Document Type


Date of Degree

Fall 2012

Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In

Civil and Environmental Engineering

First Advisor

Rahmatalla, Salam

First Committee Member

Rahmatalla, Salam

Second Committee Member

Lu, Jia

Third Committee Member

Arora, Jasbir S

Fourth Committee Member

Wilder, David G

Fifth Committee Member

Bhatti, Asghar


Studies of human response to whole-body vibration, such those encountered in heavy machinery and ground and aerial transportation, have highlighted the critical role of the head-neck posture of seated human occupants and the role of the transport system of a supine human on the severity of the transmitted vibration to the human body.

Novel passive and muscle-based models are introduced in this work to predict the biodynamical response of the human under whole-body vibration in seated and supine postures.

Planar and three-dimensional models representing the human head-neck system under different seated postures and fore-aft and multiple-axis whole-body vibration are first introduced. In these models, the head-neck system is represented by rigid links connected via spring-damper components representing the soft-tissue and connecting elements between the bones. Additional muscle components are added to some models. The muscle components comprise additional mass, spring, and damper elements arranged in a special order to capture the effect of changes in the displacement, velocity, acceleration, and jerk. The results show that the proposed models are able to predict the displacement and acceleration of the head under different vibration files, with the muscle-based models showing better performance than the passive models.

The second set of models is introduced in this work to investigate the effect of the underlying transport system conditions on the response of supine humans under vertical and multiple-axis whole-body vibration. In these models, the supine human body is represented by three rigid links representing the head, torso/arms, and legs. The links are connected via rotational and translational joints, and therefore, it is expected that the models can capture the coupling effects between adjacent segments. The joints comprise translational and rotational spring-damper components that represent the soft tissue and the connecting elements between the segments. The contact surfaces between the supine human and the underlying transport system were modeled using spring-damper elements. Two underlying transport systems were considered, including a rigid support and a long spinal board attached to a military litter. The results showed that the proposed models were able to predict the effect of the transport systems on the human response under different vibration conditions.


human body, multi-body dynamics, posture, supine, vibration, whole-body vibration


xiii, 157 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 151-157).


Copyright 2012 Yang Wang