Amy Courtney
Amy Courtney, Ph.D.
Senior Associate
Biomechanics
  • Atlanta

Dr. Courtney specializes in the mechanical behavior of biological materials over a wide range of loading conditions. For example, she has conducted original research on the material and structural properties of bone in the context of various orthopaedic injuries, aging, unusual loading, and disease conditions. She has designed and conducted laboratory-based experiments and human subject testing to evaluate human performance and the performance of protective equipment.

Dr. Courtney also specializes in the behavior of materials, including biological materials, at very high strain rates such as occur in ballistic and blast events. She has provided scientific consultation in the areas of experimental design, techniques for data collection and analysis, materials selection, prototype evaluation, and injury mechanisms and thresholds. Her work includes novel experiments and mathematical modeling of internal, external, and terminal ballistics of small arms. She collaborated in the invention and characterization of novel experimental tools and techniques for laboratory-based blast experiments. She has published dozens of papers in the fields of biomedical engineering, biomechanics, traumatic brain injury, ballistics, and blast injury. She also teaches seminars on blast physics and blast injury for corporate and military clients.

Prior to joining Exponent, Dr. Courtney was a researcher in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at The Cleveland Clinic Foundation and the Orthopedic Biomechanics Laboratory of Beth Israel Hospital and Harvard Medical School. She also held an appointment as Assistant Professor teaching physics at the United States Military Academy at West Point.

CREDENTIALS & PROFESSIONAL HONORS

  • Ph.D., Engineering Sciences, Harvard University, 1994
  • M.S., Engineering Sciences, Harvard University, 1991
  • B.S., Engineering Mechanics, Michigan State University, 1989, honors
  • Department of the Army, Commander’s Award for Public Service

    International Society of Biomechanics Most Promising Young Scientist

    National Science Foundation Graduate Fellow

    MSU Alumni Distinguished Scholar

Publications

Biomechanics and Injury Thresholds

Courtney A, Corrigan C, Steffey D. Letter to the Editor regarding Bajaj D, et al., The resistance of cortical bone tissue to failure under cyclic loading is reduced with alendronate. Bone 2014; 64:57–64. Bone, DOI 10.1016/j.bone.2015.03.008.

Courtney A, Berg A, Michalke G, Courtney M. A history of blast exposure may affect the transmission properties of cranial bone. Experimental Mechanics 2013; 53(2):319–325.

Courtney M, Courtney A. History and evidence regarding hydrostatic shock. Neurosurgery 2011; 68(2):E596-E597.

Courtney M, Courtney A. Working toward exposure thresholds for blast-induced traumatic brain injury: Thoracic and acceleration mechanisms. NeuroImage 2011; 54:S55–S61.

Courtney A, Courtney M. Physical mechanisms of soft tissue injury from penetrating ballistic impact. Defense Technology Information Center 2012; ADA570804.

Courtney A, Courtney M. A thoracic mechanism of mild traumatic brain injury due to blast pressure waves. Medical Hypotheses 2009; 72(1):76–83.

Courtney A, Courtney M. Links between traumatic brain injury and ballistic pressure waves originating in the thoracic cavity and extremities. Brain Injury 2007; 21:657–662.

Courtney M, Courtney A. Apparent measurement errors in “Development of biomechanical response corridors in the thorax to blunt ballistic impacts.” Journal of Biomechanics 2007; 41:486–487.

Perusek G, Davis B, Courtney A, D’Andrea S. An extensometer for global measurement of bone strain suitable for use in vivo in humans. Journal of Biomechanics 2001; 34:385–391.

Courtney A, Davis B, Manning T, Kambic H. Effects of age, density and geometry on the bending strength of human metatarsals. Foot & Ankle International 1997; 18(4):216–221.

Hayes W, Myers E, Robinovtich S, Van Den Kroonenberg A, Courtney A, McMahon T. Etiology and prevention of age-related hip fractures. Bone 1996; 18(1) Supplement.

Courtney A, Hayes W, Gibson L. Age related differences in post-yield damage in human cortical bone—Experiment and model. Journal of Biomechanics 1996; 29(11):1463–1471.

Courtney A, Wachtel E, Myers E, Hayes W. Age-related reductions in the strength of the femur tested in a fall-loading configuration. Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery 1995; 77-A(3):387–396.

Bouxsein M, Courtney A, Hayes W. Ultrasound and densitometry of the calcaneus correlate with the failure loads of cadaveric femurs. Calcified Tissue International 1995; 56(2):99–103.

Courtney A, Wachtel E, Myers E, Hayes W. Effects of loading rate on strength of the proximal femur. Calcified Tissue International 1994; 55:53–58.

Ballistics and Blast

Courtney E, Courtney A, Courtney M. Shock tube design for high intensity blast waves for laboratory testing of armor and combat materiel. Defence Technology 2014; 10(2):245–250. 

Courtney M, Courtney ER, Courtney A, Summer PD. Performance testing of lead free primers: Blast waves, velocity variations, and environmental testing. Paper #160, 28th International Symposium on Ballistics, Atlanta, GA, September 22–26, 2014, 

Courtney M, Courtney ER, Courtney A. Experimental tests of the proportionality of aerodynamic drag to air density for supersonic projectiles. Paper #159, 28th International Symposium on Ballistics, Atlanta, GA, September 22–26, 2014, 

Courtney AC, Andrusiv LP, Courtney MW. A test of the acoustic impedance model of blast wave transmission. Journal of Battlefield Technology 2013; 16(3):1–4. 

Gaylord S, Blair R, Courtney M, Courtney A. Bullet retarding forces in ballistic gelatin by analysis of high speed video. Cornell University Library, Medical Physics, 2013. 

Sherrill M, Powers R, Courtney A, Courtney M. Relative armor penetration of jacketed lead, solid copper, solid brass and steel core bullets. Defense Technology Information Center 2012; ADA567525.

Courtney M, Courtney A. Ballistics of the 30-06 rifle cartridge. Defense Technology Information Center 2012; ADA570469.

Courtney ER, Courtney A, Courtney W. Detecting pitch and yaw and in-flight damping with optical chronographs. Defense Technology Information Center 2012; ADA570911.

Her H, Courtney A, Courtney M. Quantifying momentum transfer due to blast waves from oxy-acetylene driven shock tubes. Defense Technology Information Center 2012; ADA564113.

Courtney EDS, Courtney A, Courtney M. Blast wave transmission through transparent armour materials. Journal of Battlefield Technology 2012; 15(2):19–22.

Courtney A, Andrusiv L, Courtney M. Oxy-acetylene driven laboratory scale shock tubes for studying blast wave effects. Review of Scientific Instruments 2012; 83:045111.

Courtney M, Courtney A. Using sound of target impact for acoustic reconstructions of shooting events. Medicine, Science, and the Law 2012; 52(2):89–92.

Courtney M, Courtney A. Comparing blast pressure variations of lead styphnate based and diazodinitrophenol based primers. Weapons Systems Technology Information Analysis Center (WSTIAC) Journal 2011; 11(2):3–5.

Courtney M, Courtney A. A table-top blast driven shock tube. Review of Scientific Instruments 2010; 81(12):126103.

Courtney M, Courtney A. Comments on “Ballistics: A Primer for the Surgeon.” Injury 2008; 39(8):9654–9655.

Courtney M, Courtney A. A method for testing bullets at reduced velocity. Cornell University Library, Medical Physics, 2008.

Quantitative Fisheries Science

Courtney J, Courtney A, Courtney M. Nutrient loading increases red snapper population in the western Gulf of Mexico. Hypotheses in the Life Sciences 2013; 1:7–14.

Courtney J, Courtney A, Courtney M. Do rainbow trout and their hybrids outcompete cutthroat trout in a lentic ecosystem? Fisheries and Aquaculture Journal 2013; FAJ-78.

Courtney J, Courtney A, Courtney M. Estimating interaction strengths with correlations in annual relative weight: interspecific competition and predation in fishes, Pueblo Reservoir, Colorado. Cornell University Library, Populations and Evolution, 2013.

Courtney J, Klinkmann T, Courtney A, Torano J, Courtney M. Relative condition factors of fish as bioindicators one year after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Defense Technology and Information Center 2012; ADA564207.

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Education

Courtney A, Courtney M. Illuminating Fourier series with Audacity. Cornell University Library, Physics Education, 2012.

Courtney M, Courtney A. Science and math education: Who is the customer? Cornell University Library, Physics Education, 2012.

Courtney M, Slusher T, Courtney A. EI Videos. Mathematica Militaris, April 2012.

Courtney M, Courtney A. Measuring thrust and predicting trajectory in model rocketry. Cornell University Library, Popular Physics, 2009.

Courtney M, Courtney A. Comments regarding “On the Nature of Science.” Physics in Canada 2008; 64:3.

Courtney M, Courtney A. Acoustic measurement of potato cannon velocity. The Physics Teacher 2007; 45:496–497.

Courtney M, Althausen N, Courtney A. Five frequently fatal freshman physics fantasies. Physics Education 2007; 42:116.


Professional Affiliations

International Ballistics Society

American Society for Bone and Mineral Research

CREDENTIALS & PROFESSIONAL HONORS

  • Ph.D., Engineering Sciences, Harvard University, 1994
  • M.S., Engineering Sciences, Harvard University, 1991
  • B.S., Engineering Mechanics, Michigan State University, 1989, honors
  • Department of the Army, Commander’s Award for Public Service

    International Society of Biomechanics Most Promising Young Scientist

    National Science Foundation Graduate Fellow

    MSU Alumni Distinguished Scholar