Tony M. Keaveny

Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Bioengineering

5124 Etcheverry Hall, Mailstop 1740
University of California at Berkeley
Berkeley, CA 94720-1740
(510) 390-1626



Biography and CV

Tony Keaveny is a Professor in the Departments of Mechanical Engineering and Bioengineering at the University of California at Berkeley, and the director of the Berkeley Orthopaedic Biomechanics Laboratory. Dr. Keaveny received his B.E. (1984) degree in Mechanical Engineering from University College Dublin, Ireland, and his M.S. (1988) and Ph.D. (1991) degrees, also in Mechanical Engineering, from Cornell University. He spent one year (1990-1991) as a Maurice Mueller Post-Doctoral Fellow in Orthopaedic Biomechanics in the Orthopaedic Biomechanics Laboratory at Beth Israel Hospital, Boston, after which he joined the permanent staff there as a Senior Research Associate (1991- 1993). At the same time, Dr. Keaveny was appointed an Instructor of Orthopaedic Surgery at Harvard Medical School and joined the faculty of the Harvard/M.I.T. Health Sciences and Technology Program. He left Boston and joined the Berkeley faculty in 1993, at which time he established the Berkeley Orthopaedic Biomechanics Laboratory.


Dr. Keaveny has served as Principal Investigator on an NIH FIRST Award and several NIH R01 and R21 grants, a Whitaker Biomedical Engineering Research Grant, an NSF CAREER Award, and numerous industrial grants. In 1996, he received the YC Fung Young Investigator Award from the Bioengineering Division of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. He was the 2010 winner of the Van C. Mow Medal. As director of the Berkeley OBL, Dr. Keaveny directs and supervises all research in the laboratory, and acts as the faculty research mentor for all students.


Biomechanics: mechanical behavior of bone, finite element modeling and experimentation, design of bone-implant systems, tissue engineering


Current Lab Research




- Noah Bonnheim and Jonathan McKinley are investigating the micromechanics of the human spine. They are exploring the relationship between load transfer and implant design for total disc replacements utilizing micro-CT based finite element modeling. In addition to load transfer to native anatomy, Noah and Jonathan are focusing on the mechanics of the latest generation Total Disc Replacements (TDR) designed to mimic the native compliance of the intervertebral disc between the verterbal bodies. Total Disc Replacements are an emerging new class of spinal implants designed to preserve rather than limit vertebral joint mobility.





- The Automotive Safety Biomechanics (ASB) team's research revolves around automotive safety, specifically how your body responds to a severe crash. We use a very advanced FEA model of the human body in different accident scenarios in an attempt to understand injury mechanisms and to advance safety in the automotive industry. We look at out-of-position driving and how it changes your chances of injury during a crash. We work very closely with leading industry representatives and experts in FEA, automotive, and crash safety.


 - Saghi Sadoughi constructs 3-D finite element (FE) models of bone structures using high-resolution micro-CT scans to investigate the biomechanical behavior of bone under different loading configurations. Specifically, she is looking at the role of trabecular orientation in vertebral strength and the role of tissue-level ductility in hip and spine fractures.




Megan Pendleton's research focuses on investigating the effects of ionizing radiation on the material properties of bone. This is important because ionizing radiation has been shown to increase risk of fracture in areas of the body that have been exposed to high doses of radiation during radiotherapy treatment of some cancers. NASA is also interested in this research because as they work toward exploration missions outside low-Earth orbit, astronauts will be exposed to increasing levels of cosmic radiation. To ensure mission safety and success we need to understand the impact of radiation on risk of bone fracture.




To view a list of Professor Keaveny's publications, please click here.



Noah Bonnheim Graduate Student I am a second year graduate student in biomechanics, focusing mainly on the designs and materials used in spinal implants. Specifically, I am using FEM based on micro-CT scans to provide insights regarding how implants can better transfer stress to adjacent bone.
Aaron Jameson Graduate Student I'm a first year grad student working in the Automotive Safety Biomechanics (ASB) group, focusing on predicting injury in severe dynamic crash load cases using FEM modelling. Outside of lab, I like to read, cook, binge on Netflix and sometimes exercise.
Ryan O'Sullivan Graduate Student I am a first year graduate student working in Automotive Safety Biomechanics currently researching crash safety in various driving positions. Outside of lab I enjoy cooking and the outdoors.
Megan Pendleton Graduate Student I'm a fourth year PhD student researching the effects of ionizing radiation on the quality of bone. I graduated from Georgia Tech with a BS in Aerospace Engineering and have worked for NASA JSC and NASA ARC as a Pathways Intern and NSTRF fellow. My favorite activities outside of lab are playing volleyball, running, and watching college football. Feel free to contact me with questions about research and/or UC Berkeley. Go Bears!
Saghi Sadoughi Graduate Student I am a third year PhD student in the Orthopedic Biomechancis Laboratory working on hip and spine failure mechanisms. Besides research, I enjoy playing tennis, swimming, running and cooking.
Jonathan McKinley Staff Researcher

I am a staff researcher most interested in the intersection of computational modeling of bones and implant designs for the spine. When not in lab, you will find me running because I am fascinated with human locomotion!

Aran Bahl Undergrad Researcher I'm a third year undergraduate Bioengineer working under Megan Pendleton to research how bone material properties are affected when exposed to ionizing radiation. Outside of research, you can usually find me on a soccer pitch or basketball court!
Neha Kumar Undergrad Researcher I am an undergraduate working under Megan Pendleton to investigate changes in bone material properties after exposure to ionizing radiation. I am focused on imaging with micro-CT, image reconstruction, and finite element modeling.
Ryan Louie Undergrad Researcher I'm a 3rd year undergraduate Bioengineer working under Megan Pendleton. We are researching how the material properties of bone are affected by ionizing radiation. When I'm not researching, I enjoy a good workout at the gym or cooking simple dishes.
Piyush Prakash Undergrad Researcher I am an undergraduate working in the Automotive Safety Biomechanics Lab. I am focusing on simulating whiplash in low intensity car crashes with Finite Element Analysis.
Matt Zhang Undergrad Researcher I'm an undergraduate working in the Automotive Safety Biomechanics Lab. I'm focused on using the GHBMC finite element human body model for occupant safety research.