David Poulard

David PoulardDavid Poulard
Research Scientist
david.poulard@virginia.edu | 434.297.8017

Dr. Poulard is a research scientist whose current research focuses on understanding and modeling the mechanical response of the human body subjected to impact and evaluating and improving the protection of car users. He obtained his Masters and Doctoral degrees in Biomechanics at the University of Lyon where he established an expertise in human body finite models used in crashworthiness (THUMS, GHBMC). His current work is mainly structured around the development, validation and personalization of human body finite element models for impact biomechanics problems encountered in car crashes. In particular, Dr. Poulard developed methods to personalized human body finite element models towards specific anthropometries, ages and postures. These methods are useful in assessing the injury risk of vulnerable people like the elderly and the 5th percentile female or to analyze independently the contribution of out-of position posture on impact response and injury outcome.




  • PhD, Mechanical Engineering – University of Lyon, France
  • MS, Biomechanics – University of Lyon, France


Research Interests

  • Computational/finite element modeling
  • Injury biomechanics
  • Automotive safety



  • Member of Société de Biomécanique
  • International Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE)


Other Interests

  • Fitness, Playing music (guitar, bass), Programming, Reading

Selected Publications

  • Thoracic response targets for a computational model: a hierarchical approach applied to a seated 50th-percentile male FE model. Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials. DOI: 10.1016/j.jmbbm.2015.01.017
  • The contribution of pre-impact spine posture on human body model response in side impact. Stapp Car Crash Journal. 2014; 58: 385-422.
  • Development of a Computational Framework to Adjust the Pre-impact Posture of a Whole-body Model Based on Cadaver Tests Data. Journal of Biomechanics. DOI: 10.1016/j.jbiomech.2014.12.050.
  • In vivo analysis of thoracic mechanical response variability under belt loading: specific behavior and relationship to age, gender and body mass index. Stapp Car Crash Journal. 2013; 57: 59-87.
  • Geometrical personalization of human FE model using palpable markers on volunteers. Computer Methods in Biomechanics and Biomedical Engineering. 2012; 15 (sup1): 298-300.