Personal Information
College Photo Name Simms, Ciaran Knut
College Address Mechanical & Manuf. Eng,
Parsons Building
Main Department Mechanical & Manuf. Eng
College Title Associate Professor
College Tel +353 1 896 3768
Fax 00353 1 6795554
Ciaran Simms, BA, BAI, PhD, FTCD, MIEI is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering in Trinity College, Dublin. He is also a Principal Investigator in the Centre for Bioengineering in Trinity College, Dublin. Prior to working in TCD he held research engineer positions with TNO Automotive in Delft and Detroit and with Denis Wood Associates in Dublin.
Teaching interests and responsibilities
My main teaching interests are in the Mechanics of Machines, Multibody Dynamics, Computational Methods for Engineers and Biomechanics with a focus on human body modeling for impact applications and muscle tissue mechanics.
Professional Qualifications
Qualification Institution Class of Degree Title of Dissertation Date Conferred
BA BAI Trinity College Dublin II.1 Jaw joint injuries during whiplash November 1995
PhD Trinity College Dublin   Temporomandibular joint injuries during whiplash April 2000
Details Date
I am the Soft Tissue Mechanics of the Elsevier Journal of the Mechanical Behaviour of Biomedical Materials 2008-
I am Vice President of the International Research Council on the Biomechanics of Injury 2012-
I am a founding member of the Irish Seating and Mobility Interest Group 2008-
I am a Board Member of the Voluntary Clinical Registration Board 2008-
I was the College academic representative on the National Qualifications Authority of Ireland Framework Implementation Network. 2007-2009
Administrative Functions
Details Level Date From Date To
College Tutor Trinity College Dublin 2004-
Director of MSc course in Bioengineering Trinity College Dublin 2004-2009
Membership of Professional Institutions, Associations, Societies
Details Date From Date To
Ordinary member of Engineers Ireland
Member of the European Society of Biomechanics 2004-
Member of the International Research Council on Biomechanics of Injury 2009-
Awards and Honours
Award Date
Engineers Ireland Education Excellence Award for MSc in Bioengineering Nov 2012
InterTradeIreland Bbest Project Award for Buddy Roamer Walking Aid 2011
Nominated for Irish Times Innovation Award 2011
Fellowship of Trinity College Dublin 2010
Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland - best conference paper Jan 2003
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Education Details
School/College Date From Date To
Trinity College Dublin 1991 1995
St Kilians Deutsche Schule Dublin 1980 1991
Language Skill Reading Skill Writing Skill Speaking
English Fluent Fluent Fluent
German Fluent Fluent Fluent
Research Institutes / Centres / Groups
Research Institutes / Centres / Groups Description of Role Date From Date To
The Trinity Centre for Bioengineering Principal investigator
Trinity Biomedical Sciences
Employment Details
Position Held Job Description Where Date From Date To
Teaching Assistant   Trinity College Dublin 1997 1999
Research Engineer   Denis Wood Associates, Dublin 1999 2000
Research Engineer   TNO Madymo Detroit 2000 2001
Lecturer Dept Mechanical Engineering Trinity College Dublin 2001 2007
Description of Research Interests
My main research interests are in injury biomechanics and crash safety and device design, and I have published the only textbook on pedestrian and cyclist impact mechanics together with Dr. Denis Wood. I have also published about 40 papers in international journals on topics varying from studies of the mechanics of passive muscle tissue in compression and tension, the influence of vehicle design on human injury, forensic Biomechanics, studies on the safety of wheelchair users in transportation, the development of roadside safety barriers from natural building materials and the development of walking aids for children with physical disabilities. My principal area of interest lies in human body modeling for crash analysis and in biomechanics and device designfor better and safer human interaction with the environment. This began with experimental models of the neck and jaw for my PhD thesis and has progressed to Finite Element and Multi-Body modeling through my work with the Dutch Research Corporation TNO in Delft, The Netherlands and Detroit, USA. The drive now is to create global human body models suitable for virtual crash testing, a field becoming more and more important as the biofidelity of crash test dummies becomes an increasing limitation. In addition, advances in forensic engineering have aided estimation of vehicle speed from crash data (tyre marks, residual crush, pedestrian throw distances). The application of Newtonian mechanics to the statistical data available from police reports allows Monte Carlo simulations to determine the distribution of pedestrian throw distances and energy sharing between vehicles. This was the main thrust of my research while employed with Denis Wood Associates Forensic Engineering Company. In the last 10 years as a researcher at Trinity College Dublin, a major focus has been on characterizing on modeling the mechanical behavior of passive skeletal muscle tissue as this is a crucial tissue in the fields of impact biomechanics, rehabilitation engineering and surgical simulation. My research group has published a number of well cited papers in this field and continues to focus on this topic. In the last three years, I have become active in medical device design. In collaboration with the Northern Ireland-based company moorings Mediquip, I have developed an award-winning Novel walking aid for children with physical disabilities. I am now actively engaged with another company in developing crash resistant swivel seats for easy access to vehicles. I also have two PhD students focusing on developing wound closure devices for laparoscopic surgery, with a focus on devices suitable for obese patients. I am also collaborating with Dr. Bidisha Ghosh in Civil Engineering in Trinity College Dublin on a project funded by the National Roads Authority of Ireland to develop low-cost roadside barriers from natural building materials.
Research Interests
Bioengineering Biomechanics of human movement Biomechanics, Biomedical Engineering Road Transport Technology
Transport Transport Technology, Engineering
Research Projects
Project title Safer Vehicle Restraint Systems (SAVERS)
Summary EU project funded by CEDR on guidelines for vehicle restraint system choice and placement. Statistical Analysis of accident data and roadways to develop guidelines. TCD Irish Collaboration is with Dr Giuseppina Amato of Queens University Belfast.
Funding Agency Conference of European Directors of Roads (CEDR)
Type of Project
Date from 2012
Date to 2014
Person Months

Project title Development of a swivel seat
Summary Intertrade Ireland Fusion (2009-2011) this is a collaborative project with McElmeel Mobility in Armagh to develop a swivel seat for easy access to vehicles which is capable of withstanding crash loads.
Funding Agency InterTrade Ireland
Programme FUSION
Type of Project Research Consultancy
Date from 2012
Date to 2013
Person Months

Project title Experimental and Numerical Characterisation of Low-Cost Roadside Barrier Solutions
Summary The NRA is seeking low-cost roadside barrier solutions for National Secondary Roads suitable for implementation following road realignment projects. The current project proposes to use well-established computational modelling techniques to evaluate the potential for proposed new designs that are based on freely available low-cost natural building materials (e.g. stone wall, earth etc.) and which meet cost, aesthetic and engineering requirements. Several outline concepts have already been developed as part of this proposal, and mechanical Characterisation of the constituent materials and basic scaled prototype impact tests as well as buildability and cost evaluation will be performed to provide preliminary data on the potential for the proposed designs. The research group’s significant experience in computational crash modelling will then be used to evaluate the potential for the proposed designs to meet the required National and European Standards for roadside barriers. The proposed designs will simultaneously be evaluated for aesthetics and lifecycle cost and a cost/benefit analysis on the proposed designs will be performed by comparison with existing products. This process will be performed in an iterative manner in which proposed designs are computationally evaluated, amended as required, and then re-evaluated. The computational models will be benchmarked using data from existing tests at the Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) in the UK, and the deformation response of the proposed components for the designs will be experimentally evaluated. A scaled prototype of the final proposed design will be produced and physically crash tested to predict the likely performance of the proposed new design in a full-scale barrier test. If the scaled prototype physical test indicates a high potential for success, a full-scale barrier test will be performed at TRL in the UK, and the final report detailing the potential for implementation of the new barrier designed will be presented to the NRA.
Funding Agency National Roads Authority
Type of Project Research
Date from 2011
Date to 2014
Person Months

Project title Human muscle properties in compression
Summary The ability to accurately model the human body using the finite element technique depends on material laws. The material laws currently available in commercial crash codes are not capable of capturing the complex constitutive relations present in soft tissue and this project aims to further characterise and model passive muscle deformation behaviour.
Funding Agency Galway County Council
Type of Project Research
Date from 2010
Date to 2013
Person Months

Project title Development of a Walking Aid for children with Cerebral Palsy
Summary This collaborative projects with Mmoorings Mediquip in Northern Ireland aims to develop a novel walking aid for children with physical disabilities
Funding Agency InterTrade Ireland
Programme FUSION
Type of Project
Date from 2010
Date to 2012
Person Months

More Research Projects>>>
Publications and Other Research Outputs
Peer Reviewed
Takaza M, Gindre J, Moerman K, Lyons CG and Simms CK, The anisotropic mechanical behaviour of passive skeletal muscle tissue subjected to large tensile strain, Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials, 17, 2013, 209–220
Notes: [PMID: 23127635]
TARA - Full Text  DOI
Takaza, M, Moerman K, Simms CK, Passive Skeletal Muscle Response to Impact Loading: Experimental testing and inverse modelling, Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials, 27, 2013, 214-225
Amato G, O'Brien F, Ghosh B, Simms CK, Multibody modelling of a TB31 and a TB32 crash test with vertical portable concrete barriers: Model verification and sensitivity analysis, IMechE Journal of Multibody Dynamics, 227, (3), 2013, p245-260
Amato G, O'Brien F, Ghosh B, Williams, G, Simms CK, Multibody modelling of gabion beams for impact applications, Journal of Crashworthiness, 18, (3), 2013, 237-250
Gindre J, Takaza M, Moerman K, Simms CK, A Structural Model of Passive Skeletal Muscle shows Two Reinforcement Processes in Resisting Deformation, Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials, 22, (June), 2013, p84–94
TARA - Full Text  DOI
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