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John Cotton

Associate Professor
Biomedical Engineering,Mechanical Engineering
STKR 248
Phone: 740.593.9970

Dr. Cotton spent the early 1990s as contractor for the Federal Highway Administration's Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center simulating freeway flows. Dr. Cotton returned to Blacksburg, earning a Ph.D. in Engineering Mechanics with an option in biomechanics. He then took a research fellowship in the Bioengineering Science Research Group at the University of Southampton in the U.K., creating fatigue damage simulations of human bone. Dr. Cotton returned to Virginia Tech to serve on the faculty of Engineering Science and Mechanics until 2007. Dr. Cotton has published more than 60 refereed articles and conference papers. He has taught introductory mechanics, physics, and computational methods courses as well as advanced courses in numerical modeling and mechanics of both traditional and biologic materials.

Research Interests: Computational biomechanics oriented towards material nonlinearity, solid mechanics, and finite element analysis (FEA) Biological and physiological modeling, with a special interest in cellular mechanotransduction Quantifying mechanical integrity of bone, including noninvasive techniques, transferring medical images to mechanical models, and simulation of damage and growth Research Topics Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Computational biomechanics, bone mechanics, mechanotransduction

All Degrees Earned: Ph.D., Engineering Mechanics, Virginia Tech, 1998. M.S., Engineering Mechanics, Virginia Tech, 1989. B.S., Engineering Science and Mechanics, Virginia Tech, 1987.


A Finite Element Analysis of Sacroiliac Joint Ligaments in Response to Different Loading Conditions PH Eichenseer, DR Sybert, JR Cotton Spine 36 (22), E1446. 2011 

Mechanical analysis of percutaneous sacroplasty using CT image based finite element models DE Anderson, JR Cotton Medical engineering & physics 29 (3), 316-325. 2007 

Mechanical properties and consequences of stereocilia and extracellular links in vestibular hair bundles JH Nam, JR Cotton, EH Peterson, W Grant Biophysical journal 90 (8), 2786-2795. 2006. 

Damage rate is a predictor of fatigue life and creep strain rate in tensile fatigue of human cortical bone samples JR Cotton, K Winwood, P Zioupos, M Taylor Journal of biomechanical engineering 127, 213. 2005 

Analysis of creep strain during tensile fatigue of cortical bone JR Cotton, P Zioupos, K Winwood, M Taylor Journal of biomechanics 36 (7), 943-949. 2003

Something you may not know about me: Spent a year backpacking around Oceana, southeast and south Asia, Africa, and Europe