuries, crash protection, and occupant accommodation. Biosciences researchers use state-of-the-art laboratory testing facilities, three-dimensional computer modeling, and data analysis techniques to conduct a wide range of research. The scope of Biosciences work encompasses three main areas:

  • Impact biomechanics, involving lab work with human surrogates to study the response of the human body to dynamic loading
  • Crash data analysis to identify the mechanisms involved in motor-vehicle injury and assess the performance of occupant protection systems
  • Computational human body modeling to assess the effects of crashes and other loading scenarios on human response and injury
  • Engineering anthropometry and vehicle ergonomics, including extensive testing with volunteers to characterize their posture, motion, and body shape while interacting with vehicles, seats, and other systems


Featured Publications

Effects of vehicle seat and belt geometry on belt fit for children with and without belt positioning booster seats
Matthew P. Reed, Sheila M. Ebert-Hamilton, Kathleen D. Klinich, Miriam A. Manary, Jonathan D. Rupp.

journal article Accident analysis and prevention. Vol. 50 (Jan. 2013), p. 512-522.

A laboratory study was conducted to quantify the effects of belt-positioning boosters on lap and...

Effects of BMI on the risk and frequency of AIS 3+ injuries in motor-vehicle crashes
Jonathan D. Rupp, Carol A.C. Flannagan, Andrew J. Leslie, Carrie N. Hoff, Matthew P. Reed, Rebecca M. Cunningham.

journal article Obesity. Vol. 21, no. 1 (Jan. 2013), p. E88-E97.

Objective: Determine the effects of BMI on the risk of serious-to-fatal injury (Abbreviated Injury...

Effects of child restraint system features on installation errors.
Kathleen D. Klinich, Miriam A. Manary, Carol A. C. Flannagan, Sheila M. Ebert-Hamilton, L. Malik, Paul A. Green, Matthew P. Reed

journal article Applied Ergonomics

This study examined how child restraint system (CRS) features contribute to CRS installation errors...