I'm a Research Associate Professor and Head of the Biosciences Group of the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute. I conduct research in a variety of areas relating to anthropometry and biomechanics, including vehicle ergonomics and vehicle occupant crash protection. I'm also a Research Associate Professor in the Center for Ergonomics in Industrial and Operations Engineering, where I am Director of the Human Motion Simulation Laboratory. The HUMOSIM Lab develops movement simulation algorithms and ergonomics analysis tools for use with commercial human modeling software.
Follow the links at the right for more information about my research and see these highlights of recent projects.
UMTRI is in growth mode -- we're looking to add faculty and post-docs across a wide range of disciplines. In my group, we're searching for assistant/associate research scientists in ergonomics or injury biomechanics. Contact me if you have questions about this opportunity, or apply online.
My colleagues and I published several papers at the SAE Congress this week. Driver preference for fore-aft steering wheel position has not previously been addressed directly in the SAE literature. We analyzed data from a laboratory study to create a logistic regression model predicting subjective response as a function of H30, L6, and driver stature. The results compare favorably to a large set of vehicle benchmarking data.
My colleague Jingwen Hu developed a new framework for conducting virtual seat fit testing using a parametric human body model. This work differs from previous simulation studies of human/seat interaction in using a human body model that can represent a large range of male and female body shapes and postures. Our ongoing body-shape modeling work includes the development of new, whole-body paramtric shape and posture models based on a wider range of postures than are found in the CAESAR database we used for this study.
We have measured the interior geometry of dozens of vehicles over the past few years for a wide range of safety and ergonomics applications. One important finding for safety is that the seat belt anchorage locations in second-row, outboard seats vary widely, with the lab belt anchorages spanning essentially the entire legal range. ATD and simulator studies show that the range of belt fit we document in our current paper can have important safety implications.
My colleague Matt Parkinson and I are hosting a symposium on digital human modeling next June in Ann Arbor. Please check out the website and plan to join us in June -- it'll be a fun and productive meeting. We have over 100 abstracts accepted.
The University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute and Pennsylvania State University, in association with the International Ergonomics Association Technical Committee on Human Simulation and Virtual Environments, invite you to participate in the 2nd International Digital Human Modeling Symposium to be held on the beautiful campus of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor June 11-13, 2013.
The symposium will include podium presentations, posters, and an exhibition addressing all facets of computational modeling of humans and their activities. For more information see dhm2013.org.
We've just completed development of anthropometric specifications for the Army's new WIAMan blast dummy. The new anthropomorphic test device (ATD) will lead to the development of safer vehicles, seats, and interiors. This work is an outgrowth of our Seated Soldier Study.
The U.S. Army's TARDEC organization recently featured our work in an internal publication. The data from this study will have broad applicability in the development of road vehicles, not just military vehicles. This study is the first to gather and model data on whole-body shape from a large, diverse sample of people in supported seated postures. Consistency in study protocol will allow the data from the 300 soldiers measured in this project to be merged with data from 200 adults measured in another current project.
Recent research, including studies by my colleagues at UMTRI, has shown that older drivers are at increased risk of injury in vehicle crashes. Some of that risk is due to frailty -- injury (particularly thoracic injury) occuring with less loading than is required to injury younger occupants. But the posture and belt fit of older drivers may also put them at greater risk. To addess this issue, we are conducting a laboratory study of older occupant posture, belt fit, and body shape. Supported by the Toyota Collaborative Safety Research Center, the study measured 200 men and women, including 120 over age 60. The participants sat in laboratory mockups that can be reconfigured to represent the driver and passenger package configurations of a wide range of vehicles, from sports cars to minivans. Posture and belt fit are recorded using a FARO Arm coordinate digitizer to measure body landmark locations. A whole-body laser scanner is used to record the participant's body shape in a range of postures. These data will be valuable for designing improved restraint systems that optimally protect occupants of all ages.
At the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Annual Meeting in Boston, I presented an overview of the methods for our recent large-scale child anthropometry study. We used a laser scanner to record the body shapes of 162 kids age 4 to 11 in a wide range of standing and seated postures. These data will be used to develop new anthropometric specifications for crash dummies, but also have application to a wide range of other products for children. We will be using the data to develop parametric finite-element models of children for use in crash simulation and restraint-system optimization.
Wired Autopia covered some of our recent work on body shape modeling. We're using a range of technologies to measure posture and body shape in automotive postures. Although the results have significant applications in ergonomics (for example, improved seat design for comfort) the primary applications of the data and resulting models will be in the development of improved physical and computational surrogates for crash simulations. These tools will allow improved optimization of restraint systems to proteect vehicle occupants with a wide range of physical characteristics. This presentation covers a some of our current activities.
We are collaborating with Anthrotech on a large-scale study of soldier anthropometry, focusing on seated postures and body shapes with a range of clothing and personal protective equipment. The goal of the research is to develop new quantitative models that can be used for the design of physical and computational surrogates used for designing and assessing military vehicles. One near-term application is the Warrior Injury Assessment Manikin (WIAMan), a new anthropomorphic test device (ATD) to be used for evaluating protection in underbody blast events. UMTRI will use the data from the seated soldier study to specify the posture and body shape for WIAMan. Other applications include the development of statistical models to predict posture for soldiers in both driver and crew workstations. These models will be used to position computational models of soldiers for both ergonomics analysis and blast simulations.
The prevalence of obesity among US adults has plateaued over the past few years, but still remains at historical highs. Analysis of crash data has suggested that, after correcting for other factors, obesity increases the risk of certain types of injuries. One reason for that increased risk may be problems with seat belt fit. We conducted a laboratory study of belt fit among 54 adults, 48% of whom were obese. We found that obesity results in relatively poor lap belt fit, with the belt riding high and forward relative to the pelvis. Both lap belt and shoulder belt length were also increased for heavier individuals, a trend which also reduces belt effectiveness. These results indicate that load sharing among the components of restraint system (including the belt, airbag, and knee bolster) may differ substantially for obese adults and should be taken into account in restraint system design.
We have added new content to trucksteps.org, our website devoted to safe ingress and egress for truck drivers. Browse on over and check it out!
We are conducting a major study of child posture and body shape. This is the first study to gather three-dimensional data on child posture in automotive seated postures. We have measured 160 children spanning an age range from45 to 11 years seated in a rear seat from a sedan, with and without a belt positioning booster, and in up to 18 different postures in our 3D body scanner. The primary near-term application of thedata will be to improve the design of crash dummies and computational models of child occupants. But the data will also have broad application for the design of child restraints, protective equipment, clothing, and other products and environments that interact physically with children in this age range.
©2013 Matthew P. Reed and The University of Michigan