Dr. Peter Cripton is a professor of mechanical and biomedical engineering at the University of British Columbia, and a senior biomechanical engineer in MEA Forensic’s Injury Biomechanics group. He analyzes injuries in sports, transportation, and occupational accidents. Drawing on his knowledge of the scientific literature, his experience designing and conducting experiments and his analytical skills, Peter works to reconstruct the mechanisms of injury, providing clients with a clear understanding of how injuries occur and how they might be prevented.

Peter is an award-winning researcher who has authored more than a hundred publications on a wide variety of topics including brain and spinal cord injuries, and bone fractures. “Ideas for research come from the real-world cases that I encounter in my work at MEA,” he says. “If, for example, a case involves a specific type of skull fracture that isn’t well described in the scientific literature, we can design a study and explore it further in the lab.”

Peter facilitates collaborative projects involving MEA and the University of British Columbia. One such project involves analyzing spinal cord injuries in head-first impacts associated with automotive rollovers. The ultimate goal is to develop methods for mitigating or preventing these often catastrophic injuries.

Both clients and colleagues know Peter for his deep understanding of biomechanics, his attention to detail, and his dedication to the principles of professional honesty and scientific inquiry. He is committed to communicating technical findings to clients and, when called as an expert witness, before judge and jury.

areas of specialization

  1. Spinal cord and brain injury
  2. Helmet effectiveness
  3. Injury causation
  4. Bicycle collisions
  5. Occupant kinematics
  6. Hip fracture


  1. Postdoctoral Fellowship, Orthopedics, Yale University, 2000
  2. Doctor of Philosophy, Mechanical Engineering, Queen’s University, 1999.
  3. Master of Science, Mechanical Engineering, Queen’s University, 1993.
  4. Bachelor of Science, Mechanical Engineering, Technical University of Nova Scotia, 1990.
  5. Bachelor of Science, Dalhousie University, 1987.

professional status

  1. Registered Professional Engineer
  2. Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of British Columbia, Registration No. 29890

professional associations

  1. International Society of Biomechanics, since 2003
  2. American Society for Testing Materials, since 2003
  3. American Society for Testing Materials Committee F08 (Sports Equipment, Playing Surfaces and Facilities), since 2013
  4. Orthopaedic Research Society, since 2003
  5. North American Spine Society, since 2016
  6. North American Spine Society, since 2015
  7. Biomedical Engineering Society, since 2018

Scholarly Activities

  1. Peer Reviews for the following academic journals: Journal of Biomechanics, European Spine Journal, Biomed Central, Annals of Biomedical Engineering, Spine, Medical Engineering and Physics, Clinical Biomechanics, Canadian Space Agency, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (Canada), Canadian Institutes of Health Research, National Science Foundation (US), Ohio State University.

Professional Experience

  1. MEA Forensic engineers & Scientists
    Senior Biomechanical Engineer, January 2015 to present

    Conducts biomechanical analyses to assess injury causation in cases involving automobile collisions, slip/trip and fall, and sports injuries. He has expertise in the areas of human tolerance to injury, especially spine and spinal cord injury, brain injury and concussion and bone fracture, and the analysis of dynamic events such as rollovers. His technical skills include materials testing systems, impact apparatus and instrumentation, strain measurement techniques, custom-load cell development, three dimensional motion measurement and analysis and high speed x-ray techniques. He conducts research using human subjects, anthropomorphic test devices (crash test dummies) and computational models.

  2. University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC
    Professor, Mechanical Engineering and School of Biomedical Engineering, Associate Director, School of Biomedical Engineering and director of the undergraduate BME program, School of Biomedical Engineering and Associate Faculty, Dept. of Orthopaedics, 2003-present

    At UBC he co-directs the Orthopaedic and Injury Biomechanics Group and he is a Principal Investigator in the ICORD spinal cord injury research centre, in the UBC Centre for Brain Health and in the Centre for Hip Health and Mobility.

  3. Synaptic Analysis Consulting Group Inc, Vancouver, BC
    Principal Engineer and CEO, 2004-2014

    Injury biomechanics and medical device consulting and research.

  4. Exponent Failure Analysis Associates, Philadelphia, USA
    Managing Engineer, 2001-2003

    Injury biomechanics and medical device consulting and research.

  5. Maurice E. Müller Institute for Biomechanics, University of Bern, Switzerland
    Research Engineer and PhD student, 1993-1999

    Biomechanical research on spinal implant biomechanics and cervical spine injury.

Research Activities

  2. Co-Investigator: Multimodal Development of the CHIMERA Platform of Traumatic Brain Injury. CFI, $11.4M, 2017-2022.
  3. Co-Investigator: Innovation of Spinal Cord Injury Treatment and Translation. CFI, $1.6M, 2017-2022.
  4. Principal Investigator: Shear Injury of the Cervical Spine – Experimental and Computational Modelling. CIHR (Project Grant), $143,055, 2017-2021.
  5. Principal Investigator: Design and construction of an omni-directional biofidelic three-dimensional surrogate neck for helmet and automotive crash testing. NSERC (Discovery Grant), $44,000, 2017-2021.
  6. Principal Investigator: Kinematics and Muscle Activation of the Cervical Spine During Impending Head First Impacts in Motor Vehicle Rollovers. CIHR (operating Grant), $71,155, 2015-2019.
  7. Co-Investigator: CHIMERA: A transformational model of rodent traumatic brain injury. Weston Brain Institute, $1,484,490, 2015-2018.
  8. Co-Investigator: Optimizing Hemodynamic Support of Acute Spinal Cord Injury Based on Injury Mechanism. US DoD (USAMRAA) W81XWH-13-SCIRP-TRA, $249,901 USD, 2014-2017.
  9. Co-Investigator: Spinal Cord Swelling and Alterations in Hydrostatic Pressure After Acute Injury. US DoD (USAMRAA) W81XWH-13-SCI-IIRA, $219,973 USD, 2014-2017.
  10. Co-Investigator: Hemodynamic Support in Traumatic Spinal Cord Injury: Effects on Metabolism, Inflammation, and Functional Outcome. CIHR (operating Grant), $132,688, 2014-2017.
  11. Co-Investigator: Improved Field Management and Safe Ground Transport of Patients with Head and Spine Injuries. Congress-Directed Medical Research Program (Dept. of the US Army), $224, 875 USD, 2014-2015.
  12. Co-Investigator: What Predisposes a Hip to Fracture – A Retrospective FE Hip Fracture Study Based on the AGES-RS Data. St. Josef’s Hospital Fund (Reykjavik, Iceland), $80,000, 2013-2016.
  13. Principal Investigator: Kinematics and muscle activation of the cervical spine during impending head first impacts in motor vehicle rollovers. Canadian Institute for Health Research (CIHR), $71,155 per year, 2015 – 2019.
  14. Principal Investigator: Using Biomechanical Engineering to Prevent Spinal Cord Injuries. Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (Discovery Grant), $31,000 per year, 2012 – 2016.
  15. Principal Investigator: Towards a Cervical Spine Injury Tolerance Criterion that incorporates Lateral Bending Loading. Canadian Institute of Health Research (Operating Grant), $135,757 per year, 2012 – 2015.
  16. Principal Investigator: Vibration and shock exposure limits for transport of the acute spinal cord injured. Congress-Directed Medical Research Program (US Dept of Defence). $2,348,595 total, 2011 – 2013.
  17. Principal Investigator: Whistler Sliding Centre Sled Trajectory Evaluation – Trauma Study. Whistler Sport Legacies Society. $93,556 total, 2011.
  18. Principal Investigator: Biomechanics of Spinal Cord Injury throughout the Lifespan. Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (Discovery Grant), $30,000 per year, 2009 – 2013.
  19. Co-Investigator: Mechanisms of Bone Fracture and their Clinical Applications. Canadian Institutes of Health Research. $127,929 per year, 2009 – 2012.
  20. Co-Investigator: Load Transfer Characteristics between Posterior Implant and Lumbar Spine in Shear – A Biomechanical Investigation. Medtronic Inc. $88,500 per year, 2009 – 2010.
  21. Principal Investigator: Pro-Neck-Tor: A helmet to prevent spinal cord injuries occurring during sports and transportation. Canadian Institutes of Health Research (Proof of Principle), $74,876 total, 2009 – 2010.
  22. Co-Investigator: Bicyclists’ injuries and the cycling environment (The BICE Study). Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada. $193,000 per year, 2008 – 2010.
  23. Co-Investigator: Brain activation: From mechanisms to mobility. Canadian Institutes of Health Research (Catalyst Grant), $73,940 total, 2008.
  24. Principal Investigator: Low-pressure, fibre Bragg grating pressure sensors for measurement of cerebrospinal fluid pressures associated with spinal cord injury. Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (Research Tools and Infrastructure), $56,672 total, 2008.
  25. Principal Investigator: The role of cerebrospinal fluid and the subarachnoid space in acute spinal cord injury. Canadian Institutes of Health Research (Operating Grant), $72,088 per year, 2007 – 2010.
  26. Principal Investigator: A helmet to prevent spinal cord injuries during head first impact. Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (Idea to Innovation), $55,952 per year, 2007 – 2008.


  1. Best Presentation award (Margaret Hines Award) at the 2018 Ohio Injury Biomechanics Symposium (M.A.Sc. student M’Beth Schoenfeld presenting.
  2. Best Presentation Award (Margaret Hines Award) at the 2014 Ohio Injury Biomechanics Symposium (PhD student Carolyn van Toen Presenting)
  3. Best Presentation Award (Master’s Level) at the 2014 Northwest Biomechanics Symposium (M.A.Sc. student Jacqueline Soicher Presenting)
  4. NDI Young Investigator award for: Newell R (presenter), Siegmund G, Blouin JS, Street J, Cripton PA, Preparing for headfirst impact affects the muscle activity and posture of the neck, Conference for the Canadian Society of Biomechanics, June 6-9, 2012, Burnaby, Canada.
  5. University of British Columbia, Killam Teaching Prize 2011-2012
  6. Best Presentation Award (Margaret Hines Award) at the 2010 Ohio Injury Biomechanics Symposium (PhD student Claire Jones Presenting)
  7. University of British Columbia, Killam Faculty Research Fellowship 2009-2010
  8. Winner (with Tim Nelson) of a 2008 Popular Science “Best of What’s New” award in the Personal Health category for co-inventing the Pro-Neck-Tor helmet. 100 new products and technologies that span 11 categories are given this award annually.
  9. Best Presentation Award (Margaret Hines Award) at the 2008 Ohio Injury Biomechanics Symposium (PhD student Tim Nelson Presenting)
  10. Cervical Spine Research Society, 2001 Research Grant Award
  11. Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, Postdoctoral Research Fellowship, 1999


  1. Pressure Sensor for Biological Fluids and Use Thereof, US Provisional Patent Application 60/776,600 Filing Date: February 23, 2006 (I am one of five inventors)
  2. Protective helmet with movable outer shell relative to inner shell, US Patent 8,156,569 Issued: April 17, 2012 (I am one of two inventors on the patent)