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to the first Newsletter of the THUMS User Community (TUC).

TUC is a project of the University of Munich in cooperation with Adam Opel AG, AUDI AG, Autoliv, BMW AG, Daimler AG, Dr. Ing. h.c.F. Porsche AG, Toyota Motor Corporation and Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft. The aim of TUC is to setup a framework and harmonise general and administrative requirements for the implementation of Finite-Element Human Body Models (HBMs) in vehicle and traffic safety applications. Therefore, the project partners work closely together to achieve these goals.

Together with Associated Partners the TUC project intends to develop a cooperative platform of partners with similar interests and to accumulate the pre-competitive know-how and experience in the field of application of HBM.

This newsletter will regularly inform interested THUMS Users not only about the current status of the TUC project, but also about other TUC related projects and activities in the field of FE Human Body Models in vehicle and traffic safety applications.

After mainly using the first half year of the project for administrative issues, the TUC now proceeded to start its technical activities. The process to the first Master model within TUC started. Model modifications of Autoliv and Daimler were incorporated to the THUMS V3 model. The new model is currently validated.

More information

SafeEV (Safe Electrical Vehicles)

In the next 20 years the number of small and light-weight full electric vehicles will substantially increase, especially in urban areas. These Small Electric Vehicles (SEVs) show distinctive design differences compared to the traditional car (e.g. no bonnets, vertical windscreens, outstanding wheels). Thus, the consequences of impacts of SEVs with vulnerable road users (VRU) and other (heavier) vehicles will be different from traditional collisions. These fundamental changes are not adequately addressed by current vehicle safety evaluation methods and regulations. VRU protection, compatibility with heavier opponents and the introduction of active safety systems have to be appropriately taken into account in order to avoid any SEV over-engineering (e.g. heavy or complex vehicle body) by applying current regulations and substantially impair the SEVs (environmental) efficiency.

Therefore, the SafeEV project aims, based on future accident scenarios, to define advanced test scenarios and evaluation criteria for VRU, occupant safety and compatibility of SEVs. Moreover, industrial applicable methods for virtual testing of these scenarios and criteria (e.g. a method for active occupant safety assessment) will be developed.

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Improving the comfort of vehicle occupants

ESI Group announced that Hyundai Motor Company has extended its usage of Virtual Seat Solution to dynamic comfort testing, in order to assess and improve the vibratory comfort of their car seats.

Reducing seat vibrations greatly contributes to improving a seat’s overall dynamic comfort, by protecting the occupant from muscular fatigue, an important issue for long journeys and with possible long-term effects on the spine.

ESI’s end-to-end Virtual Seat Solution, dedicated to the virtual manufacturing, testing and optimisation of seats, has been used by Hyundai for many years to conduct virtual tests in several seat performance domains, including seating posture and body pressure and foam hardness. Recently, Hyundai’s Body & Trim development team sought to extend their usage of Virtual Seat Solution to evaluate dynamic comfort.

More information


The IRCOBI conference took place in Gothenborg from September 11 to September 13, 2013. Several interesting research activities in the field of Human Body Modelling were presented. The most important presentations related to Human Body FE modelling are outlined in the following.


The Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi, conducted a study to derive a FE material for long bones that can predict both mechanical response as well as the different fracture types over a wide range of loading conditions. A user-defined material model was developed that incorporates the rate dependency of stiffness, yielding and failure. (IRC-13-21)

Chalmers University of Technology established the response requirements for the shoulder complex in terms of range of motion and stiffness. The obtained data of volunteer tests are suitable for Dummy and Human Body Model evaluations. (IRC-13-30)

University of Munich investigated together with AUDI AG the real cortical thickness of 3 sterna using micro-CT scans. The data were assigned to the FE sternum model of THUMS V3. Validation test based on Kerrigan et al. (2010) showed a remarkable sensitivity of the sternum to its thickness distribution. (IRC-13-34)

Toyota Motor Corporation examined the correlation between the seatbelt load and the mid-sternum deflection and other possible indicators for estimating chest injury risk. 21 frontal collision simulations using THUMS V4 AF05, AM50 and AM95 with varying seatbelt parameters showed that mid-sternum deflection is not necessarily reduced by solely lowering the load limiter value. (IRC-13-36)

Honda R&D Co. developed maps representing local stiffness and tolerance of the occupant’s thorax using FE models. The local thoracic response analysis against blunt loading was conducted by using age-specific human occupant FE models and rigid impactor models. The study revealed the difference of stiffness and tolerance between 35 years old and 75 years old. (IRC-13-37)

University of Virginia evaluated the biofidelity of the Global Human Body Models Consortium (GHBMC) human body model under a side impact loading condition based on Shaw et al. (2013) with an airbag and analysed the effect of initial position of the model on the response. (IRC-13-41)

University of Strasbourg improved the brain constitutive material law with a more efficient heterogeneous anisotropic visco-hyperelastic material model by coupling new medical imaging data, fractional anisotropy and axonal fibre orientation from Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI) of 12 healthy patients. (IRC-13-66)

Honda R&D Co. analysed of the effects of theoretical vehicle pulses optimised for an anthropometric test device (ATD) on the human body during frontal crashes to examine their applicability to the thoracic response of Human Body FE Models. (IRC-13-68)

University of Michigan Transport Research Institute conducted a statistical analysis of the exterior body shape in supported seated postures scanning the body shapes of 126 men in four seated postures. The study is part of a broader effort to develop parametric Human Body Models that can represent a wide range of body sizes, shapes and postures. (IRC-13-69)

Chalmers University of Technology collected data from 20 volunteers being exposed to autonomous braking events as front seat passengers. The data are to be used to validate active Human Body Models. (IRC-13-70)


The Conference Proceedings including all the presentations held during the days of IRCOBI can be accessed by the following link.

Conference Proceedings

Outlook: STAPP Car Crash Conference 2013 and IRCOBI 2014

STAPP Car Crash Conference 2013

The 57th STAPP Car Crash Conference will take place in Orlando, Florida, from November 11 to November 13, 2013. It represents the premier forum for the presentation of research in impact biomechanics, human injury tolerance, and related fields that advance the knowledge of land-vehicle crash injury protection. The papers that will be presented at this year's STAPP Conference cover a range of timely and important topics in impact biomechanics and occupant protection. These topics include occupant restraint performance, pedestrian safety, injury biomechanics, lateral occupant dynamics and side impact biomechanics, and crash data analysis and biofidelity assessment. For the complete technical program, please click the following link.


IRCOBI conference 2014

Next year's IRCOBI conference will take place in Berlin from September 10 to September 12, 2014. Researchers in the field of biomechanics, crash mechanics, accident reconstruction, accident avoidance, sports injury, tissue modelling, epidemiology and all other fields relating to the biomechanics of injury and protective systems are invited to attend.

Deadline for Abstracts: December 16, 2013

Deadline Short Communication: April 1, 2014



The next TUC newsletter will presumably appear before Christmas 2013. An overview of the most relevant topics at the STAPP Car Crash Conference in Orlando, Florida, (November 11-13, 2013) in terms of Human Body Modelling will be included in this newsletter.


Past events

IRCOBI Conference

September 11-13, 2013

Upcoming events


November 5 & 6, 2013

Biomechanics with LS-DYNA

November 12, 2013

Biomechanisches Kolloquium

November 14, 2013

57th STAPP Car Crash Conference

November 11-13, 2013

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Biomechanics Group
Institute of Legal Medicine
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80336 Munich