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Lawrence W. Schneider

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Dr. Lawrence W. Schneider is a research professor emeritus in UMTRI's Biosciences Group.  He joined UMTRI in 1973, was the Biosciences group head from 1986 until 2011, and became emeritus in 2016. He earned a B.S. in mechanical engineering, an M.S. in mechanical engineering and bioengineering, and Ph.D. in bioengineering from the University of Michigan.

Dr. Schneider's research interests focus on biomechanics in the automotive environment (including seating and occupant positioning during normal vehicle operation) and the study of human impact response and injury tolerance related to improving occupant protection in crash environments through crash investigations and laboratory testing. He has served as principal investigator and/or project director on numerous projects concerned with biomechanics related to automotive design and restraint system design, including:

  • Biomechanical properties and injury tolerance of the human body related to occupant injury in impact environments
  • Anthropometry of children and adults, particularly as it relates to restraint system and vehicle interior design for occupant protection and accommodation
  • In-depth investigations of motor-vehicle crashes with a focus on causes and mechanisms of injury
  • Biomechanics of occupant positioning and posture in the motor-vehicle environment
  • Development of advanced automotive crash dummies
  • Development of test methods, performance criteria, and standards for improved crash protection of disabled travelers seated in wheelchairs

He has won numerous awards throughout his career, including the Best Paper Award for the 1992 Stapp Conference and the 1994 Ralph H. Isbrandt Automotive Safety Engineering Award.