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New Editor-in-Chief for Stapp Car Crash Journal Talks Infrastructure, Safety, and Automation

Posted: August 5, 2023

In a career that has spanned over 35 years, Dr. Frank Pintar has built an impressive resume—and now he’s adding Editor-in-Chief of Stapp Car Crash Journal to the list.

Dr. Pintar received grants from numerous industry organizations, including the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Federal Aviation Administration.

He serves as Department Chair and Professor in the Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering at Marquette University and the Medical College of Wisconsin. In, 1982, Frank published his first Stapp paper—the first of many—and has since been involved with Stapp conferences for about 40 years.

In taking on the position of editor-in-chief, Frank wants to see the journal reach new heights.

“I’m trying to elevate it to a regular journal listing in SAE so that we can further its prominence. We would like to have multiple issues a year where we have a rolling submission, and peer reviews taking place throughout the year. [The journal] has always been linked to the conference, and it's always in the fall. People would usually have to wait until the conference to get those papers published, but I'd like to make it a year-round journal,” Frank said.

This expanse will give readers access to new information at a much quicker rate. Frank expressed his eagerness to forward this plan, as professionals within corporate, government, and academic settings look to the vital information published in the journal.

“There are industry professionals that are involved in the safety of particular vehicle brands, and so they are the ones that also participate and pass along this information,” Frank said.

He then described how this data can be used to both improve technology, and to help save lives.

“Basically, we call it human tolerance: How much force and energy can the human body take before it fails, before you break a bone, before you develop a lung contusion, or a brain injury. Part of this research is to be able to provide fundamental data to the industry, and to be able to create safer vehicles,” Frank said.

When asked about the challenges facing the realm of vehicle safety, Frank mentioned the need to further develop safety systems.

“I think one of the biggest challenges is not only how driving is occurring, but who is driving. We have a lot of elderly people in our population who are still driving, and we also have a lot larger people driving vehicles. The safety systems are not currently designed for a variety of body types,” Frank said.

He mentioned the need for adjustments to take place regarding the way in which safety systems respond to different body types—be it based on age or physical features.

“That’s where this fundamental data comes in. There is a big push to create computer models of the human body in many different forms, so that all kinds of people can be represented into a computer model. By doing this, we can actually innovate faster,” Frank said.

In addition to sensory development, another challenge for vehicle safety involves changes with passenger seating in autonomous vehicle technology.

“We are in a transition time with more and more automated features in our vehicle. As people have the ability to take their hands off the wheel, then we also see changes in posture and changes in the way a person interacts with the vehicle. During this transition phase, one of the biggest challenges is understanding the different types of interactions and what it means to the safety of the occupant,” Frank said.

Frank is excited to be the new editor-in-chief for the Stapp Car Crash Journal. He hopes that as technology continues to advance, that the methods of publication and data distribution change to best equip professionals with essential information.

“We have a lot of tools at our disposal. The challenge is to make sure that those tools are giving us the correct answers,” Frank said.


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