How human modelling software helped an ergonomics expert witness win a prominent high court trial

John Lovegrove, Managing Director of Canary Designs and partner of Simulation Solutions for over ten years, told how his use of Jack human modelling software won the case in his guest speech at the Simulation Solutions 2017 Jack user group.

Last year, John was the expert witness in a high court case involving blind adventurer Mark Pollock, who received millions in compensation after falling 25ft out of a third floor window at his friends’ home during the Henley Regatta. Mr Pollock – the first blind man to reach the South Pole – had just returned from the 1,400-mile Round Ireland Yacht Race and was staying with the couple when the incident occurred, leaving him paralysed and confined to a wheelchair.

Communicating the outcomes of biomechanics in a simple and effective way

During the legal battle, Mr Lovegrove was brought in as an expert on ergonomics – the interaction between humans and their environment – using Siemens Jack digital human modelling supplied by Simulation Solutions to explore whether or not the fall was the result of an accident.

A key requirement for presenting expert witness insights was to apply specialist knowledge to the case and, crucially, translate findings to be clearly understood by a general audience. This is where simulation software illustrates a scenario and the key principles of biomechanics with easy to understand visuals:

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Delivering engineering accuracy to expert witness standards


In his presentation John explained his approach of taking measurements at the scene of the accident, the development of a CAD model, Digital Human Model, and the simulation of a loss of balance and fall through the open window.

“I was instructed to use my expertise to provide objective evidence relevant to the assessment of the level of risk, reproduce an accurate reconstruction of the bedroom, determine the shape and size of the claimant, establish the location of his centre relative to the height of the windowsill and to model the mechanics of the fall through the window,” he said.

Understanding the precise detail of how humans interact with their environments in any setting

“These tests can be applied to any industry or business to understand the precise detail of how humans interact with their environments… The study of the physical being linked to processes and systems can save a company a lot of time and money in testing and avoiding inefficiencies, as well as making them safer, so being able to do that using software from Simulation Solutions is crucial.”

“This was a rare case and one that required a lot of detail and investigation, so it was vital I used the most accurate Siemens software from Simulation Solutions to illustrate the key principles of the biomechanics that contributed to the fall”.

Robbie Birrell, Director of Simulation Solutions, said that after enjoying a 10-year partnership providing software and consultancy to Mr Lovegrove, it was useful to see John sharing the benefits of Jack human modelling software in such an unusual context.

He said: “John is one of the leading exponents of Jack software and gave a very interesting talk about his experiences using digital human modelling and how it impacted on this case.”

“John delivered the facts and using Jack was able to let the evidence speak for itself in an efficient and accurate way. It was an unusual case, but it’s one that shows the versatility of the software and how it can provide accurate calculations for human modelling in any scenario.”

To read about how Sonja Hermann has used Jack human modelling software to explore diversity in human modelling with engineering students at Dublin university, click here!!!!