Erin J. Potma, Ph.D., P.Eng., ACTAR

Biomechanical Practice Leader

Forensic Services

Toronto, Canada


Dr. Erin Potma received her Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Queen’s University. She is a registered professional engineer with academic and research experience comprising multiple aspects of biomechanical and biomedical engineering, including advanced mechanics, tissue mechanics, joint biomechanics, medical imaging and computing, human factors and ergonomics, medical device development, and applications of 3D printing in medicine.

Dr. Potma’s primary areas of forensic consulting expertise include biomechanical injury assessment, collision reconstruction, and mechanical and medical device failure assessments. She provides biomechanical analyses regarding occupant kinematics, restraint use, head injury, helmet usage, fitness and sporting incidents, playground incidents, and other incidents leading to human injury. She also conducts slip, trip, and fall investigations comprising both gait and movement analysis as well as building and staircase assessments. Dr. Potma has reconstructed collisions involving low- and high-speed impacts, rollovers, pedestrian and cyclists, motorcycles, snowmobiles, tractor-trailers, and other types of accidents. She has also analyzed mechanical failures and malfunctions including those involving medical devices and hospital equipment.

She has training in medicine and surgery, as well as an extensive publication record and collaborative research experience in the field of orthopedics. She has performed biomechanical analyses on human subjects, animal models, and tissue specimens during both live and cadaveric testing with biomedical instrumentation, and has characterized these results using both mathematical and computational models.


• Mechanical Engineering, Ph.D.: Queen’s University, Canada (2013)

· Comprehensive major: tissue mechanics; minors: dynamics and solid mechanics

· Graduate courses: tissue engineering, medical informatics, computer assisted surgery, biomechanics of human joints, and spatial transformations

· Thesis: “Developing and Evaluating Computer-Assisted Surgical Techniques for Percutaneous Scaphoid Fixation using Additive Manufacturing Technology”

• Mechanical Engineering, M.Sc. (Eng.): Queen’s University, Canada (2005)

· Graduate courses: biological signal analysis, medical physics, and tissue mechanics

· Thesis: “A Virtual-Joint Model for Computer-Assisted Preoperative Planning of Osteotomy”

• Mechanical Engineering, First Class, B.Sc. (Eng.): Queen’s University in Canada (2003)

· Electives in biomechanics and mechatronics; additional courses in biology, organic chemistry, and psychology

· Thesis: “A Basket Gate Synchronization System for Cargo Vessels”

• Completed two years of M.B.B.S. program: Flinders University School of Medicine (2007-2008)

· Electives in anatomy, microbiology, and rural health

• Registered Professional Engineer: Professional Engineers Ontario

• Registered Professional Engineer: Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of British Columbia

• Certified Accident Reconstructionist: Accreditation Commission for Traffic Accident Reconstruction

• Certified Playground Inspector: Canadian Parks and Recreation Association