TRW supports crash lab

Jan 21, 2004

A chance meeting resulted in a $12,500 donation to Kettering University to support development of a Crash Test Safety lab on campus.

A chance meeting resulted in a $12,500 donation to Kettering University to support development of a Crash Test Safety lab on campus. Janet Brelin-Fornari, assistant professor of Mechanical Engineering, and John Wilkerson, TRW Automotive Communications manager, met at a meeting of the Network of Employers forTraffic Safety (NETS).

"We just happened to be sitting next to each other and got talking," said Fornari, "he was very impressed with our developments in Crash Safety at Kettering and wanted to lend support from TRW." During a visit to campus Jan. 14, to deliver the donation, Wilkerson said TRW was impressed with the progress of the Kettering Crash Safety program. TRW has been a Kettering co-op partner since 1985 and currently employs 20 students at various locations.

The donation will be used for the Crash Test Safety lab general fund to assist with infrastructure, said Fornari. The lab consists of a deceleration sled (to test vehicle interior/occupant interaction), an integrated, computer classroom for virtual crash test and data synthesis and a component test area for testing of pieces (not the complete vehicle interior).

Fornari would like the lab to be operational by summer 2004, but infrastructure issues like walls around the crash sled area have to be addressed. The sled has been installed but without the surrounding walls it is unsafe to run tests. "Once we get the walls up, we will be on our way," she said.

A high speed video (film) system is also needed to round out the data acquisition system. "At this point we have the system so we can download data from the crash test dummy and the sled, but we do not have a high speed video (film) system," Fornari said. "There are so many exciting research and education possibilities that can come from this lab once it's functional," she added.

For more information on Bio-Mechanical Engineering and Crash Test Safety at Kettering, contact Janet Brelin-Fornari at jfornari@kettering.edu.

By Dawn Hibbard
810-762-9865
dhibbard@kettering.edu