B.S. ​University of Waterloo, 2003M.S. ​University of Waterloo, 2006Ph.D. ​Duke University, 2012

"Our research makes an impact on the development of new injury mitigation technologies through the study the biomechanics of impact in sports, automotive crashes, and the military."

Matthew B. Panzer, PhD

Dr. Panzer is an Associate Professor of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering and Biomedical Engieering at the University of Virginia, and serves as Deputy Director at the Center for Applied Biomechanics, and is a member of the UVA Brain Injury and Sports Concussion Center. He graduated from Duke University with a PhD in Biomedical Engineering, and from the University of Waterloo in Ontario Canada with this BS and MS in Mechanical Engineering. Dr. Panzer's research covers computational (primarily finite element simulation) and experimental (including post-mortem human subjects, animals, and volunteers) methods to study high-rate non-linear mechanics in the fields of tissue mechanics, impact biomechanics, vehicle crashworthiness, military blast and ballistics, and sports injury. Current applications of this research include the study of traumatic brain injury for blast, ballistic, and football helmet impacts, biological tissue testing and characterization, human body model development for automotive crashworthness (PI for two GHBMC Body Region Centers of Expertise) and blunt non-lethal weapons, and the development of injury mitigation systems such as helmets. Dr. Panzer has served as the Principal Investigator for more than 30 programs funded by various federal and industrial sponsors.


  • MAE Young Researcher of the Year 2018
  • MAE Young Research of the Year 2017

Research Interests

  • Injury Biomechanics
  • Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Computational Biomechanics
  • Experimental Biomechanics
  • Design of Personnel Protective Equipment

In the News

Selected Publications

  • Biomechanics of the human brain during dynamic rotation of the head. Journal of Neurotrauma.. 2020. ABS Alshareef A, Giudice JS, Forman J, Shedd DF, Reynier KA, Wu T, Sochor S, Sochor MR, Salzar RA, and Panzer MB
  • A reanalysis of football impact reconstructions for head kinematics and finite element modeling. Clinical biomechanics, 64, 82-89. 2019 ABS Sanchez EJ, Gabler LF, Good AB, Funk JR, Crandall JR, and Panzer MB
  • A novel method for quantifying human in situ whole brain deformation under rotational loading using sonomicrometry. Journal of Neurotrauma, 35(5), 780-789. 2018 ABS Alshareef A, Giudice JS, Forman JF, Salzar RS, and Panzer MB
  • Assessment of kinematic brain injury metrics for predicting strain responses in diverse automotive impact conditions. Annals of Biomedical Engineering. 44(12):3705-3718. 2016 ABS Gabler LF, Crandall JR, and Panzer MB
  • Development of a finite element model for blast brain injury and the effects of CSF cavitation. Annals of Biomedical Engineering, 40(7), 1530-1544. 2012 ABS Panzer MB, Myers BM, Capehart BP, and Bass CR
  • Brain injuries from blast. Annals of Biomedical Engineering. 40(1): 185-202. 2012 ABS Bass CR, Panzer MB, Rafaels KA, Wood GW, and Capehart BP

Courses Taught

  • MAE 7030: Injury Biomechanics Spring 2017, 2019
  • MAE 6710: Finite Element Analysis Spring 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019
  • MAE 6080: Constitutive Modelling of Biosystems Spring 2014, 2018
  • MAE 3310: Aerospace Structures Fall 2016
  • MAE 6250: Multibody Mechanical Systems Fall 2014, 2015