Eryn Kwon completed a Bachelor of Engineering and Science (conjoint) from the University of Auckland, majoring in biomedical engineering, physics and chemistry. She started working on the forensic modelling project first as her Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Auckland, which continued into her PhD. Eryn is currently working on a mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) project, investigating early detection and modelling of the injury, which is a joint project between the Auckland Bioengineering Institute, Centre for Brain Research and Mātai.

Her PhD research, titled “Anatomically realistic physical and computational models of cranial ballistic impact and associated backspatter” studied gunshot-related blood-spatter, which is a common and often critical task for forensic investigators. Simulating the formation of this spatter to answer case-related questions is difficult as the mechanism of spatter projection is not well understood. Computational and physical models of identical geometry were designed and constructed to study cranial gunshot wounding and spatter. Overall, the results of computational modelling and physical experiments provided valuable resources to relate actual events in crimes scenes with the bloodstain pattern observed, thus adding more credibility to this form of forensic evidence.

Leveraging from the experience in modelling large and rapid deformation to the complex biological structure (brain), her research focus is now on the less lethal but even more common type of brain injury, the mTBI. Her recent work focused on obtaining large animal model data to build foundations to mTBI biomarker detection platform, based on multi-disciplinary approach supplementing each other. When combined with the advanced MR imaging capability of Mātai, the data will result in accurate computational model of mTBI providing objective assessment and prognosis specific to each individual and impact scenario.