Position: Senior Forensic Engineer
Expertise: Vehicle Crashworthiness Analysis, Vehicular Collision Reconstruction, Biomechanical Analysis, Mechanical Failure Analysis, Workplace Safety, Industrial Incidents, Slips/Trips/Falls
Qualifications: Bachelor of Science, Mechanical Engineering
Tia Gaffney (nee Orton), a United States citizen and Californian native, joined Delta-V Experts in October 2006. Ms Gaffney has 15 years of experience in the field of forensic engineering with a specialty in vehicular collision reconstruction, crashworthiness and safety. While Ms Gaffney began her career at General Motors in Detroit, Michigan, she opted for a profession in the field of independent transportation safety research in order to make a bigger societal impact.
Ms Gaffney’s major specialisation has concerned the application of the physical and engineering sciences to safety in many areas ranging from transport through to occupational health and safety in the workplace. Ms Gaffney has conducted extensive work in road safety, crashworthiness (cars, trains, buses, trucks and other mobile equipment), occupational health and safety, accident and incident investigation, analysis and mitigation for injury prevention. Ms Gaffney was formerly employed by Safety Analysis and Forensic Engineering (SAFE), a leading U.S. automotive safety research firm. Her work at SAFE included extensive analysis, testing and research related to severe vehicle collisions, particularly rollovers and rear impacts. Ms Gaffney’s detailed research on one of the largest cases in history involving Ford Motor Company led to her testimony at a U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) investigation.
Subsequently, Ms Gaffney spent 3 years working with several leading biomedical and biomechanical firms in order to gain a better understanding of the human component of an impact. Her work in the biomedical/biomechanical field involved detailed technical analysis of injuries sustained in a myriad of environments requiring advanced knowledge of injury mechanisms and injury tolerance data. Ms Gaffney gained specific training evaluating the severity and classification of trauma sustained by pedestrians struck by motor vehicles. Incidents involving slips, trips and falls and manual handling issues were evaluated in a biomedical laboratory setting with respect to force quantification and application.
Ms Gaffney’s experience combined with her enthusiasm has allowed her to achieve her goal of reducing human casualties through various DVE projects and investigations. Specifically, she has carried out in-depth investigations and vehicle safety-related projects for the State Coroner of Victoria, BHP Billiton, Anglo American, Victoria Police, VicRoads, Victorian Parliament, Victorian Motorcycle Advisory Council and the Department of Sustainability and Energy. Projects have included vehicle, heavy vehicle and forklift safety, vehicle rollover and transport and construction industry safety. She has also been a key participant in various large-scale vehicular crash testing programs in various laboratory settings including the Australian Army Proving Grounds and at a BHP-funded test facility in South Africa.
Ms Gaffney continues to strive for the ongoing improvement of vehicle safety for Australian and American citizens. Ms Gaffney succeeded in contributing to the United States Federal Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 216 evaluating vehicle roof crush resistance. Ms Gaffney also participated in the development of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) rollover roof strength rating system. Recently, Ms Gaffney submitted comments to the United States Department of Transportation and Australian Department of Infrastructure and Transport requesting rulemaking for standard starter interlock systems for vehicles.
Ms Gaffney’s work has been published extensively with numerous technical publications as well as a book chapter on expert evidence involving traffic accident investigation, analysis and reconstruction. She has made presentations at numerous conferences and seminars, both nationally and at international forums and has been invited as a guest lecturer at several Australian Universities.
Ms Gaffney prides herself on providing a scientific, concise and objective analysis of a large array of injury-producing incidents and collisions.
- Collision Reconstruction
- Safety Engineering
- Rollover Protection Systems (ROPS)
- Product Liability