Dr. Stephanie Bonin is a senior biomechanical engineer in the Injury Biomechanics Group. She works in MEA Forensic’s Los Angeles office. Stephanie analyzes injuries in cases involving automobile collisions, brain injuries, helmet protection, slip and falls, and workplace accidents. “I take a scientific, methodical approach,” she says, “providing clients with the information they need to understand their case.”

Stephanie holds Bachelor’s degrees in Physiology and Engineering Mechanics, a Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Michigan State University, and a Doctorate in Industrial Engineering, with a focus on Injury Biomechanics, from the University of Miami. Her PhD thesis focused on motorcycle helmets. She developed a method for determining impact speed and the potential for head injury from damage to a helmet. Before joining MEA, Stephanie worked as an ergonomist in a gait laboratory and in the safety restraint and medical device industries.

Stephanie is registered as a professional engineer in California and has testified as an expert witness in court. “I see my role as an assistant or educator to the trier of fact, helping them to make an informed decision,” she says. She works to explain complex concepts in a manner that juries can understand. “My aim is to take the mystery out of the science.”

In addition to her research on helmets, Stephanie has studied wearable sensor systems for measuring head impact severity in football players. She is looking forward to combining these topics in an upcoming study of concussions in equestrian sports. Volunteer riders will wear mouthguards containing sensors that measure head accelerations when they fall. The ultimate goal is to help design more effective helmets. “I’m a rider,” she says, “so my interest in this is both scientific and personal.”

education

  1. Doctor of Philosophy, Industrial Engineering, University of Miami, 2017.
  2. Master of Science, Mechanical Engineering, Michigan State University, 2001.
  3. Bachelor of Science, Engineering Mechanics, Michigan State University, 1997.
  4. Bachelor of Science, Physiology, Michigan State University, 1997.

professional status

  1. Registered Professional Engineer, State of California, since 2017. License Number 38652.
  2. Certified Playground Safety Inspector, since 2017. Certification Number 40179-1220.
  3. Certified Child Safety Passenger Technician, since 2018. Certification ID T781193.

professional associations

  1. Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine, since 2017.
  2. American Society of Mechanical Engineers, since 2013.
  3. ASTM International F08 – Sports Equipment and Facilities voting committee member, since 2015.
  4. Gait and Clinical Movement Analysis Society, since 2011.

Scholarly Activities

  1. University of Kentucky, Sports Medicine Research Institute: Jockey & Equestrian
    Advisory Board Member

Professional Experience

  1. MEA Forensic Engineers & Scientists
    Senior Biomechanical Engineer, January 2012 to present

    Conducts biomechanical analyses to assess the relationship between injuries and applied forces in cases involving automobile collisions, pedestrian impacts, slip/trip and fall, and sports injuries. Analyzes effectiveness of protective devices including seat belts and helmets. Conducts research on motorcycle helmet response during impacts using cadaver heads and instrumented headforms. Investigates impact performance of helmets on, above, and below the test line specified in helmet certification standards.

  2. Institute for Mobility and Longevity, Jupiter, FL
    Biomechanist, 2009 to 2012

    Evaluated of the efficacy of the 3D Knee ® implant by coordinating, leading and reporting on a 5-year follow-up study for device manufacturer, observed surgeries and followed patients by monitoring clinical outcome measures, conducted and reported on clinical gait analyses using 3-D motion capture.

  3. Pratt & Whitney, East Hartford, CT
    Ergonomic and Repair Development Engineer, 2005 to 2009

    Assessed operator/equipment interface, designed and implemented manufacturing solutions to reduce ergonomic risks. Led effort to incorporate ergonomics into the design control process, collaborated across business units and technical disciplines for process improvements, conducted injury investigations, led continuous improvement initiatives, and completed 2 years of courses in Physical Therapy. Developed technical data and conducted structural analysis of turbine airfoils, conducted root cause and corrective action investigations.

  4. Doctor’s Research Group, Inc., Plymouth, CT
    Product Development Engineer, 2001 to 2002

    Developed dental devices from concept to manufacturing including design, prototyping, vendor sourcing, patent reviews, supported 510(k) and patent submissions, established assembly processes, observed surgical procedures, provided training, and integrated surgeon feedback into designs, responded to technical inquiries.

  5. Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI
    Research Assistant, 1997 to 2001

    McPhail Equine Performance Center: Performed three-dimensional modeling and analysis of the equine temporomandibular joint, conducted gait analysis of performance horses including kinematic, kinetic, and electromyographic data collection. College of Veterinary Medicine, Laboratory for Comparative Orthopaedic Research: Performed finite element and photoelastic stress analysis of equine hooves in-vitro. Biomechanics Evaluation Laboratory, Department of Engineering Mechanics: Patient preparation, kinematic, kinetic, and electromyographic data collection. Veterinary Assistant – College of Veterinary Medicine, Equine Hospital, 1999: Provided routine services to equine hospital patients, assisted with examinations, rehabilitation, and surgeries.

  6. Breed Technologies, Sterling Heights, MI
    Seat Belt and System Performance Engineer, 1997 to 1998

    Modeled the biomechanical response of passengers in order to design safety restraint systems, experimentally Verified simulations, and incorporated a rear-center retractor into Chrysler 300M vehicles.

  7. Equestrian Experience
    Trainer and competitor in dressage and eventing disciplines, 1990 to present.

    Assess saddle fit on horse and rider performance.

Teaching Experience

  1. Michigan State University, 1998 TO 2001

    Teaching AssistantDepartment of Mechanical Engineering
    Fluid Mechanics Laboratory, Heat Transfer LaboratoryDepartment of Physiology
    Capstone Laboratory in Physiology
    Weekly laboratory lecture, assisted students with experiments, graded laboratory reports.

Lectures & Presentations

  1. February 24, 2018 – Assessing concussion risk: What your Biomechanical Expert should know – TBI Medlegal Conference, San Diego, CA.
  2. November 15, 2017 – Expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam density varies within and between bicycle helmets – ASTM International Standards Development Meeting of Committee F08 – Sports Equipment and Facilities, Atlanta, GA.
  3. November 13, 2014 – A Comparison of Cadaver Heads and Standard Headforms in Helmet Testing – ASTM International Standards Development Meeting of Committee F08 – Sports Equipment and Facilities, New Orleans, LA.
  4. November 9, 2014 – A Comparison of Cadaver Heads and Standard Headforms in Helmet Testing – 42nd International Workshop on Human Subjects for Biomechanical Research, San Diego, CA.

Training & Professional Development

  1. September 26-29, 2018 – NHTSA National Standardized Child Passenger Safety Training, Pomona, CA.
  2. September 12-14, 2018 – International Research Council on Biomechanics of Injury Conference, Athens, Greece.
  3. November 15-17, 2017 – ASTM International Standards Development Meeting of Committee F08 – Sports Equipment and Facilities, Atlanta, GA.
  4. November 7-8, 2017 – Playground Safety Inspector Certification Course. Riverside, CA.
  5. September 14-16, 2016 – International Research Council on Biomechanics of Injury Conference, Malaga, Spain.
  6. September 13, 2016 – International Research Council on Biomechanics of Injury Workshop on Crash Reconstruction, Malaga, Spain.
  7. May 3-4, 2016 – ASTM International Standards Development Meeting of Committee F08 – Sports Equipment and Facilities, San Antonio, TX.
  8. July 6, 2015 – Building Code Overview, Ontario Society of Professional Engineers, Mississauga, ON.
  9. November 18-19, 2015 – ASTM International Standards Development Meeting of Committee F08 – Sports Equipment and Facilities, Tampa, FL.
  10. November 9-11, 2015 – 59th Stapp Car Crash Conference, New Orleans, LA.
  11. November 8, 2015 – 43rd International Workshop on Human Subjects for Biomechanical Research, New Orleans, LA.
  12. September 9-11 – International Research Council on Biomechanics of Injury Conference, Lyon, France.
  13. May 20-21, 2015 – ASTM International Standards Development Meeting of Committee F08 – Sports Equipment and Facilities, Anaheim, CA.
  14. November 13, 2014 – ASTM Standards Development Meeting of Committee F08 – Sports Equipment and Facilities, New Orleans, LA.
  15. November 10-12, 2014 – 58th Stapp Car Crash Conference, San Diego, CA.
  16. November 9, 2014 – 42nd International Workshop on Human Subjects for Biomechanical Research, San Diego, CA.
  17. July 6-9, 2014 – 7th World Congress of Biomechanics, Boston, MA.
  18. June 9-10, 2014 – Commanding Presence Workshop, Toronto, ON.
  19. November 13-15, 2013 – ASTM International Standards Development Meeting of Committee F08 – Sports Equipment and Facilities, Jacksonville, FL.
  20. November 11-13, 2013 – 57th Stapp Car Crash Conference, Orlando, FL.
  21. November 10, 2013 – 41st International Workshop on Human Subjects for Biomechanical Research, Orlando, FL.
  22. June 26-29, 2013 – ASME Summer Bioengineering Conference, Sunriver, OR.
  23. November 14-16, 2012 – ASTM International Standards Development Meeting of Committee F08 – Sports Equipment and Facilities, Atlanta, GA.
  24. November 13, 2012 – ASTM International Symposium on the Mechanism of Concussion in Sports, Atlanta, GA.
  25. January 7-8, 2012 – National Academy of Forensic Engineers bi-annual meeting, Miami, FL.
  26. November 15-17, 2011 – MADYMO Introductory Course, Livonia, MI.
  27. April 26-29, 2011 – Gait and Clinical Movement Analysis Society Annual Meeting, Bethesda, MD.
  28. August 5-9, 2008 – North American Congress on Biomechanics, Ann Arbor, MI.
  29. May 28-31, 2008 – Clinical Gain Analysis: A Focus on Interpretation. Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, Hartford, Connecticut.
  30. Mach 19-22, 2006 – 52nd Annual Meeting of the Orthopaedic Research Society, Chicago, IL.