Job Overview


The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is dedicated to achieving the highest standards of excellence in motor vehicle and highway safety. The agency strives to exceed the expectations of its customers through its core values of Integrity, Service and Leadership. Save lives, prevent injuries and reduce economic costs due to road traffic crashes, through education, research, safety standards and enforcement activity. Work for NHTSA.

The Human Injury Research Division (HIRD) formulates, develops and executes research programs to achieve agency requirements in the areas of traumatology, human impact response/injury tolerance, human crash kinematics, and anthropomorphic test device development necessary for: (1) defining, developing, and implementing motor vehicle safety standards and consumer metric programs; (2) realistically assessing the results of staged new car assessment evaluations for domestic consumer information; and (3) preparation of a sound trauma data base. Within this framework you will functions as an expert in the broad field of injury biomechanics and hold prime responsibilities in areas including basic and applied biomechanics/trauma research, advanced injury detection and measurement technology, mathematical modeling of biomechanical systems and vehicle crash/injury reconstruction, and post-crash injury data analysis.

The ideal candidate for the Mechanical Engineer (Biomechanics) position will have:

 1)  Both the education and demonstrated experience to lead multi-disciplinary injury biomechanics research projects where a broad knowledge of injury/experimental biomechanics, field/crash data and analysis techniques, current tools (test dummies) and safety regulations, vehicle countermeasures (e.g., airbags, seat belts), experimental biomechanics, and mathematical modeling is required.

2)  The demonstrated ability to generate and test new hypotheses through the planning, execution, and presentation of peer-reviewed research that supports the agency’s identification of relevant injuries; their causation scenarios; the associated human response and tolerance; and the models, tools, and injury measures that can be used to mitigate them. 


A Mechanical Engineer:

  • Must possess in-depth knowledge of the broad and advanced disciplines of impact biomechanics, mechanical engineering, occupant protection technology, instrumentation and measurement techniques, human anatomy and physiology, mechanical design, experimental design, and data processing techniques
  • Functions as an expert in injury/trauma biomechanics, advanced injury detection and measurement technology, mathematical modeling, and post-crash injury data analysis and hold prime responsibilities in the areas of both basic and applied research
  • Generates new concepts/hypotheses and assists/leads development of associated near- and long-range plans including the determination of project phasing, participating disciplines, and cooperating organizations such as universities, research institutes, automotive industry, and other government agencies
  • Prepares original technical reports and papers for publication/presentations in national and international forums
  • Serves as Program Manager and COTR, directing complex, multidisciplinary research programs of national and international impact and scope, involving academic, industrial, and government participants