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Informatics and Mathematical Modelling
Technical University of Denmark
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[Whiplash and traffic accidents]

Project title: Whiplash and traffic accidents.
Persons to contact : Per Grove Thomsen , building 305, room 117, phone: +45 4525 3073, pgt@imm.dtu.dk

Background: Many traffic accidents give rise to long term effects on the people involved even in cases where the velocity is moderate. Whiplash is the result of very large accelerations of the head leading to many side effects in different parts of the upper body. Not ll of these effects have  found a physical interpretation. In order to understand the physics involved a new theory has been proposed by a group of doctors. The theory needs verification and part of this may be done by defining a mathematical model and use numerical experiments on the basis of the new theory. Neuro anathomy of the Cerebral Spinal Fluid (CSF) leads to the following hypothesis: When the neck in a whiplash situation is prolonged the shape of the spinal channel  is changed accordingly. There is in the cranium and spinal chord nothing but fluid and tissue, this means that the volume of the CSF cannot change unless cavitation takes place. This cavitation can only happen in extreme cases with sudden pressure drop. Will such a situation be possible in a traffic accident?

Aim: Build a mathematical model based on a simplification of  the topology found in a human body. Design a FEM model that makes it possible to simulate the scenario of a traffic accident. Carry out simulations on the FEM model for verification of the hypothesis proposed by the doctors. The simulations should  use realistic values of the sizes and properties of the volumes and fluids. This information is supplied by the team of doctors .

Prerequisites: Knowledge of fluid mechanics, partial differential equations, Finite Elements, as well as Fortran, C, or C++ for the modelling and Matlab for the visualization.

Consult DTU campus catalogue: IMM master in engineering courses.

Richard Petersens Plads, Building 321, DK-2800 Kongens Lyngby, Denmark, Phone: +45 4525 3351
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