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Thesis Work - Lumbar Spine Fracture Prediction in Finite Element Crash Simulations

Thesis Worker at Volvo Cars

Welcome to explore the world of Volvo Cars by writing your thesis with us! As a thesis worker in our organization you are supported by a supervisor who follows you during your project. All thesis projects are arranged in business critical areas and therefore you will be able to contribute to our company purpose – providing freedom to move in a safe, sustainable and personal way – from day one! 



At Volvo Cars Safety Centre, over 200 highly skilled professionals strive every day to make the world a safer place for car drivers and everyone else on the road. We are proud of our track record including numerous world's firsts, all based on real world research and knowledge: exemplified by the safety belt (1959), SIPS (1991), WHIPS (1998), City Safety (2008), Pedestrian Detection with Full Auto brake (2010), and Run off Road protection (2015).
We are now looking for MSc Students for a project with our Injury Prevention Principles and Guidelines Team, working with occupant protection, methods, and requirements.


Lumbar spine fractures have increased in relative importance since the 1990s – with the improvement of vehicle safety several other moderate and severe injuries have been reduced while the risk of spinal fracture in a vehicle crash has remained relatively constant. To address this, Volvo introduced Run-off Road protection which can help reduce the risk of spine injuries by energy absorption. For the future, it has been predicted that the introduction of automated vehicles can allow for more reclined occupant postures, which might lead to increased different lumbar spine loading in frontal crashes.


For this reason, further advancement of tools for occupant risk assessment in crash simulation and testing is needed. This thesis aims to investigate existing lumbar spine fracture injury criteria and risk functions using both a Finite Element (FE) Human Body Model (HBM) and a FE model of the most advanced frontal impact dummy, the THOR.

In this project, students will learn to run occupant crash safety FE simulations in LS-Dyna, review the scientific literature on lumbar and thoracic spine injuries and using simulations to reconstruct real world car crashes and more isolated biomechanical tests.
•    Review relevant and recent impact literature on lumbar spine fractures in automotive impacts and related fields. 
•    Run simulations of published impact biomechanics tests with the SAFER HBM at component and whole-body level, paired with THOR simulations when possible and relevant.
•    Run occupant compartment model simulations and accident reconstructions with SAFER HBM and THOR in parallel.
•    Based on the available literature and simulation results, generate a transfer function between the SAFER HBM and the THOR or relevant lumbar spine injury criteria and risk function for THOR


The MSc-project is suitable for two students, preferably with good knowledge of the FE method, biomechanics, and statistics. The work will be carried out at Volvo Cars Safety Centre during spring 2023. FE simulations will be done using the LS-DYNA FE software.

You contribution is our future
The project is suitable for two MSc students within Applied Mechanics, Automotive Engineering or similar, preferably with good knowledge of the FE method, biomechanics, and statistics. The work will be carried out at Volvo Cars Safety Centre during spring 2022. FE simulations will be done using the LS-DYNA FE software.


•    The work will start in January 2023 
•    The duration for this thesis work is 20 weeks.
•    30 ECTS (Master academic credits)
•    This thesis is to be conducted by 2 Students working in pair.


Be part of the change – apply today!
Selection will be ongoing during the application period, so do not hesitate to send in your application. Attach your Cv and personal letter stating your interests within the given area and your thoughts and credentials.

Apply as soon as possible but no later than 31th of October.

Please note that due to GDPR applications via email will not be accepted.

For questions about the thesis work please contact, contact Jonas Östh at  


We are Volvo Cars

Volvo Cars is a company on a mission to bring traditional car manufacturing into a connected, sustainable and smart future. Since 1927, we've been known for our commitment to safety and for creating innovative cars that make life less complicated. In 2010, we decided to radically redefine our business, resulting in a totally new generation of cars and technology, as well as steady growth and record sales - and we're only getting started. By 2025, we aim to have yearly sales of 1.2 million cars, 50% of which will be electrical vehicles and sold directly to customers through digital channels. We also intend to strengthen our position as a modern, progressive employer committed to diversity and gender and racial equality. We believe in the power of people. Join us and be part of Volvo Cars' transformation. 

Gothenburg, SE

Job requisition ID:  61979

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