Roadside Safety Engineering Expert 523144 AL

Expertise Description

I am experienced in the field of roadside safety engineering. While working at a prominent research institute in the field of transportation safety engineering, I assisted in constructing roadside and median safety features for the purpose of conducting standardized crash testing according to NCHRP Report 350 and MASH test protocols. I also documented some of those tests by recording observations, taking measurements of various forms of damage, and compiling technical reports. I also researched ditches, crash cushions, low-volume roads, trees, cable guardrail, W-beam guardrail, concrete median barriers, and temporary concrete barriers. I also investigated the fracture behavior of thin steel under dynamic loading conditions. I am familiar with dynamic and static component testing, computer simulation via LS-Dyna, and full-scale crash testing for Federal approval of highway safety appurtenances. I have also taught classes on elasticity, continuum mechanics, fracture mechanics, and LS-Dyna. I have also conducted a statistical analysis of the in-service performance of guardrail terminals. I have offered my services as a roadside safety engineering expert witness by providing consultations, courtroom testimony, and deposition.

Areas of Expertise

Expert Witness

My expert witness experience includes W-beam guardrail crashes and product liability cases. I have opined on the statistical and mechanical performance of guardrail terminals, and in particular, on the ET-Plus, which is made and sold by Trinity Highway Products. I have prepared expert reports for class action lawsuits wherein the overall history, including crash testing, design changes, and the detrimental effect of those changes, was required. I have also provided opinions related to a tractor-trailer impact with a sedan in a personal injury case. In that case, I used LS-Dyna to create a computer simulation of the impact to estimate the forces felt by the occupant of the sedan.

Consulting Experience

My consulting experience includes mostly guardrail cases. I have consulted on cases involving the banned Breakaway Cable Terminal (BCT), short radius end treatments, buried guardrail ends, and guardrail placed behind a curb. I’ve also consulted on a case involving a Slotted Rail Terminal (SRT). In addition, I have assisted in two cases involving a potentially improper post embedment in asphalt. In those cases, the guardrail ruptured and penetrated the occupant compartment, but the asphalt around the posts was too thick, disallowing any post rotation, which is critical in the performance of guardrail.

Professional Experiences

My professional experience includes impact engineering and energy management. The combination of my academic and early career training have enabled me to analyze the energy absorption of moving objects in a controlled manner. I have worked as a research scientist and director of a highway safety research group. As such, I concentrate on managing the energy of vehicles in a crash. I try to figure out how to bring a vehicle to a controlled, safe stop, often in short distances. I also participate in our recreational sports safety research group where we have used the principles of impact engineering and energy management to design new football helmets, aimed at significantly reducing concusions in American football. We have also investigated hockey walls, soccer balls, and swimming pool liners. Whether a project is related to highway safety or sports safety, I almost always use computer modeling and physical crash testing to evaluate a new design concept.

Relevant Experiences

I am a research scientist and I work in the Mechanical Engineering department of the School of Engineering at a prestigious university. I have a PhD in Engineering, with an emphasis in structural engineering, from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where I studied under the world leader in research related to roadside and median safety, including guardrails. While there, I constructed, crash tested, and documented dozens of guardrail installations according to the standard test guidelines, which included NCHRP Report 350 and its replacement, MASH. 


Degree Subject Institution
Ph.D. Structural Engineering University of Nebraska Lincoln NE
M.S.C.E. Structural Engineering University of Nebraska Lincoln NE
B.S.C.E. Structural Engineering University of Nebraska Lincoln NE

Awards & Affiliation

Chi Epsilon (Civil Engineering honor society)
Tau Beta Pi (Engineering honor society)
MATC Ph.D. Student of the Year