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Dissertation Defense: Response of Small, Fragile Females in Side Impact, Including an Evaluation of the Effects of Chestband Instrumentation on Thoracic Response

Benjamin Shurtz, PhD Candidate, Mechanical Engineering
Wednesday, June 21, 2017, 2:00 pm
2063 Graves Hall
333 W 10th Ave
Columbus, OH 43210


  • Dr. John Bolte, Chair
  • Dr. Rebecca Dupaix
  • Dr. Amanda Agnew
  • Dr. Laura Boucher
  • Dr. Yun-Seok Kang


Each year in the US there are thousands of deaths and millions of injuries which occur from motor vehicle collisions. Side impacts have the highest fatality rate compared to frontal and rear impacts, demonstrating a need to improve occupant protection systems for side impact. Small, elderly females are at particular risk for serious injury. In order to facilitate progress in improving protection systems for this vulnerable population, representative kinematic response and injury data is needed. Thus, a study was undertaken to fill the knowledge gap. During the study design phase, a question arose as to whether chestbands, instruments used to measure the chest deflection, alter thoracic response of cadaveric subjects. No answer could be found in literature, so a study was undertaken to assess chestband effects on thoracic response. In conducting the data analysis for the chestband effects study, a new analysis method was developed to examine rib strain as a function of chest deflection. This dissertation provides the an evaluation of chestband effects on thoracic impact response, discusses the strain-deflection analysis method, and provides response and injury data for small, elderly females in side impact.