Erik Anderson Automotive Engineer & Crash Expert

Erik Anderson, Automotive Engineer & Crash Expert

Erik Anderson is an automotive engineer with nearly twenty years of professional experience, fourteen of which was working directly for automotive manufacturers. He has direct design and testing experience in vehicle structures, crashworthiness, and closure systems engineering. Erik applies his expertise to expert witness investigations pertaining to vehicle crashworthiness, crash reconstruction, vehicle systems performance, and exterior/interior upper body mechanisms.

Upon completion of his degree in Mechanical Engineering, Erik worked for 8 years with Nissan. There, he held positions in Body Design, Closures Design, and Crash Safety. As a Crash Safety engineer, he was responsible for ensuring achievement of dynamic safety targets, both on a component basis and as complete vehicle performance. This included work in both the virtual design phase by simulation analysis, as well as overseeing and analyzing physical crash testing. Erik performed design/test work on sedans, pickup trucks, crossovers, and cargo vehicles throughout the entire development lifecycle and into mass production.

Continuing his automotive career, Erik then worked at Honda Research & Development for 6 years, where he was responsible for closures design engineering as a design team chief. At Honda, Erik led a team of design engineers in developing all aspects of minivan slide doors. He also served as design chief for minor-model updates on pickup truck door and tailgate closures. Erik has expertise in all elements of upper body design, including structures, dynamic and static crash safety, sealing, NVH, power-door systems, latches, and exterior/interior components, among others.

Erik earned his Engineering degree from the University of Michigan, one of the nation's most respected programs. Throughout his career, he has accumulated a multitude of patents for key innovations in upper body design. His education and deep industry experience designing and testing vehicles qualify Erik to investigate a broad range of vehicle topics.

Provide technical investigations, crashworthiness and engineering, and accident reconstruction analysis.

Motor Vehicle Design, Development and Testing: from requirements, concept through validation field-testing of complete vehicles, including manufacturing. Failure Mode Effects Analysis (FMEA) for products & process, DVP&R development, as well as writing trouble shooting and service procedures. Testing pre-production and production vehicles in extreme environments at or above rated capabilities. Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) and other regulatory requirement compliance.

Motor Vehicle System Design, Development and Testing: body structure; closures structure; door hinges; door checkers; water sealing components; door handles; slide door rails & rollers; glass; window regulator; NVH components; door latches; exterior trim; power-slide door; crash beams; pinch detection; side impact; out of position airbag deployment; static door retention; electrical; head impact; roof crush; anti-corrosion; wind noise; and closures kinematics.

Motor Vehicle Failures: structural; air bag; seat belt; seat retention; steering; brakes; suspension; fatigue durability; power-slide door operation and pinch detection; water leak; wind noise; corrosion; latch operation; side impact injury; crash beams; window regulator operation and anti-pinch; door slam; head impact; roof crush, and door retention.

Motor Vehicle Repair: diagnosis and/or repair of suspension and steering systems, conventional and anti-lock brake systems, closures, window regulators, water sealing, door latches, power slide door, fuel system, primary and supplemental restraint systems, lighting/ electrical, interior/exterior components and systems, interaction of dealers and manufacturers, and safety recall repairs. Proper use of service repair tools and equipment, repair procedures and shop operations.

Manufacturing Process and Equipment: extrusion; molding; pneumatic and DC powered tools, hand tools, torque verification means and methods, fit and finish control, statistical process control (SPC), stamping, body-in-white (BIW) structure assembly, adhesives; welding (TIG/MIG/RSW), machining, roll forming, mistake and error proofing, poka-yoke, kaizen activities, operator protection means and methods, and operator ergonomics.

Vehicle Accident Reconstruction: inspection of damaged vehicle and components. Site inspection. Review of police report, witness statements, scene photos and other documents. Computational recreation of the accident using facts and scientifically accepted methodology to determine how the accident occurred, including elements within the accident. All to determine cause(s) of the accident, including the resulting severity.

Professional Experience

Robson Forensic, Inc.


2018 to present

Provide technical investigations, analysis, reports and testimony toward the resolution of commercial and personal injury litigation involving vehicle collisions, vehicle crashworthiness and engineering issues, mechanical defects and malfunctions, and vehicle repair issues for passenger cars, light trucks, SUVs and medium trucks.

Honda R&D Americas, Inc.

Senior Engineer

2012 to 2018

Engineering design and team leadership for closure systems throughout product development cycle and production.

  • Responsible for 2018 Odyssey slide door closure system; led team of engineers to develop door metal structure, sealing, power-slide door, and fitting systems, from early feasibility to mass production launch
  • Responsible for 2020 Ridgeline closure innovations and quality improvements; led team of engineers to enhance product for minor model change
  • Managed engineering deliverables as Design Chief to issue drawings, specs, and CAD data on-time to achieve product performance/mass/cost targets
  • Supported Honda factory during development phase, prototype builds, and mass production phases with on-the-spot support and collaborative problem solving to achieve manufacturability with high quality
  • Supported wind-noise performance, including wind-tunnel on-site testing and countermeasure development
  • Worked closely in support of all closure development and validation testing and any needed countermeasure development in the physical testing phase to achieve durability, water sealing, safety, strength, and other functional requirements
  • Supported advance development research for new innovation in closures technology

Nissan Technical Center, North America

Senior Project Engineer - Safety Engineering

2004 to 2012

Engineering design and test of automotive programs for North American models throughout product development cycle and production launch. Highlights include:

  • Responsible for side impact performance of Infiniti JX35 / Nissan Pathfinder; led both cross-functional work with design departments as well as physical testing activities to achieve safety targets.
  • Responsible for side impact performance of Nissan NV200; led both cross-functional work with design departments as well as physical testing activities to achieve safety targets.
  • Oversaw crash testing, data collection, and post-crash analysis for side impact, rollover, and out of position (OOP) modes.
  • Supported side impact development for 2013 Sentra rear door crash beam

Senior Project Engineer – Body/Door Design Engineering

  • Designed 2011 Nissan NV25/3500 Slide Door metal structure, sealing, and fitting systems; responsible through digital design phases, prototype testing lots, pre-launch, and mass production.
  • Led and executed multiple Advanced Development projects for future vehicle innovations; responsible for project management to meet deliverables within allocated budget.
  • Developed cost reduction design changes on existing vehicles, working side-by-side with plant engineers to guide implementation; achieved over $1,000,000 in annual savings.
  • Improved quality (IQS) of Titan pickup through manufacturing process review and countermeasure adoption throughout supply chain.
  • Coordinated efforts with a wide array of engineering, manufacturing, purchasing, and styling colleagues across Mexico, Japan, and the U.S., including travel to Japan for advanced development and U.S. plants for manufacturing support.
  • Design responsible for 2007 body side structure, including development of sunroof-unique roof rail structure which achieved safety target for side impact.


B.S., Mechanical Engineering, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, 2004

Continuing Education

  • Heavy Vehicle Forensic Mechanical Inspection for Collision Investigators, Northwestern University – Center for Public Safety, 2022
  • Advanced Crash Reconstruction Utilizing Human Factors, Northwestern University Center for Public Safety, 2020
  • EDR Summit, Collision Safety Institute, 2020
  • Vehicle Fire Investigation Training Program, National Association of Fire Investigators, International (NAFI), 2019
  • Interactive Driver Response Research Program (I.DRR) Instruction, Crash Safety Solutions, 2019
  • Introducing Human Factors in Roadway Design and Operations, NHI, 2019
  • Traffic Crash Reconstruction 2, Northwestern University Center for Public Safety, 2019
  • Accident Reconstruction, the Autonomous Vehicle and ADAS, SAE, 2019
  • International Fire, Arson, and Explosion Investigation Training Program, NAFI, 2019
  • Fundamentals of Motor Vehicle Fire Investigation, SAE International, 2019
  • Traffic Crash Reconstruction I, Northwestern University Center for Public Safety, 2018
  • CAE Simulation (CATIA); Honda R&D, 2013
  • FMEA & FTA Methods, Nissan Tech. Center, NA, 2008
  • Kepner-Tregoe Problem Solving and Root Cause, Nissan Tech. Center, NA, 2008
  • Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing, Nissan Tech. Center, NA, 2007
  • Statistical Tolerance Stack for Design, Nissan Tech. Center, NA, 2007
  • Sheetmetal Stamping Design, Nissan Tech. Center NA, 2006
  • Taguchi Methods, Nissan Tech. Center, NA, 2006
  • Automotive Manufacturing Foundations, Nissan Tech. Center, NA, 2005

Professional Memberships

Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) 1991-2005, 2018-present
American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), 2018-present
National Association of Fire Investigators (NAFI), 2019-present


  • Datum pin assembly, U.S. Patent #10279662 (2019)
  • Methods and apparatus for overriding power vehicle door, U.S. Patent #10017978 (2016)
  • Side door extension support assembly, U.S. Patent #9259996 (2013)
  • Vehicle door reinforcement, U.S. Patent #8511740 (2011)
  • Vehicle sliding door structure, U.S. Patent #8186743 (2009)
  • Vehicle sliding door structure, U.S. Patent #8186742 (2009)
  • Vehicle cargo sidewall structure, U.S. Patent #7651146 (2008)
  • Vehicle frame structure, U.S. Patent #7510234 (2006)

Additional Experience

Michigan SAE Mini-baja racing team

  • Member of SAE Mini-baja race team, assisting in the design, construction, and race support of vehicle, 2001-2003.
  • Served as Interface sub-team leader and Frame sub-team leader, leading the design and manufacture of key components.

German Minor

  • University of Michigan, Ann Arbor MI, 2004

v. 05/13/22

Related Resources

Active Safety & Crashworthiness in Heavy Trucks

Thursday, October 15, 2020
2:00 - 3:00 pm
Featuring Erik Anderson, Peter J. Leiss

The heavy truck industry has been slow to adopt many advances in safety and technology that are currently considered standard equipment in passenger vehicles. This webinar will provide an update for…