Shane Richardson

Position: Principal Forensic Engineer, Managing Director and Owner Delta V Experts
Expertise: Mechanical Engineering, Crash Reconstruction, Incident Analysis, Vehicle Structural Engineering, Human Factors, Amusement Rides and Devices In-Service Inspection, Biomedical Engineering, Risk Engineering and Structural Engineering
Qualifications: B. Eng. (Mech.), MSc. (MVT), PhD, MIEAust CPEng NER and MSAEA.

Shane has conducted well in excess of 1000 vehicle collision, industrial/mining incident, mechanical failure investigations and human factor investigations of (pedestrian, All-Terrain vehicles, motorbikes, passenger vehicles, trucks, trains, trams, cranes, boats and Military Vehicles), equipment (children’s toys to ship loaders), mining equipment (surface and underground), Police equipment, military equipment (personnel protective vests to large calibre weapon mounts, vehicle testing and development), Ballistics (internal, external and impact), vehicle mounted data recorders and human factors (sporting venues, lifting and manual handling). He has provided expert evidence in the Supreme, County, Magistrate and Coronial Courts related to collisions and incidents investigated.

Shane is a Mechanical Engineer with 23 years’ experience in applying systems engineering methods to the procurement, specifications, development and design of automotive, military and mechanical systems and workplace safety for the Australian Army. Shane was posted to the Royal Military College during 1991 and completed a Master of Science degree focusing on vehicle dynamics (suspension and handling). From 1995 to 1998 Shane led the Land Engineering Agency project team which investigated, analysed, developed, tested and specified safety systems for the Australian Army's fleet of General Service Vehicles. This work initiated Shane's PhD studies at Monash University. Shane's work, studies (Graduate, Master and PhD), courses at Texas A&M, University of North Florida Society of Automotive Engineers, VDO Kienzle and DSD, and presentations and attendance at national and international conferences have resulted in a focused understanding on human and object impacts. Shane has utilised computer modelling simulations (Finite Element Analysis, MADYMO, HVE and PC-Crash) to examine collisions, failures and to develop solutions to safety problems.

Shane lead both small and large teams of engineers and technicians whilst working for the Land Engineering Agency, this included a range of activities from terrain modelling, equipment packaging, vehicle selection, human factors, other occupational health and safety issues and failure analysis.

Shane has been attached to the Victoria Police Accident Investigation Section and has investigated, analysed and reconstructed vehicle crashes for the Australian Army and instigated the fitment of vehicle crash data recorders into vehicles within the Australian Army General Service fleet of vehicles. Shane has sourced in-vehicle video and data recorder systems which are distributed by Delta-V Experts.

Shane has consulted on major projects including vehicle passive protection systems, suspension systems for combat vehicles, trucks and passenger vehicles, certification and evaluation of vehicles for various clients (both in Government and private industry), analysis of roll-over issues for vehicle fleets (including work for Monash University Accident Research Centre), development of safety solutions and various incident and crash investigations (including failure modes effects analysis). His consulting work has provided design, development, review, validation and specification of vehicle mounted equipment, safety systems, vehicles and mechanical equipment for a diverse range of Delta-V Experts clients. Shane has developed an evaluation methodology to characterise vehicle handling and rollover propensity.

Shane has designed, developed and supervised the manufacture of Rollover Protective Systems, equipment mountings, and safety systems in South Africa, Columbia, Australia, Sudan, Gabon, Libya, Egypt, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Russia, China, Thailand, Indonesia, Brazil, Argentina and United States of America.

Shane evaluated technical integrity issues such as human factors, design, documentation, drawings, systems of work, maintenance and reliability and investigated equipment faults and failures. Shane has also focused on workplace safety including manual handling, risk assessment and abatement, incident/accident investigation and reconstruction.  

He has published national and international technical papers.

The focus of his research thesis is Rollover Protective Structures for Light Vehicles with supporting work on vehicle dynamics.

Shane has designed, developed, tested and supported the manufacturer of Rollover Protective Structures for the Australian Army, BHP Billiton, Schlumberger, Anglo America, DeBeers and other organisation. Shane has designed and developed light vehicle (Pickups, SUVs and 4x4s) and truck Rollover Protective Structures in South Africa, Columbia, Australia, Sudan, Gabon, Libya, Egypt, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Russia, China, Thailand, Indonesia, Brazil, Argentina and United States of America (USA). Shane holds a patent for Delta-V Experts on the ‘SafeRoof’ Sports Utility Vehicle Rollover Protection System.

In response to a client’s subjective vehicle handling evaluation and selection methodology, Shane developed an objective vehicle handing and rollover propensity evaluation methodology. The objective of the methodology enables clients to quantitatively assess vehicle handling as part of a procurement process. Several Australian Federal Government Departments, Australian Police Forces, State Government Departments, international companies (including Nissan Australia and Schlumberger and Ergon Energy), these organisations have and are utilising this methodology to objectively quantify their vehicle procurements, evaluate suspension options and evaluate their risk exposure. The methodology is also able to evaluate and quantify the effectiveness of electronic stability control systems. Shane has led the development of Delta-V Experts Steering Robot which is used to further evaluate vehicle control systems.

Shane along with colleagues at Delta-V Experts has developed a range of retrofit barrier protection systems for vulnerable road users, specifically aimed at protecting motorcyclists crashing in to poles, wire rope barriers and W-beam barriers. Shane along with colleagues at Delta-V Experts has developed a performance specification for protecting roadside utility poles (such as power and traffic light poles).

Shane is a member of the Institution of Engineers Australia, the Society of Automotive Engineers Australia and the Australasian & South Pacific Association of Collision Investigators. Shane is currently a Director of the Society of Automotive Engineers Australia. Shane has run ‘Vehicle Crash Investigation’ courses for the Society of Automotive Engineers Australia, training independent experts, scientist, engineers and lawyers. The ‘Vehicle Crash Investigation’ courses have been run in multiple locations within Australia and also in Singapore.

Shane’s experience extends from safe work environments for people (e.g. soldiers, school children, employees and sports people), to systems of work practices, analysis, failure analysis, evaluation, design, development, testing, commissioning and research. Shane has investigated and evaluated and is committed to developing safe working environments for; traditional manufacturing factories, home, playgrounds, sporting venues, farms, mines (above and below ground), the modern office environment and the transport industry (train, tram, bus, truck, car, motorcycle, bicycle and pedestrian).

Shane has also conducted limited fire cause analysis, specifically relating to component or system failures which provide the initiation or cause of a fire within vehicles, equipment, industrial plant and domestic locations.

Shane has staged multiple car crashes (by driving one vehicle into another), mainly to educate and illustrate to lawyers and insurance company personal the kinematics and dynamics of a crash. The author has also staged crashes for television. Typically the crashes are +20km/h change in velocity (delta-v or ∆v). Shane has not been injured in any of the crashes.

Shane with colleagues:

  1. Has developed a tool to remotely evaluate road roughness, using accelerometers, GPS data, mobile phones, the internet and computers.  
  2. Is developing instrumentation for sporting equipment using accelerometers, GPS data, Wi-Fi and computers.

Lead training of members of the Abu Dhabi Emergency Services (Police Force, Ambulance and Fire).

As part of Delta-V Experts ongoing commitment to offering the highest quality of service, Shane regularly attends national and international technical seminars, courses, conferences and is continuing to develop safety products.

A founding partner and Director of Delta-V Experts and current Managing Director, Shane brings significant practical and research expertise to the team, as well as extensive national and international industry affiliations.

Shane has lead the design, overseen the construction and commissioning of a combined Side Tilt and Centre of Gravity machine for testing vehicles.

Shane and a colleague (Mr John McIver) have designed and developed a datalogger utilising an android mobile phone.