Master Thesis Proposal - Knee and Femur Modelling for Injury Assessment

Are you a Master student with a passion for saving lives? Then this might be the role for you!
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The injury risk in automotive impacts is today commonly evaluated by means of finite element human body models (FE-HBMs). The models are used both for research and development of protective system such as seat belts and airbags. With these HBMs injury risk can be assessed at a level of detail not possible with other existing tools, e.g. crash test dummies. An example of a HBM is the SAFER HBM V10. In this model significant efforts have been put into the capability to predict rib fracture and concussion risk. The model can predict injuries for vehicle occupants, but could also be used to model pedestrians, or bicycle and motorcycle riders. One body part that is frequently injured for all these road users are the lower extremity, and more specifically the knee joint and the femur. 

Thus, there is a need to enable detailed injury assessment for the knee joint and femur in impact analysis. The knee joint is a fascinating part of the human body. The knee joint is the largest and most complex joint. The knee joins the thigh bone (femur) to the shin bone (tibia). The smaller bone that runs alongside the tibia (fibula) and the kneecap (patella) are the other bones that make the knee joint. Tendons connect the knee bones to the leg muscles that move the knee joint. Ligaments join the knee bones and provide stability to the knee.

There is a need to develop a detailed knee joint and femur for both load transfer and injury assessment for vehicle occupant as well as for pedestrian and rider analysis.

Objective and Aim

The aim of this project is to develop and validate a finite element model of the human knee: 

  • Review published data about finite element modelling of knee joint, 
  • Review published data about impact testing of knee joints
  • Review suitable LS-DYNA material models for ligament modelling,
  • Reconstruct some physical tests knee tests in LS-DYNA

Detailed Description

The geometry for the femur and knee joint (skeleton) to be used for the modelling will be defined. The sources can be internet, VIVA geometry or possible source CT-scans. The best geometry for the purpose of modelling the femur and knee joint will be selected.

For the ligaments and soft tissue, if available, MRI scans will be used. If no other sources for soft tissue geometry is available, anatomical text book data will be used for the geometry and location of the soft tissue in the model. The level of detail will be discussed with the supervisors prior to meshing.

The skeleton geometry and soft tissue will be meshed. The mesh has to obey the numerical requirements defined in “safer_hbm_numerical_requirements_draft_200401.docx”.

Available material models suitable for representing the physical properties of soft tissue (ligaments) for the knee will be reviewed. The material model that is considered to be most suitable will be selected.  A literature survey will be carried out to define the most suitable physical properties to be used in the model. Based on the finding the material properties (physical properties) for the meshed body parts will be assigned.

The impact predictions from the knee joint and femur models will be correlated and validated to results from published impact tests with PMHS. A literature survey will be carried out to define relevant impact tests for correlation and validation of the model. In a correlation the model will be tuned in order to reach agreement between the predictions from the model and results from PMHS impact tests. In a second step the knee joint and femur model will be validated by means of comparing predictions from the model with results from a second set of PMHS impact tests.

Learning outcomes

Students will learn and develop skills in modelling in ANSA and performing explicit FE simulations in the software LS-DYNA with focus on biomechanical modelling. 


If you find this opportunity interesting and in line with your profile. Do not wait with your application! We will start the recruitment process immediately and the position could be filled before the final application date, 2021-12-31. 

If you have any questions, you are welcome to contact the supervisor:

Bengt Pipkorn,

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Autoliv Research in Vårgårda - ADS

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Workplace & Culture

We strive to save more lives and prevent serious injuries, and we continuously focus on quality, confidence and security for our customers, stability and growth for our shareholders and employees, as well as being sustainable and earning trust within our communities.


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