Academic Credentials
  • Ph.D., Mechanical Engineering, Columbia University, 2023
  • M.Phil., Mechanical Engineering, Columbia University, 2021
  • M.S., Mechanical Engineering, Columbia University, 2019
  • B.S., Mechanical Engineering, University of Washington, 2017
Professional Affiliations
  • Orthopaedic Research Society (ORS)

Dr. Petersen specializes in the characterization of soft tissue mechanics through both experimental testing and finite element analysis (FEA). Her expertise lies in the field of orthopedics with experience developing surgical techniques for osteoarthritis, designing custom surgical tools, and characterizing soft tissue fatigue failure and wear mechanics. She is experienced in a vast range of mechanical testing methods such as friction testing, dynamic loading, fatigue testing, and compressive and tensile testing to characterize both linear and non-linear material behavior and failure, including that of viscoelastic tissue. Her expertise in FEA includes the modeling of complex biologic materials such as those exhibiting tension-compression nonlinearity, biphasic properties, or viscoelasticity. She also specializes in 3D modeling, design, and rapid prototyping.

Prior to joining Exponent, Dr. Petersen received her Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Columbia University. Her research at Columbia focused on the development and analysis of bendable osteochondral allografts as a treatment for knee osteoarthritis. This work included extensive finite element analysis, cadaveric testing, and the designing, patenting, and manufacturing of a custom surgical tool for clinical trials. Furthermore, she investigated the wear mechanisms of articular cartilage and designed mechanical tests to examine tissue fatigue failure.