How long have you been a member of AAAM?
I presented as a student at my first AAAM conference in 2010 and have been a continuous member since 2015.
What inspired you to join AAAM?
It was such a great opportunity to meet all the people whose papers I had been reading – I was a little bit star-struck at my first conference!
What are your main areas of interest in the field of Automotive Medicine?
My work focuses on child safety in vehicles, especially child restraint performance under various conditions that are not currently crash tested as part of the federal regulations. I also study the misuse of child restraints, how misuse affects performance outcomes, and how we can improve this problem through engineering and education.
What do you find most rewarding about working in this field?
I love that our work has direct benefits to nearly everybody in society, and I love collaborating with industry and other groups to make sure that potential advancements are implemented as quickly and effectively as possible.
What challenges have you faced over the years and how have you overcome them?
Child safety is challenging in general because there is not as much crash data or biomechanical data compared to adults, and so many more variables when you consider all the different sizes of children and types of child restraints. It has been rewarding to slowly chip away at these issues and get creative with new ways to collect necessary data.
What’s something about you (a fun fact) that not many people know?
I love hedgehogs and had one as a pet in college. His name was Weezy.
How do you think the field is changing and what trends do you see coming up on the horizon?
It’s so exciting to see students getting involved in our field and bringing creative new ideas with them. I am excited to see how our field will be able to leverage new technology in imaginative ways – from data collection to crash analysis to vehicle design. We are already seeing a lot of innovative features on child seats to help caregivers use the products correctly and more easily.
What advice would you give to someone interested in this field?
Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for information. The individuals in this field are a wealth of knowledge. There are so many interesting ideas to discuss and so much collective knowledge to be gained by talking to people.
What’s one thing – either field-related or not – you learned in the last month?
I’ve learned a lot of fantastic British slang (and also some baking tips) from the Great British Baking Show – Can’t get enough of that show!
Is there anything else you would like to share with your colleagues?
I am so grateful to have met many of you through our work together in AAAM, and look forward to continuing to improve safety with you!