PhD Studentship: Computational modelling of the dynamic interaction between the human body and a ca

United Kingdom
Jan 29, 2016
Jan 27, 2017
Organization Type
University and College
Full Time

PhD Studentship: Computational modelling of the dynamic interaction between the human body and a car seat

Engineering & the Environment

Location:  Highfield Campus
Closing Date:   Friday 27 January 2017
Reference:  380714KR

Project Reference: NGCM-12

The modern car seat consists of nonlinear polyurethane foam cushions and complex supporting structures, and the seated human body is also a highly damped nonlinear dynamic system. The complicated dynamic interaction between the two systems can be described by computational models of the car seat and occupant. and are required for optimising the seat design, for example to promote ride comfort.  

This PhD project is designed to research the dynamic interaction between car seats and the seated human body and develop a computational model of the seat-occupant system using nonlinear finite element methods. It is expected that the development of the model can help advance understanding the dynamic interaction between the seat and the body and that the developed model can be used to predict seat transmissibility, and to optimise the seat design so as to improve ride comfort. The main tasks of this research project include: 

  • Modelling of the biodynamics of the seated human body in terms of measured driving point apparent masses.
  • Modelling of the material nonlinearity of polyurethane foam cushions and the effect of the leather or fabric covers on the vibration transmission of the seat.
  • Modelling of the dynamic contacts between the human body and the seat.
  • Computer simulation of a car seat with occupant subject to real car motion using the developed seat-occupant model to evaluate vibration transmission of the seat and dynamic response of the occupant.
  • Development of a computer code to predict ride comfort of occupants and dynamic performance of the seat based on the results of the computer simulation


If you wish to discuss any details of the project informally, please contact Dr Yi Qiu, Human Factors Research Unit, Email:, Tel: +44 (0) 2380 59 9594.

This project is run through participation in the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Next Generation Computational Modelling ( For details of our 4 Year PhD programme, please see

For a details of available projects click here

Further details:
  • Job Description and Person Specification