Date of Award


Publication Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name



Mechanical, Automotive, and Materials Engineering

First Advisor

William Altenhof


Applied sciences



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.


This research was completed in an effort to improve the biofidelity of a finite element child model and the accuracy of injury predictions in forward facing child restraint seats during numerical simulations of frontal crashes.

After material alterations to the child model, neck tensile force was found to be within the range of cadaver tests and the rotation-moment curves were in good agreement with the corridor of the pediatric cadaver head/neck complex tests.

The altered child model has illustrated more accurate biomechanical responses and kinematics; its biofidelity has been improved. The upper and lower neck tensile forces of the child model were reduced by approximately 35% and 41%, respectively. Tensile deformation of the child neck was increased by 2.75 times while rotational deformation increased by 37%. The percentage error of the maximum displacements of the child head was reduced from approximately 16% to 13.5%.