Chimba Mkandawire
Chimba Mkandawire, Ph.D., P.E., CAISS
Principal Engineer
Biomechanics
  • Atlanta

Dr. Mkandawire addresses issues involving the biomechanics of human injury, with expertise in the areas of human tolerance and occupant kinematics. His work includes accident reconstruction, analysis of traumatic injuries associated with transportation, sport and racing activities, heavy equipment, falls, consumer products, and the workplace. His experience includes pedestrian/cyclist accident reconstruction; evaluation of racing and sports equipment; electric shock/burn accident reconstruction; traumatic brain injury; injuries involving recreational, industrial, construction or agricultural equipment; advanced airbag systems, child restraint systems, and biomechanical reconstruction of automotive accidents (e.g., rollover accidents, frontal and rear end collisions, lateral or T-bone collisions, sideswipes and low-speed collisions).

Dr. Mkandawire has published research in soft-tissue biomechanics, foot-ankle biomechanics, injury biomechanics, and gait analysis. His current research interests include balance retention and postural stability, occupant kinematics, airbag system effectiveness, biomechanics of the extremities, biomechanics of the spine, and evaluating trauma and pathologies from a biomechanical etiology. Dr. Mkandawire has successfully worked within Exponent’s cross-disciplinary structure. For example, he has provided a biomedical engineering perspective in consulting assignments with the Center for Chemical Regulation and Food Safety, evaluating hazards associated with swallowing and pediatric airway protection.

Dr. Mkandawire holds an academic appointment in the School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems at Drexel University, is a guest lecturer for the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department at Princeton University, and formerly held an academic appointment in the School of Engineering at Temple University. Prior to joining Exponent, Dr. Mkandawire was a Research Assistant at the Harborview Orthopaedic Biomechanics Laboratory and the Applied Biomechanics Laboratory of the University of Washington, and a Research Engineer for the Center for Excellence in Prosthetic Engineering and Limb-Loss Prevention of the Puget Sound Veterans Administration Medical Center. Dr. Mkandawire has also worked as a Research Assistant for the MIT Lab for Manufacturing and Productivity and the MIT Lab of Tribology.

CREDENTIALS & PROFESSIONAL HONORS

  • Ph.D., Bioengineering, University of Washington, 2002
  • S.B., Mechanical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), 1994
  • Department of Education GAANN Fellow

    VA Pre-Doctoral Associated Health Rehabilitation Research Fellow

    New Jersey State Distinguished Scholar

LICENSES & CERTIFICATIONS

Licensed Professional Engineer, Pennsylvania, #PE077569

Licensed Professional Engineer, New York, #089340

Licensed Professional Engineer, Georgia, #PE036902

Licensed Professional Engineer, Florida, #75909

Certified Forklift Operator on Standup Electric Trucks, December 2005

Authorized OSHA Trainer in General Industry, February 2006

Certified AIS Specialist, April 2007

Certified Forklift Operator on Sitdown Internal Combustion and Electric Trucks, October 2007

Certified Forklift Operator on Swing Reach Trucks, June 2011

Course: OSHA 2255 “Principles of Ergonomics Applied to Work-Related Musculoskeletal and Nerve Disorder” Course: OSHA 7115 “Lockout Tagout”

Publications

Ravi S, Smith J, Mkandawire C. Methods for evaluating occupant kinematics in forklift tipover demonstrations using occupants with high BMI values. ASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress & Exposition, IMECE2013 63366, San Diego, CA, 2013.

Rodowicz KA, Dupont K, Smedley J, Raasch C, Mkandawire C, Fittanto D, Bare C, Smith J. Passenger vehicle occupant response to low-speed impacts with a tractor-semitrailer. SAE 2011 World Congress & Exhibition, 2011 01 0291, Detroit, MI, April 12 14, 2011.

Fittanto D, Bare C, Smith J, Mkandawire C. Passenger vehicle response to low-speed impacts involving a tractor-semitrailer. SAE 2011 World Congress & Exhibition, 2011 01 0291, Detroit, MI, April 12 14, 2011.

Bussone WR, Baxter JN, Mkandawire C. Foot injury patterns with protective footwear after lift truck impact. ASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress & Exposition, IMECE2010 39131, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, November 12-18, 2010.

Rodowicz KA, Muhammad R, Heller M, Sala J, Mkandawire C. Biomechanical, perceptual, and cognitive factors involved in maintaining postural control while standing or walking on non moving and moving surfaces: a literature review. ASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress & Exposition, IMECE2010 39276, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, November 12-18, 2010.

Muhammad R, Rodowicz KA, Heller M, Sala J, Mkandawire C. Biomechanical, perceptual, and cognitive factors involved in balance recovery following unexpected perturbations: a literature review. ASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress & Exposition, IMECE2010 39285, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Ledoux WR, Camacho DLS, Ching RP, Rohr ES, Mkandawire C, Sangeorzan B. Finite element foot modeling. United States Department of Veterans Affairs, Center of Excellence for Limb Loss Prevention and Prosthetic Engineering, 2008.

Mkandawire C, Mazzucco DC, Vijayakumar V, Scher I, Heller MF, Morrison H. Head kinematics and upper neck loading during simulated low-speed lateral impact collisions. FISITA 2006 World Automotive Congress, Paper #F2006T044, Yokohama, Japan, October 22–27, 2006.

Mkandawire C, Ledoux WR, Sangeorzan BJ, Ching RP. Foot and ankle ligament morphometry. Journal of Rehabilitation Research and Development 2005; 42(6):809 820.

Mkandawire C, Nicosia MA, Moore TLA, Corrigan CF. Postural stability of stand-up forklift operators in response to normal braking procedures. ASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition, IMECE2005 81013, Orlando, FL, November 5–11, 2005.

Mkandawire C. The relationship between viscoelastic relaxation and ligament morphometry. Doctorate Dissertation, University of Washington, 2002.

Mkandawire C. Solar-powered oven design for underdeveloped third world countries. Bachelor’s Thesis, MIT Press, 1990.

Book Chapters

Mkandawire C, Iannuzzi A. Applications of UHMWPE in total ankle replacements. In: UHWMPE Biomaterials Handbook, Second Edition. Academic Press, Burlington, MA, 2009.

Mkandawire C, Kristal P, Tencer AF. A technique for the measurement of tension in small ligaments. In: Musculoskeletal Models and Techniques, Vol. 3. Leondes C (ed), CRC Press LLC, Boca Raton, FL, 2001.

Published Abstracts of Presentations


Heller M, Mkandawire C, Gloeckner DC, Bussone W, Scher I, Cargill RS. Head motion in the coronal plane during low-speed lateral impact collisions. 21st Congress of the International Society of Biomechanics, Taipei, Taiwan, July 1–5, 2007.

Mkandawire C, Ledoux WR, Sangeorzan BJ, Ching RP. The relationship between morphometry and structural properties of foot and ankle ligaments. 50th Annual Meeting of the Orthapaedic Research Society, San Francisco, CA, March 7–10, 2004.

Mkandawire C, Ledoux WR, Sangeorzan BJ, Ching RP. Prediction of viscoelastic relaxation response of foot-ankle ligaments based on ligament morphometry. 49th Annual Meeting of the Orthopaedic Research Society, New Orleans, LA, February 2–5, 2003.

Mkandawire C, Ledoux WR, Sangeorzan BJ, Ching RP. Hierarchical cluster analysis of area and length of foot and ankle ligaments. 25th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Biomechanics, San Diego, CA, August 8–11, 2001.

Mkandawire C, Ledoux WR, Sangeorzan BJ, Ching RP. A quasi-liner viscoelastic model of foot-ankle ligaments. 25th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Biomechanics, San Diego, CA, August 8–11, 2001.

Sangeorzan BJ, Tencer AF, Harrington R, Ching RP, Mkandawire C. Biomechanics of acquired flatfoot deformity and alternative reconstructions. 1998 Rehabilitation R&D Progress Reports.

Selected Invited Lectures and Seminars

Mkandawire C. MSI: Medical scene investigation of musculoskeletal injuries from a biomechanical perspective—Is that injury really possible? Presented at the American Osteopathic Association 112th Annual Convention and Scientific Seminar, American Osteopathic College of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, San Diego, CA, October 2, 2007.

Mkandawire C. Applied biomechanics: Injury biomechanics and occupant kinematics. Presented at The American Society of Mechanical Engineers Philadelphia Chapter meeting, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA, March 29, 2007.

Mkandawire C. Biomechanics of the lower extremities. Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (MAE 344), Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, April 8, 2003.

Mkandawire C. Introduction to biomechanics. Department of Mechanical Engineering and Aerospace Engineering (MAE 344), Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, April 7, 2004; April 14, 2005; March 30, 2006; April 10, 2007; November 27, 2007; March 12, 2009, March 25, 2010; October 27, 2011.

Mkandawire C. Biomechanics of lower extremities and applied ligament viscoelasticity. Department of Mechanical Engineering (Engr 520), Temple University, Philadelphia, PA, April 21, 2003; April 19, 2004.

Mkandawire C. Biomechanics of the foot and ankle. Department of Rehabilitation Medicine (Rehab 445), University of Washington, Seattle, WA, March 1997, March 1998, March 1999.

Mkandawire C. Orthopaedic biomechanics of the lower extremity. Department of Bioengineering (Bioen 520), University of Washington, Seattle, WA, June 1999.

Academic Appointments

Visiting Lecturer, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, 2004–present

Research Assistant Professor, School of Biomedical Engineering, Science, and Health Systems, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA, 2004–present 

Professional Affiliations

American Society of Mechanical Engineers (member)

  • Safety Engineering and Risk Analysis (Session Chair), 2005
  • Safety Engineering and Risk Analysis (Vice Track Chair), 2011
  • Safety Engineering and Risk Analysis Executive Committee (Vice Track Chair), 2012
  • Safety Engineering and Risk Analysis (Executive Committee), 2012

American Society of Biomechanics (member)

Society of Automotive Engineers (member)

Biomedical Engineering Society (member)

Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine (member)

Additional Information

Editorships and Editorial Review Boards

ASME Journal of Risk and Uncertainty in Engineering Systems


  • Guest Editor, December 2014 – December 2015
  • Associate Editor, 12/2015 – present 

Peer Reviewer

Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery

CREDENTIALS & PROFESSIONAL HONORS

  • Ph.D., Bioengineering, University of Washington, 2002
  • S.B., Mechanical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), 1994
  • Department of Education GAANN Fellow

    VA Pre-Doctoral Associated Health Rehabilitation Research Fellow

    New Jersey State Distinguished Scholar

LICENSES & CERTIFICATIONS

Licensed Professional Engineer, Pennsylvania, #PE077569

Licensed Professional Engineer, New York, #089340

Licensed Professional Engineer, Georgia, #PE036902

Licensed Professional Engineer, Florida, #75909

Certified Forklift Operator on Standup Electric Trucks, December 2005

Authorized OSHA Trainer in General Industry, February 2006

Certified AIS Specialist, April 2007

Certified Forklift Operator on Sitdown Internal Combustion and Electric Trucks, October 2007

Certified Forklift Operator on Swing Reach Trucks, June 2011

Course: OSHA 2255 “Principles of Ergonomics Applied to Work-Related Musculoskeletal and Nerve Disorder” Course: OSHA 7115 “Lockout Tagout”