Cynthia Bir

Cynthia Bir

Professor and Chair, Biomedical Engineering

818 W. Hancock
Bioengineering Center
Room 2214

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Cynthia Bir


Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI, 2000
M.S. in Mechanical Engineering, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI, 1999
M.S. in Bioengineering, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, 1992
B.S. in Nursing, Nazareth College, Kalamazoo, MI, 1990

Research Interests

  • Forensic Bioengineering
  • Law Enforcement Safety
  • Biomechanical Analysis of MTBI Associated with Football
  • Evaluation of the Cumulative Concussive Effect of Heading in Youth Soccer
  • Evaluation of Acceleration Techniques for Measuring Head Impact Biomechanics
  • Correlation Between Punch Dynamics and Risk of Injury: Biomedical Analysis of a Boxer's Punch
  • Assessment of MTBI in Female Boxers


  • Bir C, Andrecovich C, DeMaio M, Dougherty PJ, Evaluation of bone surrogates for indirect and direct ballistic fractures. Forensic Sci Int. 261:1-7, 2016.
  • Helm T, Bir C, Chilstrom M, Claudius I, Ultrasound characteristics of bruises and their correlation to cutaneous appearance. Forensic Sci Int. 266:160-163, 2016.
  • Chenpanas, P and Bir, CA. Fatal Injuries of Law Enforcement/Correctional Officers Attacked with Sharp Edged Weapons. J of Forensic Sci, J Forensic Sci. 62 (3):700-704, 2017.
  • Esquivel AO, Sherman SS, Bir CA, Lemos SE, The Interaction of Intramuscular Ketorolac (Toradol) and Concussion in a Rat Model. Ann Biomed Eng. 45 (6):1581-1588, 2017.
  • Schellenberg M, Inaba K, Cho J, Tatum JM, Barmparas G, Strumwasser A, Grabo D, Bir C, Eastman A, Demetriades D, Injuries Sustained During Contact with Law Enforcement: An Analysis from US Trauma Centers. J Trauma Acute Care Surg. Dec; 83(6): 1124-1128, 2017.
  • Chang TP, Santillanes G, Claudius I, Pham PK, Koved J, Cheyne J, Gausche-Hill M, Kaji AH, Srinivasan S, Donofrio JJ, Bir C, Use of a Novel, Portable, LED-Based Capillary Refill Time Simulator within a Disaster Triage Context. Prehosp Disaster Med. 32 (4):451-456, 2017.
  • Johnson DJ, Raymond DE, Chen C, Quon M, Lis J, Choi MR, Lopez C, Han A, de Leon RD, Bir C, A Molecular Method to Detect Wound Cells in Bloodstains Resultant of Sharp Force Injuries for Crime Scene Reconstruction. J Forensic Sci.May;63(3):842-848, 2018.
  • Madias C, Maron BJ, Dau N, Estes NAM 3rd, Bir C, Link MS. Size is an important determinant chest blow-induced commotio cordis. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2018 Sep;50(9):1767-1771. doi: 10.1249/MSS.0000000000001630.
  • Kapeles, J and Bir, C, Human Effects Assessment of 40MM Nonlethal Impact Munitions. Human Fac and Mech Eng for Defense and Safety, Accepted with revisions.


Professional Affiliations

2017 - Member, Head Health Challenge Panel NFL/Duke University
2017 - Member, Engineering Committee NFL
2015 - Chair, TG for Combative Headgear ASTM – F08
2017 - Chair, TG for Combative Gloves ASTM – F08
2015 - Member ASTM – E54


Papers and Conferences


  • Bir, C, Villalta, R and Bodo, M: Comparison of Various Gelatin Surrogates for Wound Track Assessment. Personal Armour Systems Symposium, Washington, DC, 2018.
  • Bir, C, Lance, R, Stojsih-Sherman, S, Cavanaugh, J: Behind Armor Blunt Trauma: Recreation of Field Cases for the Assessment of Backface Signature Testing. International Ballistic Society, Long Beach, CA, 2017.
  • Bir, C, Gandara, G and Kleiner, D: Soft Armor Effects on Core Body Temperature. Personal Armour Systems Symposium, Amsterdam, NL, 2016.


  • Cronin, D, Bir, C, Rafeals, K: Injury Risk Assessment for Behind Armor Blunt Trauma Impact Conditions using Thorax Finite Element Model. World Congress in Biomechanics. Dublin, Ireland, 2018
  • Bir, C, Sherman, D: Injury Criterion Assessment of High Rate Lateral Loading. World Congress in Biomechanics. Dublin, Ireland, 2018
  • Bir, C, Dennis, A, Nok, J, Pfitzinger, D, Leon, A, Inaba, K: Male versus Female Characterization of Stab/Slash Wounds in a Level I Trauma Center. Western Regional SAEM, Santa Monica, 2016.

Awards and Honors

  • 2015 Hall of Fame, Alumni Wayne State University, Detroit, MI
  • 2014 Fellow American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, Washington, DC
  • 2011 Outstanding Faculty Service College of Engineering, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI
  • 2010 Outstanding Faculty Service College of Engineering, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI
  • 2009 Alpha Award of Innovation Engineering Society of Detroit, Detroit, MI
  • 2009 Headliners Award Women of Wayne, Detroit, MI
  • 2008 Women to Watch Crain’s Business Daily, Detroit, MI