A Biomechanical Engineer in MEA Forensic’s LA office, Mr. Ross Hunter has nearly a decade of experience investigating motor vehicle collisions. Ross started in MEA’s Collision Reconstruction group before earning a Master’s degree and moving to the Injury Biomechanics group. Ross reconstructs collisions based on the physical evidence and assesses the potential for injury for vehicle occupants and pedestrians involved in accidents.

Ross has Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Biomedical Engineering from the University of California, Davis and Irvine. During his Master’s, he studied shoulder injuries in drivers holding onto the steering wheel at the time of a crash. Specifically, Ross analyzed, tested, and dissected cadaver shoulders to assess injury mechanisms for a rotator cuff tendon tear. Ross is registered as a professional engineer in California.

Ross has been involved in research studies on a variety of collision reconstruction and injury biomechanics topics. His research directly informs his work on specific accidents. His investigation of shoulder injuries, for example, helps him assess whether a diagnosed shoulder injury is consistent with the mechanics of a particular car crash. His studies of vehicle damage and motion provide him with an understanding of realistic dynamics: how cars collide, skid, accelerate, and execute turns. Ross intends for his peer-reviewed publications to have an influence beyond his casework. “Our firm doesn’t just make use of research,” he observes, “we also contribute original research to the scientific community.”

areas of specialization

  1. Injury mechanism and applied load
  2. Collision Reconstruction
  3. PC-Crash simulations
  4. Low or high-speed collisions
  5. Low or high-speed collisions Pedestrian impacts

education

  1. Master of Science, Biomedical Engineering, University of California, Irvine, 2017
  2. Bachelor of Science, Biomedical Engineering, University of California, Davis, 2008

professional status

  1. Registered Professional Engineer, State of California, License No. 36510, since 2013
  2. Certified Accreditation for Traffic Accident Reconstruction, ACTAR No. 2603, since 2012
  3. California Driver’s License M1 Motorcycle Endorsement, since 2012

professional associations

  1. American Society of Biomechanics (ASB), since 2012
  2. California Association of Accident Reconstruction Specialists (CAARS), since 2012
  3. Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), since 2012
  4. American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), since 2008

Professional Experience

  1. MEA Forensic Engineers & Scientists
    Biomechanical Engineer, 2014 to Present

    Conducts collision reconstruction and biomechanical analyses to assess injury potential in motor vehicle accidents. Biomechanical analyses consist of reviews of medical records, assessments of the loads applied to the body, injury mechanics, and the relationship between the applied loads and the injury. Conducts research on the biomechanics of injury and occupant kinematics in motor vehicle collisions. Determines vehicle speed, impact severity, collision avoidance potential, and occupant motion. Performs site and vehicle inspections, retrieves and interprets black box data, creates simulations of accidents, prepares written reports, and participates in vehicle crash testing. Involved in over 100 technical investigations related to biomechanics of injury in motor vehicle collisions.

    Project Engineer, 2008 to 2014

    Conducted collision reconstruction of motor vehicle accidents to determine vehicle speed, impact severity, collision avoidance potential, and occupant motion. Performed site and vehicle inspections, retrieved and interpreted black box data, created simulations of accidents, prepared written reports, and participated in vehicle crash testing. Involved in over 500 technical investigations of motor vehicle accidents including passenger cars, truck and vans, heavy-truck and commercial vehicles, motorcycles, bicycles, and pedestrians.

  2. Orthopaedic Biomechanics Laboratory, Long Beach Veteran Affairs & UC Irvine
    Graduate Research Student, 2014 to 2017

    Determined the 3D shoulder orientation of volunteer drivers holding onto a steering wheel. Dissected and tested cadaver shoulders to assess injury mechanisms for rotator cuff tendon tear. Assisted with testing and kinematic analysis of orthopedic studies.

Research Activities

  1. Measured bony landmarks of the shoulder blade and arm of volunteer drivers holding onto a steering wheel using a coordinate measuring machine (MicroScribe). An average shoulder orientation of drivers was calculated based on measurements of the volunteers. A cadaveric shoulder was oriented in the average position to determine the 3D geometry of the glenohumeral joint alignment. The cadaveric shoulder was also used to assess potential injury mechanisms for rotator cuff tendon tear. Testing included humeral head displacement, impingement, and tendon tensile load to failure.
  2. Assisted with the dissection of cadaver shoulders, testing of cadaver shoulder range of motion before and after orthopedic repair, and kinematic analysis of cadaver shoulder motion. Assisted with load to failure testing of synthetic (sawbone) femurs with various head/shaft internal fixation techniques and kinematic analysis of femur motion. Assisted with kinematic analysis of a synthetic (3D printed) lumbar spine during simulated reduction in lumbar anterolisthesis.
  3. Studied the accuracy of using high-speed frontal barrier crash tests to predict the impact speed of a less severe frontal barrier crash. Barrier load cells and vehicle accelerometer data were used to generate force-displacement curves to calculate the vehicle’s deformation energy for a range of high-speed crashes.
  4. Assisted with determining the sensitivity of input parameters in vehicle-to-vehicle collisions when comparing computer simulation results (PC-Crash) to real-world crash tests.
  5. Ongoing assistance with conducting vehicle-to-vehicle crash tests to correlate impact severity and speed with vehicle damage. Assist with quantifying acceleration and speed of vehicles in typical driving maneuvers as well as skid to stop maneuvers. Ongoing research on the collection of pedestrian crash tests to compare with PC-Crash multibody simulations.

research publications

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

Lectures & Presentations

  1. April 2016 – Using Force-Displacement Data to Predict the EBS of Car into Barrier Impacts. SAE World Congress, Detroit MI.
  2. April 2012 – Sensitivity of Collision Simulation Results to Initial Assumptions. SAE World Congress, Detroit MI.
  3. March 2012 – Organized and led tour of MEA facility for Vital Link OC students. Provided a career fair presentation on my background education prior to becoming a forensic engineer, Pioneer Middle School, Tustin, CA
  4. November 2011 – Guest speaker on “MEA Crash Testing” and its relevance to collision reconstruction. Saddleback College, Mission Viejo, CA.

Training & Professional Development

  1. January 2018 – PC-Crash Expert Workshop (MEA), Irvine, CA
  2. September 2017 – Vehicle and Pedestrian Crash Test Conference (ARC-CSI), Las Vegas, NV
  3. April 2016 – Society of Automotive Engineers World Congress (SAE), Detroit, MI
  4. May 2013 – Vehicle Crash Test Conference (ARC-CSI), Las Vegas, NV
  5. October 2012 – Motorcycle Reconstruction Conference (CAARS), South Lake Tahoe, CA
  6. July 2012 – PC-Crash Expert Workshop (MEA), Vancouver, BC
  7. July 2012 – Event Data Recorder Use in Traffic Crash Reconstruction Course (IPTM), Irvine, CA
  8. June 2012 – Motorcycle Safety Foundation Basic Rider Course (Saddleback), Mission Viejo, CA
  9. April 2012 – Society of Automotive Engineers World Congress (SAE), Detroit, MI
  10. January to May 2012 – Human Anatomy Course (Saddleback), Mission Viejo, CA
  11. January to May 2011 – Automotive Fundamentals Course (Saddleback), Mission Viejo, CA
  12. January 2011 – Forensic Mapping Specialist Course (FactualDiagrams), Anaheim, CA.
  13. August 2010 – PC-Crash Expert Animations and Scripting Workshop (MEA), Vancouver, BC
  14. April 2010 – PC-Crash Essentials Workshop (MEA), Laguna Hills, CA
  15. January 2010 – EDCrash Reconstruction Training Course (EDC), Los Angeles, CA
  16. November 2008 – Crash Data Retrieval System Technician Certification Course (MEA), Laguna Hills, CA.