GTD Scientific predicts human injury in any environment

In GTD Scientific, principal Geoffrey Desmoulin has found a way to combine his twin passions for the human body and mechanical engineering, creating a firm that has become an internationally renowned leader in the field of complex injury analysis.

The company provides forensic investigation services in injury biomechanics, incident reconstruction, and product safety, all geared towards determining injury causation and prevention.

“We pride ourselves on our ability to predict human injury in any environment,” Desmoulin tells AdvocateDaily.com.

While GTD now helps personal injury lawyers, prosecutors, police forces and many other clients to bolster their cases in court, Desmoulin’s road to becoming a respected and experienced expert witness has been a long and winding one.

After starting out his working life as a firefighter and paramedic, Desmoulin was forced to rethink his future direction following a medical diagnosis that ruled him out of that career at an early age.

“They told me if I continued, I’d be dead by the time I was 50, so I switched focus,” he says.

Building on his first-responder background, Desmoulin enrolled as a student of kinesiology, completing undergraduate and master’s degrees in the field.

“I wanted to get into injury biomechanics, but I realized the people who are good in that area have some sort of mechanical engineering background,” he adds.

Desmoulin filled that hole in his resume by completing a master’s in biomechanical engineering, followed by a PhD in mechanical engineering.

And it was during his research for the PhD that Desmoulin took the call that would change his life. Tim Prokop, the showrunner of a new series named Deadliest Warrior, got in touch after struggling to cast an expert with the ability to comment on the engineering aspects, injury potential, and overall battlefield effectiveness of weapons used throughout history.

“He asked me to break down a fight between a ninja and a Spartan,” Desmoulin says. “It sounded a bit crazy, but I put together a tape for them, and they later told me they knew instantly, ‘This is our guy.’

“The stars aligned for me,” he adds.

When the pilot aired in 2007, it went down in the Spike channel’s history as the highest-rated ever.

Almost immediately, consulting requests began coming in, prompting Desmoulin to incorporate GTD.

More than a decade later, calls are still coming in thanks to reruns and referrals originating with his appearances on the show, Desmoulin says.

The firm has since expanded its forensic investigation services to incorporate injury biomechanics, incident reconstruction, and what Desmoulin calls “The Science of Violence,” which involves the application of measurements to a variety of factors at play during violent encounters.

Members of the GTD team regularly prepare reports for use in court and have been qualified as experts to testify before judges.

For example, in one recent U.S. case, GTD’s advanced incident reconstruction techniques challenged the prevailing public narrative surrounding a suspect’s shooting by a police officer.

While the incident triggered rioting in the city by outraged citizens, Desmoulin found the officer’s version of events was consistent with his reconstruction, which was created relying on techniques including statement quantification videos, static and dynamic shooting tests, as well as a number of independently verifiable facts.

“The judge accepted our methodology, and the jury was able to use our findings to help them come to their decision,” Desmoulin says.

In addition, Desmoulin runs continuing education sessions with legal professionals seeking to deepen their knowledge of the physics of human injuries, and has also been an adjunct professor with the University of British Columbia, where he taught injury biomechanics and helped with the development of a program for entrepreneurial students.

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Contribution of Injury Biomechanics to Traffic Collision Reconstructions: A Case Report

Category: Publication

Authors: Geoffrey Thor Desmoulin, Marc-André Nolette, Kevin Gordon Bird

Publication: Forensic Science International: Reports, Page 100022

Traffic collision reconstruction tends to ignore the contribution of injury biomechanics to their investigation. This publication presents a case where the importance of injury biomechanics is highlighted. This case involves a collision between two motorcycles in the same riding party. One individual (Rider #2) claimed to have been hit from behind by another individual (Rider #3) while being on the shoulder of the road. Meanwhile, Rider #3 claims that Rider #2 performed a U-turn in front of them which caused the collision. Using the testimonies, medical records and physical evidence, it was determined that the collision occurred in the middle of the lane, with the motorcycle at approximately a perpendicular angle. Abrasions and contusions seen on the thigh of Rider #2 indicated contact with the front fairing of Rider #3’s motorcycle. Additionally, Rider #2 suffered a fractured clavicle which is indicative of a lateral impact. In an impact from behind, no lateral loading would have been applied to Rider #2’s shoulder. However, a perpendicular impact would have lead Rider #2 to fall to the pavement, shoulder first. Lastly, Rider #3, as well as her motorcycle, came to rest in the middle of the lane, which suggests that the collision occurred in the lane with Rider #3 traveling along the road near the mid-line. This case is an appropriate illustration of the worth of injury biomechanics when dealing with traffic collision reconstruction and why it should be included as part of standard reconstruction process.

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Effectiveness of Aircraft Seat Design

Category: Publication

Publication: International Journal of Forensic Engineering, Vol. 4, No. 2, 2018

GTD Scientific published a study comparing the effectiveness of various aircraft seat designs on spinal burst fractures. The purpose of the study was to understand if commercially available seat designs at the time of aircraft manufacture would have prevented a lumbar burst fracture in a specific helicopter crash incident. Over 30,000 pages of design specifications, individual seat impact tests, full scale aircraft impact tests, and other documentation were reviewed. Data was collected and a multi-level analysis was performed on the injury itself, the seat deformation and a landing strut failure to determine the force at impact. Results show that commercially available seats made of similar material as those installed in the incident aircraft could have prevented this injury. Learn more about these results and the conclusions of the study by reading the full publication.

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Tactical Ballistic Shield Test in Blast Injury Mitigation Study

Category: Publication

Publication: Advances in Military Technology Vol. 13, No. 2 (2018) pp. 249-264

GTD Scientific published a study to compare the effectiveness of various Police tactical ballistic shields in the blast environment. The purpose of the study was to understand how a new technology (Advanced Impulse Reduction, AIR) reduces injury in shield users during an explosive event. Do shields of the same weight and size reduce injury by the same amount? Are heavier shields more protective than lighter shields? Over 52 sensors and an instrumented anthropomorphic test dummy revealed that traditional thinking about the blast event needs to change when considering injury severity and this new technology. Learn more about these results and the conclusions of the study by reading the full publication.

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Police Officer Performance Using Tactical Batons Of Various Weight

Category: Publication

Publication: Elsevier | Applied Ergonomics 75 (2019) 178-183

GTD Scientific published a study to compare the effectiveness of Police expandable batons of different weight. The purpose of the study was to understand what factors are important when choosing a baton for active duty i.e. Is bigger better? Eleven active-duty NYPD Officers participated in the study that comprised of both a static and dynamic strike test of objective performance measurements followed by a detailed questionnaire on the Officers subjective perception of the batons performance. Some unexpected results were found. Learn these results and the conclusions of the study by reading the full publication.

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The Science Behind The Service

Category: Publication

Publication: BC Soldier Magazine, Fall 2017, Edition 18

BC Soldier Magazine recently published some work speaking on GTD Scientific. The published piece talks about the goals that GTD aims to accomplish, as well as the niche market that the company is in. With some background on it’s founder – Dr. Geoffrey Thor Desmoulin – we begin to get a better understanding of the knowledge depth behind GTD. From his service to his country, to his many educational accomplishments, to even his role in the popular TV show Deadliest Warrior – it’s clear that Geoff and GTD mean serious business.

The published document also touches on a couple of recent cases where GTD’s expertise were needed. From testing “the limitations of riot gear in protecting Officers from explosive blasts” to even “acting as witnesses in cases involving car accidents, falls” and much more – there are many situations where the “Science Of Violence©” is required to fully understand the truth.

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Your F1rst Motorcycle

Category: Publication

Author: Lee Heaver

Your F1rst Motorcycle is a book written by motorcycle enthusiast, Mr. Lee ‘Ridefar’ Heaver (with foreword by Geoff Desmoulin). This book prepares new motorbike riders by providing a ton of information from finding and financing your first motorcycle, to selecting the right gear, total costs, paperwork, and more.

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your-first-motorcycle

Biomechanical assessment of the connection between risk of wrist fracture and the dumbbell chest press exercise performed on an exercise ball.

Category: Publication

Author: Desmoulin G.T. and Rabinoff M.

Publication: Int. J. Forensic Engineering, Vol. 2, No. 4, 2015.

Multiple incidents of exercise balls bursting during a dumbbell chest press have been reported. This study quantified the dynamics of the dumbbell chest press performed on such balls and the force applied throughout the exercise cycle. To do so, a well-documented case was replicated using subjects of similar weight, background and athletic ability in the same dumbbell chest press motion. Subjects were instructed to perform repetitions on the exercise balls at both a self-selected pace and at maximal speed using various masses. Dynamic measurements were made to record ball loading, ball loading rate, ball compression, and kinematics of the subjects. Peak loads averaged 2084 N in the case of fast trials and 1815 N for self-selected speed trials. Biomechanical aspects of injury causation and the safe use of exercise balls are discussed throughout the products life cycle; from design and manufacturing to the conditioning professional and athlete end user.

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Non-invasive method of spinal intervention and use of devices effective for spinal intervention

Category: Publication

Authors: Aslam Khan, Geoffrey T Desmoulin, Christopher J Hunter

Publication: US Patent Office

The present technology is the use of the combination to treat a patient and the treatment of a patient. Sine waves are generated digitally by the combination. Data validation is used to ensure correct directional alignment prior to device activation. Patient safety and consistency in treatment protocols are considered in the spinal and upper cervical impulse treatment design. A patient is treated with smooth sinusoidal waveform with a force of about 8 N to about 12.2 N with a Z-axis of acceleration (shear acceleration) of about 0.5 g to about 5g at about 5 Hertz (Hz) to about 200 Hertz. Treatment conditions can be varied depending upon the size of the patient, which includes human and veterinary patients. The method is non-invasive.

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A Biomechanical Method for Reconstruction of Tumbling Trampoline Associated

Category: Publication

Author: Desmoulin G.T., Rabinoff M., Stolz B., and Gilbert M.

Publication: J of Forensic Biomechanics, 2014, 5(1): 101-7.

Rebound devices such as trampolines are associated with catastrophic spinal cord injuries. Cadaveric studies have reported thresholds for injuries that can be applied to the case of failed acrobatics such as backward somersaults. However, it remains unclear whether falls on rebound surfaces should be expected to cause neurological injuries in the majority of cases or only in unfortunate exceptions. The purpose of the current study is to demonstrate the risk of injury associated with a failed backflip performed on a rebound device such as a trampoline or tumbling trampoline.

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