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Injury Biomechanics

Injury biomechanics research began in the automotive and aerospace industries and has developed to become a well-established area of science. We have expertise on how mechanical forces interact with the human body and the types of injuries that can be sustained when the forces exceed the tolerance of human tissues. This expertise can be applied to:



Each project or case is unique and we provide advice on the most appropriate methods for your particular requirements, which can include:


  • Review of injury scenario - environment, subject and injuries

  • Record scene - using 3D laser scanning 

  • Research - literature search and review of similar incidents, products, environments and injuries

  • Physical reconstruction - using a motion analysis laboratory and volunteers 

  • Computer reconstruction - using 3D laser scanning data of the incident scene and human body modelling

  • Analysis of results - using human injury tolerance values to predict likely injury outcomes

  • 3D modelling - of final scenarios with predicted injury outcomes for each scenario


Computer reconstruction of a balcony fall


​This project involved an injury biomechanics investigation into a fatal fall from a balcony. This included 3D laser scanning at the scene, 3D modelling and human body modelling of the deceased to attempt to match with the CCTV frames of the exit body position relative to the balcony (see articles in News).


The final output consists of a full 3D scene model and a biofidelic human body model simulated to fall under gravity from the camera matched (CCTV) exit body position. This project was a feasibility study and further work with many more human body model simulations would be required to provide more meaningful and reliable results.

Physical reconstruction of a stairway fall


This project involved a detailed review of literature on stairway falls and a critique of a prosecution expert report. 


This physical reconstruction of the stairway fall was undertaken with a Kinematics expert at Manchester Metropolitan University to provide more reliable results than the prosecutions theoretical analysis. 


The analysed motion data provided predictions of likely impact locations with objects at the scene. 


Physical reconstruction of fragments projected from a bomb blast


Corrina Cory led the Injury Biomechanics Team at Arup in this project, which utilised synthetic human surrogates to conduct a Person-Borne Improvised Explosive Device (PBIED) bomb blast test.


This project tested the feasibility of utilising simple human surrogates for these types of physical tests and developing techniques using pre and post test 3D laser scanning, CT scanning of wound paths and full 3D modelling of the whole scenario from the laser scan and wound path data.


The data could was applied to vulnerability assessments of crowded spaces.


Copyright Ove Arup and Partners International Limited.

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