Stacy Imler
Stacy M. Imler, Ph.D., P.E.
Managing Engineer
Biomechanics
  • Atlanta

Dr. Imler has expertise in injury biomechanics and biomechanical accident reconstruction. Her work includes analysis of injuries associated with the transportation industry (passenger vehicle, heavy trucking, and railroad accidents), industrial equipment, recreational activities, slip/trip and falls, pedestrian accidents, and consumer products. Dr. Imler has performed biomechanical analyses for a wide range of motor vehicle accidents including rollover accidents, planar collisions, and low-speed collisions. In general, her analyses include evaluation of the injuries through an injury causation analysis or through determination of the mechanism of traumatic injury, as well as investigation of the effects of existing or hypothetical safety countermeasures such as air bags, seat belts, or personal protective equipment on the injury outcome.

Dr. Imler’s research interests include evaluation of ejection mitigation technologies (i.e., rollover-activated side curtain airbags) in the context of occupant containment and injury potential in rollover crashes. Additional research includes evaluation of motor vehicle crash field accident data to determine injury risk in specific crash modes for particular population groups (e.g., by age, stature, restraint status, etc.).

Prior to joining Exponent, Dr. Imler was a Graduate Research Assistant at the Soft Tissue Biomechanics Laboratory at Georgia Tech in Atlanta, Georgia, where her research activities included studies in soft tissue biomechanics, particularly fibrocartilage and articular cartilage, and the biosynthetic effects of external mechanical stimuli, including injurious as well as physiological loading on orthopaedic soft tissues. She has technical experience in design and development of devices to implement external mechanical stimuli, as well as experience in mechanical testing, tissue engineering, and biological assays.

CREDENTIALS & PROFESSIONAL HONORS

  • Ph.D., Mechanical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech), 2005
  • M.S., Mechanical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech), 2001
  • B.S.M.E., Mechanical Engineering, Lehigh University, 1998
  • National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship

    Clare Boothe Luce Fellowship

    Georgia Tech President’s Fellowship

    Medtronic Fellowship

    Iacocca Scholar

    GTE Academic All-American

    Phi Kappa Beta

    Pi Tau Sigma

    Tau Beta Pi

LICENSES & CERTIFICATIONS

Licensed Professional Engineer, Georgia, #PE036575

Licensed Professional Engineer, Alabama, #35750

Licensed Professional Engineer, Pennsylvania, # PE076461

Licensed Professional Engineer, Mississippi, #20378LTD

Publications

Imler SM, Heller MF, Raasch CC, Watson HN, Zhao K. The effect of rear impact collision delta-V and restraint status on injury outcome. Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Technical Paper 2014-01-0524, 2014.

Newberry WN, Imler S, Carhart M, Dibb A, Balavich K, Croteau J, Cooper E. Belted occupant kinematics and head excursion during the airborne phase of vehicle rollover: evaluation of the effects of rollover-deployed curtain airbags. Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Technical Paper 2014-01-0527, 2014.

Zabala ME, Yang N, Imler S, Zhao K, Ray R. Evaluation of ejection risk and injury distribution using data from the Large Truck Crash Causation Study (LTCCS). Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Technical Paper 2014-01-0491, 2014.

Vanderploeg EJ, Wilson CG, Imler SM, Ling CH, Levenston ME. Regional variations in the distribution and colocalization of extracellular matrix proteins in the juvenile bovine meniscus. Journal of Anatomy 2012; 221(2):174–186.

Imler SM, Heller MF, Zhao K, Watson HN, Corrigan CF. The effect of side impact collision delta-V, restraint status, and occupant position on injury outcome. Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Technical Paper 2010-01-1158, 2010.

Heller MF, Imler SM, Zhao K, Watson HN, Corrigan CF. The effect of frontal collision delta-V and restraint status on injury outcome. Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Technical Paper 2010-01-0145, 2010.

Mouw JK, Imler SM, Levenston ME. Ion-channel regulation of chondrocyte matrix synthesis in 3D culture under static and dynamic compression. Biomechanics and Modeling in Mechanobiology 2007; 6(1–2):33–41.

Imler SM. In vitro modulation of meniscus biosynthesis: A basis for understanding cellular response to physiologically relevant stimuli. Doctoral Dissertation, Georgia Institute of Technology, 2005.

Vanderploeg EJ, Imler SM, Brodkin KR, García AJ, Levenston ME. Oscillatory tension differentially modulates matrix metabolism and cytoskeletal organization in chondrocytes and fibrochondrocytes. Journal of Biomechanics 2004; 37(12):1941–1952.

Imler SM, Doshi AN, Levenston ME. Combined effects of growth factors and static mechanical compression on meniscus explant biosynthesis. Osteoarthritis Cartilage 2004; 12(9):736–744.

Hunter CJ, Imler SM, Malaviya P, Nerem RM, Levenston ME. Mechanical compression alters gene expression and extracellular matrix synthesis by chondrocytes cultured in collagen I gels. Biomaterials 2002; 23(4):1249–1259.

Selected Presentations and Published Abstracts

Imler SM, Heller MF, Raasch CC, Watson HN, Zhao K. The effect of rear impact collision delta-V and restraint status on injury outcome. Society of Automotive Engineers World Congress, Detroit, MI, April 10, 2014.

Newberry WN, Imler S, Carhart M, Dibb A, Balavich K, Croteau J, Cooper E. Belted occupant kinematics and head excursion during the airborne phase of vehicle rollover: evaluation of the effects of rollover-deployed curtain airbags. Society of Automotive Engineers World Congress, Detroit, MI, April 10, 2014.

Imler SM, Heller MF, Zhao K, Watson HN, Corrigan CF. The effect of side impact collision delta-V, restraint status, and occupant position on injury outcome. Society of Automotive Engineers World Congress, Detroit, MI, April 15, 2010.

Imler SM, Levenston ME. Biosynthetic differences in chondrocyte and fibrocondrocyte behavior in agarose. Transactions of the Orthopaedic Research Society 2006; 31:1045.

Imler SM, Vanderploeg EJ, Levenston ME. Differential behavior of fibrochondrocytes from distinct regions of the meniscus. Transactions of the Orthopaedic Research Society 2005; 30:1497.

Imler SM, Wilson CG, Levenston ME. IL-1 induces rapid loss of matrix constituents and material properties from meniscal fibrocartilage. Transactions of the Orthopaedic Research Society 2005; 30:1705.

Imler SM, Doshi AN, Levenston ME. Effects of anabolic cytokines and static compression on meniscus tissue explants. Transactions of the Orthopaedic Research Society 2004; 29:0663.

Imler SM, Vanderploeg EJ, Hunter CJ, Levenston ME. IGF-1 stimulation of meniscal biosynthesis. Transactions of the Orthopaedic Research Society 2002; 27:0366.

Imler SM, Hunter CJ, Vanderploeg EJ, Levenston ME. Matrix biosynthesis due to exogenous stimuli differs for cartilage and fibrocartilage. Proceedings, World Congress of Biomechanics, 2002.

Imler SM, Hunter CJ, Levenston ME. Cyropreservation does not impair chondrocyte response to growth factor stimuli. Biomedical Engineering Society Annual Fall Meeting, 2001.

Imler SM, Levenston ME. IGF-1 stimulated production of matrix components in meniscal explants. Biomedical Engineering Society Annual Fall Meeting, 2001.

Imler SM, Vanderploeg EJ, Hunter CJ, Levenston ME. Static and oscillatory compression modulate protein and proteoglycan synthesis by meniscal fibrochondrocytes. Transactions of the Orthopaedic Research Society 2001; 26:0552.

Imler SM, Vanderploeg EJ, Hunter CJ, Levenston ME. Mechanical compression modulates matrix synthesis in meniscal tissue and gels. Tissue Engineering 2000; 6(6):O-181.

Professional Affiliations

Society of Automotive Engineers (member)

Project Experience

Analyzed occupant kinematics and mechanism of injuries in planar (frontal, side-impact, and rear end) collisions and rollover collisions, including determination of the role of safety countermeasures such as seat belts and airbags (side impact and rollover curtain) in injury and ejection mitigation.

Evaluated injury potential of a train locomotive engineer as a result of level crossing accident with passenger vehicle. Analysis included determination of the forces acting on the locomotive due to impact with the passenger vehicle.

Conducted accident site inspections and biomechanical reconstructions in slip, trip, and fall premises liability matters. Inspections included measurement of the slip resistance of a surface using the English XL Variable Incidence Tribometer (VIT). Site locations included on land and off shore (cruise ships).

Analyzed kinematics and injury mechanisms in falls from aerial lifts and evaluated the role of personal protective equipment in injury mitigation.

Designed and conducted testing with human surrogates and anthropomorphic test devices (ATDs) to demonstrate occupant fit and response in real world crashes including roll spit demonstrations.

Evaluated real world accident data for frontal, side impact, and rear end collisions to determine injury risk in specific crash modes for particular population groups (e.g., by age, stature, restraint status, etc.).

Conducted accident scene investigations as part of both rapid response requests and as part of litigation matters to observe and document physical evidence such as roadway gouging, vehicle components, glazing fragments, and biological material.

Performed numerous reconstructions of low-energy motor vehicle collisions, including frontal and rear end impacts, as well as sideswipes. Analyzed injury causation and/or exacerbation through comparison of loading on the body experienced during the event to loading experienced during daily and vigorous, non-injurious activities.

Analyzed injury potential for objects falling from a height and striking an individual. Employed a variety of analysis techniques, including modeling and simulation, to determine the resulting loading on an individual and address injury causation and/or exacerbation due to these events.

Additional Information

Additional Education Training

Practical Evidentiary Photography and Blood Detection, Documentation & Collection Techniques, Forensic Pieces, 2015

Laminated Glass: Design Considerations for Vehicle Door Systems Fast Track, Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) course, 2011

Traffic Accident Reconstruction, Northwestern University Center for Public Safety, 2008

Peer Reviewer

Society of Automotive Engineers

CREDENTIALS & PROFESSIONAL HONORS

  • Ph.D., Mechanical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech), 2005
  • M.S., Mechanical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech), 2001
  • B.S.M.E., Mechanical Engineering, Lehigh University, 1998
  • National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship

    Clare Boothe Luce Fellowship

    Georgia Tech President’s Fellowship

    Medtronic Fellowship

    Iacocca Scholar

    GTE Academic All-American

    Phi Kappa Beta

    Pi Tau Sigma

    Tau Beta Pi

LICENSES & CERTIFICATIONS

Licensed Professional Engineer, Georgia, #PE036575

Licensed Professional Engineer, Alabama, #35750

Licensed Professional Engineer, Pennsylvania, # PE076461

Licensed Professional Engineer, Mississippi, #20378LTD