Courtney Petersen

Research Interests

  • Osteoarthritis treatment & surgical techniques
  • Medical device design
  • Computational modeling
  • Articular cartilage friction and wear


  • B.S. Mechanical Engineering, University of Washington, 2017
  • M.S. Mechanical Engineering, Columbia University, 2019
  • M.Phil. Mechanical Engineering, Columbia University, 2021


Courtney began working in the Musculoskeletal Biomechanics Lab in January 2018 as a master’s student before starting her Ph.D. work in the fall of 2018. Prior to beginning at Columbia, Courtney attended the University of Washington in Seattle, WA as an undergraduate. While at UW, she worked with a team to design and build a compression device to treat and heal venous ulcers, which resulted in a provisional patent. The design process and direct clinical application of this project drew Courtney into the world of biomechanics. 

Nowadays with MBL Courtney has pivoted from ulcers to cartilage. Her interests include studying cartilage wear and damage as well as osteoarthritis treatment methods and finite element modeling. Her current work focuses on osteoarthritis, from designing and patenting surgical tools to verifying novel surgical techniques using finite element analysis (FEBio). 

In her spare time, Courtney enjoys running, concerts, food, playing lacrosse, and exploring New York. As a Utah native, she is obsessed with skiing, hiking, and just the mountains in general.


Petersen, C.A., Spack, K.A., Cook, J.L., Hung, C.T., Rosenwasser, M.P., Ateshian, G.A. 2022. Bendable osteochondral allografts for patellar resurfacing: A finite element analysis of congruence. Journal of Biomechanics. 142:111240.

Gangi, L.R.*, Petersen, C.A.*, Oungoulian, S.R., Estell, E.G., Durney, K.M., Suh, J.T., Ateshian, G.A., Hung, C.T. 2022. A friction testing-bioreactor device for study of synovial joint biomechanics, mechanobiology, and physical regulation. Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE), e63880. (*contributed equally)

Chen, D., Wu, J.Y., Kennedy, K.M., Yeager, K., Bernhard, J.C., Ng, J.J., Zimmerman, B.K., Robinson, S., Durney, K.M., Shaeffer, C., Vila, O.F., Takawira, C., Gimble, J.M., Guo, X.E., Ateshian, G.A., Lopez, M.J., Eisig, S.B., and Vunjak-Novakovic, G. 2020. Tissue engineered autologous cartilage-bone grafts for temporomandibular joint regeneration. Science Translational Medicine. Vol. 12, Issue 565.

Durney, K.M., Shaeffer, C.A., Zimmerman, B.K., Nims, R.J., Oungoulian, S., Jones, B.K., Boorman-Padgett, J.F., Suh, J.T., Shah, R.P., Hung, C.T., and Ateshian, G.A., 2020. Immature bovine cartilage wear by fatigue failure and delamination. Journal of Biomechanics, 107:109852

Schwartz, J.J., Behrou, R., Cao, B., Bassford, M., Mendible, A., Shaeffer, C., Boydston, A.J., Boechler, N., 2020. Reduced strain mechanochemical activation onset in microstructured materials. Polymer Chemistry, Vol. 11, Issue 6.

Sise, C.V., Petersen, C.A., Carbone, B., Hung, C.T., Ateshian, G.A. Frictional forces do not cause wear in human articular cartilage. Summer Biomechanics, Bioengineering and Biotransport Conference. Cambridge, Maryland. 2022.

Petersen, C., Spack, K., Shyu, P., Guo, X.E., Hung, C., Rosenwasser, M., Ateshian, G. Bending and shifting osteochondral patellar allografts improve patellofemoral joint congruence. Northeast Bioengineering Conference. New York City, New York. 2022.

Spack, K.A., Petersen, C.A., Shyu, P.T., Guo, X.E., Cook, J.L., Hung, C.T., Ateshian, G.A. Maintaining high chondrocyte viability while machining live canine osteochondral patellar allografts. Northeast Bioengineering Conference. New York City, New York. 2022.

Spack, K.A., Shaeffer, C.A., Shyu, P.T., Cook, J.L., Hung, C.T., Rosenwasser, M.P., Ateshian, G.A. Altering surface curvature of patellar osteochondral allografts through subject-specific modification of subchondral bone. Summer Biomechanics, Bioengineering and Biotransport Conference. Virtual. 2021.

Shaeffer, C.A., Spack, K.A., Hung, C.T., Rosenwasser, M.P., and Ateshian, G.A. Adaptively conforming osteochondral patellar allografts for joint resurfacing: a finite element analysis of congruence. Summer Biomechanics, Bioengineering and Biotransport Conference. Virtual. 2020.

Murphy, L.A., Gangi, L.R., Shaeffer, C.A., Stefani, R.M., Jacobsen, T.D., Kenawy, H.M., Shah, R.P., Trofa, D.P., Chahine, N.O., Ateshian, G.A., Hung, C.T. Toward defining the role of the synovium in mitigating normal articular cartilage wear and tear. Summer Biomechanics, Bioengineering and Biotransport Conference. Virtual. 2020.