Each year, the Editors-in-Chief and the editorial board members of the ASME Journal of Biomechanical Engineering identify the most meritorious papers published in the Journal in the previous calendar year, and an external committee selects the top paper of the year from that list. The authors of this paper are the recipients of the Richard Skalak Award, named after an early leader within the ASME Bioengineering community. Richard Skalak (1923–1997) played a leadership role in the formative decades of the discipline of biomedical engineering through his technical contributions in biomechanics, his educational influence on students, and his service to many developing societies and journals. Richard Skalak believed in several central approaches to bioengineering and several central values in working with people. In bioengineering, these were (1) the useful combination of mathematical and computational modeling with experimental results, to better inform the new biological understanding that is derived, and (2) the inclusion of both microscale and macroscale phenomena in understanding complex biological systems. In terms of mentoring students and collaborating with colleagues, these were (1) share ideas freely, (2) listen to ideas of others and integrate the best into new developments, and (3) show tolerance and respect for others at all times. These tenets help to guide us as a community and as a journal, and we are honored by the opportunity to contribute to Richard Skalak's legacy by giving an award bearing his name. The Editors thank the 2017 Skalak Award committee: Gerard Ateshian (chair), Ellen Arruda, Matthew Gounis, David Merryman, and Elise Morgan.
The Skalak Award Winner for 2017 was “An Objective Evaluation of Mass Scaling Techniques Utilizing Computational Human Body Finite Element Models,” by Matthew L. Davis and F. Scott Gayzik. The Paper was published in J. Biomech. Eng., 138(10), p. 101003; DOI: 10.1115/1.4034293.
Biofidelity response corridors developed from post mortem human subjects are commonly used in the design and validation of anthropomorphic test devices and computational human body models (HBMs). Typically, corridors are derived from a diverse pool of biomechanical data and later normalized to a target body habitus. The objective of this study was to use morphed computational HBMs to compare the ability of various scaling techniques to scale response data from a reference to a target anthropometry. HBMs are ideally suited for this type of study since they uphold the assumptions of equal density and modulus that are implicit in scaling method development. In total, six scaling procedures were evaluated, four from the literature (equal-stress equal-velocity, ESEV, and three variations of impulse momentum) and two which are introduced in the paper (ESEV using a ratio of effective masses, ESEV-EffMass, and a kinetic energy approach). In total, 24 simulations were performed, representing both pendulum and full body impacts for three representative HBMs. These simulations were quantitatively compared using the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) ISO-TS18571 standard. Based on these results, ESEV-EffMass achieved the highest overall similarity score (indicating that it is most proficient at scaling a reference response to a target). Additionally, ESEV was found to perform poorly for two degrees-of-freedom (DOF) systems. However, the results also indicated that no single technique was clearly the most appropriate for all scenarios.