Dr. Brandon Tsuge is a project engineer in MEA Forensic’s Collision Reconstruction group. From the firm’s Los Angeles office, Brandon works to reconstruct accidents involving cars, trucks, buses, motorbikes, bicycles—anything with a mechanical engineering basis—even amusement park rides.

Brandon holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees, and Doctorate in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California, Irvine. His PhD thesis involved designing an exoskeleton to help people recovering from a stroke or spinal chord injury learn how to walk again. Before joining MEA, Brandon worked in a consulting firm on product liability, product failure, and design patent disputes. He also worked for a medical device start-up and designed surgical instruments and implants for spine surgery. Brandon is a registered professional engineer.

MEA’s research has benefited from Brandon’s expertise. He has contributed to several projects, including studies of Toyota’s auto-braking system, SUV-rollovers and the accuracy of calculating speed from tire marks.

A scientific evaluation of the evidence leads Brandon to his conclusions. “Our answers are based on our engineering analysis,” he explains. More specifically, Brandon reconstructs an event: determining collision severity, the speeds involved, and, often times, insight into other relevant factors such as a driver’s opportunity to avoid a collision. He is comfortable using a variety of analytical tools including applied mathematics, physics, experimentation, and programming. “An analytical way of thinking has always come naturally to me,” he says.

education

  1. Doctor of Philosophy, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, University of California, Irvine, 2015.
  2. Master of Science, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, University of California, Irvine, 2012.
  3. Bachelor of Science, Mechanical Engineering, University of California, Irvine, 2010.

professional status

  1. Registered Professional Engineer, State of California, since 2017. License 38875.

professional associations

  1. American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), since 2013
  2. California Association of Accident Reconstruction Specialists (CA2RS), since 2018
  3. Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), since 2017
  4. Southwestern Association of Technical Accident Investigators (SATAI)

Professional Experience

  1. MEA Forensic Engineers & Scientists
    Project Engineer, June 2016 to present

    Conducts technical investigations primarily for motor vehicle, bicycle, and pedestrian accidents. Performs site and vehicle inspections, crash data recorder downloads, speed change analysis, severity assessment, and avoidance potential. Also involved in research activities including crash tests, autonomous emergency braking, and critical speed yaw.

  2. McCarthy Design Associates
    Technical Consultant, July 2012 to June 2016

    Conducted engineering analysis to investigate product liability and design patent cases.

  3. Spinofix Inc.
    Design Engineer, February 2011 to April 2012

    Developed surgical tools for insertion and fixation of spinal implants and instruments for posterior fixation to treat the lumbar spine. Responsible for documentation for FDA 510(k) and CE marking. Responsible for the quality management system for the ISO 13485 registration.

  4. Onciomed Inc.
    Design Engineer, February 2011 to April 2012

    Developed surgical tools for the insertion and fixation of an organ restraint device to treat obesity.

  5. Trialmed Life Sciences
    Engineer, April 2010 to April 2012

    Developed orthodontic device concepts for jaw realignment.

Teaching Experience

  1. Introduction to Engineering I and II

    Lecturer, September 2015 to March 2016
    Responsible for organizing autonomous quadcopter design project, course lectures, homework, and exams.

    Instructor, September 2014 to March 2015
    Planned and organized the autonomous quadcopter project and course lectures.

    Teaching Assistant, September 2012 to March 2013, September 2013 to March 2014
    Planned and organized the autonomous hovercraft project.

  2. Rescue Robotics
    Organizer, January 2012 to May 2015

    Collaborated, with the University of California, Irvine, to develop a robotics competition for university, high school, and middle school students where teams were tasked with building a ground or aerial robot that could identify stationary targets. Responsible for designing the competition course and rules, and providing students with technical advice.

  3. Energy Invitational 
    Organizer, January 2014 to May 2015

    Assisted, with the University of California Irvine, with the organization of a student design competition where university, high school, and middle school students competed to build a racecar that could travel the furthest on a $1 worth of fuel. Responsible for conducting vehicle safety checks, and the development of competition scoring.

  4. Theory of machines
    Teaching Assistant, March 2013 to June 2013, March 2015 to June 2015

    Responsible for lectures in discussion sections on mechanism analysis and animations using SolidWorks. Assisted in preparation of homework, quizzes, and exams.

  5. Coaching Experience 
    University High School (Irvine) Wrestling Program

    High School Wrestling Assistant Coach, November 2008 to March 2016, November 2017 to present
    Responsible for teaching techniques and conditioning for folkstyle wrestling. Coached two students to California State Championships. Tustin High School Summer Wrestling Program

    High School Wrestling Assistant Coach, July 2015 to August 2015
    Responsible for teaching techniques and conditioning for folkstyle wrestling.

research publications

This list is a selection of publications authored by this expert. For a more complete list, please contact their project coordinator.

Training & Professional Development

  1. May 14-18, 2018 – LS-DYNA: Implicit and Explicit Nonlinear Transient Analysis for Structural Mechanics, Portland, OR.
  2. April 30 – May 1, 2018 – MEA Toyota Vehicle Control History Testing for Steering and Braking, Irvine, CA
  3. January 8-12, 2018 – Event Data Recorder Use in Traffic Crash Reconstruction – Level I, Institute of Police Technology and Management, Oklahoma City, OK.
  4. May 3-5, 2017 – MEA Technical Summit. River Rock Casino Resort, Richmond, BC.
  5. May 1-2, 2017 – MEA Toyota Vehicle Control History Testing for Autonomous Braking, Richmond, BC
  6. January 25-27, 2017 – MEA Steer Induced Rollover Testing, Irvine, CA.
  7. November 4, 2016 – MEA Staged Side Impact Crash Testing, Irvine, CA.
  8. October 24-28, 2016 – EDC Reconstruction: EDCRASH Training Course, Coral Gables, FL.
  9. October 7, 2016 – MEA Low Speed Bumper Testing, Laguna Hills, CA.
  10. September 14-16, 2016 – PC-Crash Training, Richmond, BC.
  11. August 2-5, 2015 – ASME 2015 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference, Boston, MA.
  12. August 17-20, 2014 – ASME 2014 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference, Buffalo, NY.
  13. August 4-7, 2013 – ASME 2013 ASME International Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference, Portland, OR.