Richard M. Ziernicki, Ph.D., P.E.
President & CEO
Principal Mechanical Engineer
ENGINEERING AND DESIGN:
Dr. Ziernicki taught mechanics, stress analysis, strength of materials, and vibrations at the Institute of Vibrations and Acoustics. While Manager of the Research and Development Group in Krakow, he developed techniques for dynamic modeling, analysis of vibrations, and optimization of mechanical systems. He was actively involved in the modeling of engine-gearbox systems and vehicle suspensions, and in pneumatic tire testing. As Manager of Mechanical Engineering with Over-Lowe, Dr. Ziernicki was in charge of mechanical design, dynamic analysis, and testing of product lines including engine generator sets, transport carriers, trailers, portable lighting equipment, pneumatic towers, and light construction equipment. He prepared technical proposals for the Department of Defense in the areas of torsional and transverse vibrations, rotor balancing, noise control, machine design, dynamic modeling, tolerance analysis, and testing. Currently with Knott Laboratory, Dr. Ziernicki is consulting in the areas of patent and trade secret issues related to mechanical engineering.
Dr. Ziernicki has evaluated several thousand industrial and vehicular accidents. He conducts and directs investigations of vehicular accidents, which include automobiles, tractor-trailers, buses, motorcycles, bicycles, and pedestrians. He is very familiar with Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR). He also consults on industrial accidents and machinery failures and machine safety (including cranes, forklifts, skid steers, wood chippers, balers, other industrial and construction equipment). In safety analysis he applies industry safety standards and regulations including Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), American National Standards Institute (ANSI), International Organization for Standardization (ISO,) and Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) and more. Dr. Ziernicki performed research and field investigations for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) as an investigator and team member for NHTSA’s Crash Injury Research and Engineering Network (CIREN), which is comprised of engineers and trauma doctors. He investigated the Princess Diana accident in Paris, France and collapse of “Big Blue” crane in Miller Park, Milwaukee. He also investigated high profile motor vehicle accident in Germany on behalf of United States Department of Defense. Dr. Ziernicki was a lead investigator and testifying expert on an explosion that destroyed a boiler of 450 MW coal-and-gas fired power plant.
A functional knowledge of manufacturing processes and design interface has allowed him to obtain design patents in the USA and Canada. Dr. Ziernicki has presented papers and lectured at a number of technical conferences in the United States, Canada, Europe, and South America. He has been invited to speak at seminars and conferences including Johns Hopkins University, the SAE International in Sao Paulo, Brazil, ICRASH 2000 in London, and the Five State Judicial Conference where he also served as a faculty member for the Harvard Law School. He has also lectured at the university level including the Technical Institute in Vienna, the University of Mining and Metallurgy in Krakow, Poland, Purdue University in Lafayette, Indiana, the University of Denver, and the University of Colorado at Denver. He is the author of sixty eight publications, primarily in the fields of mechanical engineering, and vehicle accident reconstruction. Dr. Ziernicki is a contributing author of five books on forensic engineering. Dr. Ziernicki’s accident reconstruction expertise has been featured over thirty times on local and national television, including Discovery Channel, Dateline NBC, Dr. Oz Show, MSNBC, FOX News, and National Geographic. He was awarded a grant for research in biomechanics by the National Science Foundation. Dr. Ziernicki was a member of several past SAE Standards Committees. Dr. Ziernicki is Past President and past board member for the National Academy of Forensic Engineers and also serves on Committees for the organization. Dr. Ziernicki received an award in 2012 in Appreciation of Distinguished Leadership as National Academy of Forensic Engineers President. In 2015, Dr. Ziernicki received the prestigious award for Manager of the Year from the National Society of Professional Engineers-Colorado (NSPE-CO). In 2016, Dr. Ziernicki received an award for his commitment with APITLA to promote the mission of “Putting the Brakes on Unsafe Trucking Companies.” Dr. Ziernicki was awarded the 2016 Private Sector Project of the Year for its “Advanced Forensic Engineering Analysis of a Shooting Incident” project, by the National Society of Professional Engineers-Colorado (NSPE-CO).
As a result of his investigations, Dr. Ziernicki has testified in court as an expert witness in a few hundred cases and was deposed over 500 times. He works as an expert witness for clients such as US Department of Justice, US Department of Defense, State of Colorado Attorney General’s Office, District Attorneys, and Public Defenders.
Richard M. Ziernicki and Angelos G. Leiloglou. “Newest Technologies Utilized in the Reconstruction of an Officer Involved Shooting Incident.” Journal of the National Academy of Forensic Engineers. (In Print).
Richard M. Ziernicki, William H. Pierce and Angelos G. Leiloglou. “Advanced Forensic Engineering Analysis of a School Bus/Tractor Trailer Crash.” Journal of the National Academy of Forensic Engineers. (Vol. 33, No. 1, June 2016).
Richard M. Ziernicki and Ben T. Railsback. “Forensic Engineering Evaluation and Testing of Horizontal Intrusion Protection Equipment for Stand-Up Forklifts.” Journal of the National Academy of Forensic Engineers. (Vol. 32, No. 2, December 2015).
Richard M. Ziernicki and William H. Pierce. “Forensic Engineering Investigation of Above-Ground Pool Submersion Accidents.” Journal of the National Academy of Forensic Engineers. (Vol. 32, No. 2, December 2015).
Richard M. Ziernicki. “An Insight into Knott Laboratory with Dr. Ziernicki.” The Lawyer’s Logbook. (Vol. 5, No. 3 Aug.-Sep. 2015). (Article – Adobe PDF)
“Forensic Engineering Evaluation and Testing of Horizontal Intrusion Protection Equipment for Stand-Up Forklifts.” Speaker. National Academy of Forensic Engineers Annual Meeting (NAFE). Seattle, WA. 18 Jul. 2015.
“Forensic Engineering Investigation of Above-Ground Pool Submersion Accidents.” Speaker. National Academy of Forensic Engineers Annual Meeting (NAFE). Seattle, WA. 18 Jul. 2015.
“Double Fatality at Zero Speed.” Speaker. The National Trial Lawyers Summit. Miami Beach, FL. 21 Jan. 2015.
“Forensic Engineer Investigation of Product Liability Cases.” Speaker. National Academy of Forensic Engineers Annual Meeting (NAFE). Hollywood, FL. 10 Jan. 2015.
“Stand-Up Forklift Egress Times as a Function of Operator Compartment Guarding.” Speaker. 2014 ASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition. Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Nov. 19, 2014.
SELECTED MEDIA APPEARANCES
Knott Laboratory’s Report Uses Videogrammetry to Show Unique Perspectives of Boone County Police Involved Shooting. NBC WLWT5 News Channel. 8 Dec. 2016.
Knott Laboratory’s history, capabilities and new technology. CNTV Interview by CNTV Consumer Network Television. 18 Oct. 2015.
“Minimizing Liability Risk in Engineering Product Design.” IHS Engineering 360. By Winn Hardin featuring Richard M. Ziernicki. 23 Jul. 2015.
Accident reconstruction involving tanker and multiple vehicles featured on Fox 31 Denver. KDVR. 10 Mar. 2015.
“Famous Deaths Reexamined: Princess Diana.” Dr. Oz Show. ABC. 10 Apr. 2014.
“Princess Diana’s Death: Unanswered Questions.” Fox News Channel. 4 Aug. 2007.
“Out of Control: Why Cars Crash.” MSNBC. 2000/2001.