Mukul K. Verma, PhD (University of Michigan) brings more than 35 years of engineering & R&D experience to his consulting practice in the areas of vehicle engineering, automotive safety and mechatronics systems design. His experience includes multiple asignments in automobiles’ design and testing at one of the largest vehicle manufacturers the USA. In addition, he has significant R&D experience which led to several advances in automotive engineerin. These include areas such as automatic crash notification systems for post-crash protection, vehicles designs & pedestrians’ safety, airbag & passive protection systems design, motorcycle dynamics, heavy truck rollovers, etc. Also in his role as technical expert, he led international industry-wide teams of experts to successfully develop engineering solutions to urgent problems in traffic safety.
As a consultant, he has worked with the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency on future lighter vehicle designs and their occupants' protection in traffic accidents. He has also provided consultation to overseas government organization and research agency on electric vehicles' functional issues and traffic safety, as well as on test facilities.
Dr Verma has also taught several graduate-level and professional courses at universities in Mechatronics and Mechanical Engineering, Intelligent vehicle systems, Structural dynamics analysis and Vehicle Design Integration. He has published more than thirty papers in peer-reviewed journals and at international conferences and has been active in professional organizations as invited speaker, session chairman and organizer. He is well-known for his expertise in Vehicle Engineering and Traffic Safety and his interviews and opinions have appeared in US and in international media on several occasions
Litigation Support – Dr. Verma’s recent litigation-related work has been in two fields-
(a) Product Liability cases related to the performance of automobiles and components in accidents in the area; and (b) Intellectual Property claims related to mechatronics systems in automobiles and the validity / infringement of patents.
Every year, there are approximately 6000 fatalities (6227 in the year 2018) and many more serious injuries to pedestrians and bicyclists from vehicles in the USA. More recent data1 show that these numbers have increased by 45% since 2009. These trends have varied over the years but injuries and fatalities to pedestrians and cyclists from automobiles remain a serious issue.
This article contains a few of the findings from our recent study of automobile safety in frontal crashes. Parts of the data analyses are presented but details such as the relationship of a particular design feature to the measured injury indicators are highly dependent on specific cases and are available only for individual discussions.
Many automobile accidents are complex cases with multiple events during a single accident. The aim of forensic investigations of such (and all other) accidents is to reconstruct the sequence and the severity of events during the accident and then to establish cause and- effect relationships between the injuries (or damages) and the probable factors - vehicle design (e.g. brakes, structure, airbags); vehicle operator (e.g. distracted driver, alcohol impairment, reduced vision); and operating conditions (e.g. fog, failed traffic sign, excessive speed, icy road).
The New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (part of the U.S Department of Transportation) underwent major changes recently. For automobiles designated as model years 2011 and later, the changes involve both what is measured and what is published.
Airbags in modern automobiles have been around for many years and their record in improving occupant safety in crashes is generally well accepted. However, many questions still arise regarding their deployment and performance in crashes.
Harry Direen, PhD, PE has over 30 years of experience as an engineer Designing and Developing Systems in the Electronics and Software Industry. He has taught engineering courses at the US Air Force Academy and at the University of Colorado. Dr. Direen currently works with a research group at the US Air Force Academy developing control systems and image processing using GPGPUs for UAVs. An inventor, he holds 3 United States patents.
Litigation Support - Dr. Direen has significant experience as an expert witness supporting counsel and testifying in complex patent infringement cases. He has a broad base of knowledge in electronic and software systems gained from a long career developing a wide range of products and systems. His litigation experience also includes encryption / decryption methods associated with databases and signal processing. Dr. Direen has reverse engineered a variety of complex systems over the years, including: media players, modems, modem compression algorithms, coriolis mass flow meters, database systems, and a range of other products to support patent infringement cases generating detailed claim charts and writing expert reports to demonstrate infringement. He has successfully discovered and analyzed complex digital signal processing algorithms and pertinent operations within these products. Dr. Direen's expertise is available to counsel representing both plaintiff and defendant. He is highly proficient in explaining complex systems to laymen.