Kathryn joined AAAM as an AIS faculty member in January 2014. She brought to the team a bit of a unique background, as she came from the research side. “In graduate school, I coded AIS and analyzed injuries with the Crash Injury Research and Engineering Network (CIREN) and now I do similar work for the U.S. military. My specialty is injury biomechanics and I use AIS codes to programmatically investigate injuries of interest from databases, compare injuries between different scenarios, and analyze injury mechanism and causation.”

Kathryn continues, “I enjoy determining the causation of an injury and then developing improvements to mitigate the injury in the future. It has been rewarding to hear stories of new protective devices or safety features that have reduced injury or saved a life after an incident.”

Through her work and collaborative interaction with various faculty members and students, Kathryn notes, “AAAM is a great forum for collaboration on injury between medical doctors, researchers, analysts, transportation specialists, healthcare professionals, and policymakers.  It is driven on volunteer support and there are plenty of different ways to get involved and make a difference.”

Her advice to anyone interested in this field is “Biomedical Engineering is a vast field with many different specialties.  I would urge someone to spend a little time in different areas of interest before deciding which one to focus on as a specialty.  Once you have identified your specialty, find a group such as AAAM where you can get to know experts in the field and learn about the ongoing work being done.  I had some great mentors through AAAM that were encouraging, willing to share their wisdom in a constructive manner, and welcomed me into the field as I progressed through my academic career.  I’m very thankful for the opportunities it brought me and the professional relationships I’ve gained through the group.”

As this is an ever-evolving field of learning and change, Kathryn provides this insight, “Injury Biomechanics is still a developing field and I see new discoveries being made on a regular basis.  Much of the previous research focused on the 50th percentile male, but as we progress in our research and understanding, I see the inclusion of alternate sizes, ages, and females becoming more prominent.  I look forward to more diverse research programs moving forward to more fully understand the intricate differences between groups of people.”

Because our faculty members lead such exciting lives outside of their work with AAAM, here are some fun facts about Kathryn: “I live out in the country and enjoy hiking on the weekends with my dog.  Each year, I make it a point to visit a new U.S. state or foreign country, so I do quite a bit of traveling!”