Richard Sherman Tire Design & Failure Analysis Expert

Richard Sherman, Tire Design & Failure Analysis Expert

Richard Sherman is an automotive engineer specializing in tire design and failure analysis. He applies his expertise to the investigation of vehicle crash incidents, with a particular focus on those involving failed or damaged tires. Richard approaches his forensic casework with experience gained working in engineering positions for tire, vehicle, and automotive component manufacturers.

Prior to joining Robson Forensic, Richard worked for the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company where he was engaged in the design, manufacture, and quality assurance of passenger vehicle tires. As a tire designer, Richard was charged with the development of new tires as well as the tuning of existing product lines to ensure consistent, reliable performance. In a later role as Quality Team Leader, Richard performed root cause failure analyses related to product quality concerns. Richard's experience related to tire engineering and failure analysis is well complemented by the experience he gained earlier in his career selling, mounting, and repairing tires at a quick service tire shop.

In addition to tire design and failure analysis, Richard also has extensive design and production experience involving heavy vehicles and automotive components. His diverse engineering background qualifies Richard to investigate a range of vehicular design and crash incidents as well as manufacturing and assembly mishaps.

Richard earned degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Industrial Electronics Technology. He is a hands-on engineer with a proven, strong focus on product safety, quality, design and process improvement. Using his knowledge of automotive design and fabrication, Richard is constructing a vehicle to compete in a national race series.

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

Vehicle and Tire Expert with a background focused on process/product improvement and development. A disciplined expert in: the analysis and optimization of systems; problem solving with proven physics based solutions to interruptions in product and process quality; and, a master tactician in the causal explanation discovery and problem elimination mantra of continuous improvement.

Tire Manufacturing Quality, Performance & Optimization – from design, manufacturing, and product optimization. Authoring quality standards, procedures, and safety analysis reports. PFMEA, Control Plans. Critical Characteristic identification. Forensic investigation of customer tire, field and internal failures. Quality improvements through optimization of processes, procedures, and tire design. Use of physics based problem solving techniques to identify, eliminate product variation and defects.

Vehicle Accident Reconstruction – inspection of damaged vehicle and components; CDR/EDR “black box” data retrieval and analysis; Site inspection; Review of police report, witness statements, scene photos and other documents. Computational simulation of the accident using facts and scientifically accepted methodology to determine how the crash occurred, including the resulting severity.

Motor Vehicle Design and Development - from requirements, concept through validation field-testing of complete vehicles, including manufacturing. Failure Mode Effects Analysis (FMEA) for products & process, DVP&R development. Use of 3D solid modeling and failure analysis tools for design optimization and safety requirements.

Manufacturing Process and Equipment – pneumatic and DC powered tools, hand tools, torque verification means and methods, Statistical Process Control (SPC), welding (TIG/MIG), tube bending, roll forming, extrusions, Mistake and Error proofing, Poka-Yoke, Kaizen activities, Hydraulic and pneumatic design including flow and pressure control, metering systems, spray systems.

Motor Vehicle Repair – diagnosis and repair of engine, transmission, transfer case, differential and final drive, suspension and steering systems, conventional and anti-lock brake systems, stability/traction control, fuel systems, emissions systems, climate control, entertainment, video, navigation, network, multiplexing, lighting/ electrical, interior/exterior components and systems. Rebuilt engines to original equipment specifications.

Professional Experience

Robson Forensic, Inc.


2016 to present

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

Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company

2009 to 2016

Quality Team Leader, Curing Business Center, Lawton, Oklahoma
2013 – 2016

Managed budget reduction from $5.5M to $5.2M through product optimization. Achiever of month over month cured waste improvements totaling $850K . Investigated and determined root cause for internal/external product quality concerns. Responsible for increasing production yields in Uniformity performance. Coach, Teach and Train team members to strengthen team and individual performance and uniformity waste reduction.

Quality Team Leader, Tire Assembly Business Center
2011 - 2013

Leader of a cross-functional team with improvements of $250,000 annual waste savings. Achiever of $1M in loss recoveries through process and product optimization. Championed systems and process improvements with over $200,000 in annual savings. Investigated and determined root cause for internal/external product quality concerns. Lead 16 quality technicians across 4 shifts through process improvements. Responsible for increasing production yields regarding uniformity performance. Coach, teach and train team members to strengthen team and individual performance. Liaison to Tire Assembly, Curing and Tire Design for product/process improvements.

Tire Designer, New Product Industrialization
2009 - 2011

Implemented new tire designs into production while tuning uniformity performance through design and manufacturing optimization. Investigated and determined root cause to address internal/external product quality concerns. Manage team to reduce tire weight variance, plant performance up 65%. Incorporated Convergent Diagnostic problem solving for waste reduction.

Hilite Industries

Senior Quality Engineer, Carrollton, Texas

2008 to 2009

Responsible for tracking, analyzing, and leading initiatives for quality improvements. Lead Cross functional groups to reduce waste to less than 0.5% of sales from 5%. Applied Quality tools including Six Sigma, Lean Manufacturing to improve plant performance. Assisted in managing the performance and development of the plant QA personnel. Supervised technical staff in completing tasks essential to enforcing quality standards. Championed cross functional teams to implement problem solving techniques (8D, 5 Whys). Created and maintained controls and documentation procedures per ISO 9000 and TS 19469. Identified/administered relevant quality-related training needs to plant and QA personnel.

Collins Industries, Parent Company to:

Wheeled Coach - Ambulance Manufacturer
Collins Bus – Class A Bus Manufacturer
Capacity of Texas – Heavy Truck Manufacturer

Corporate Engineer, Hutchinson, KS

2007 to 2008

Corporate change agent to support Lean Manufacturing initiatives across all subsidiaries. Improved production cycle times through fastener reduction and process improvements. Optimized existing designs to address structural integrity, weight reduction and reliability. Reduced manufacturing variations and optimized designs to increase fabrication efficiency. Trained engineers and drafters on basic GD&T philosophies to reduce manufacturing variations. Conducted adhesive testing to optimize manufacturing techniques and increase vehicle structural integrity.

Peterbilt Motors Company

2004 to 2007
District Sales Manager, Medium-Duty Trucks, Denton, Texas 2006-2007
Design Engineer, Denton, Texas 2004 - 2006

Managed and implemented part redesign resulting in $2.3M in annual parts and labor savings. Responsible for manufacturing cost reduction through part modification, redesign or material changes. Recommended and investigated cost reduction opportunities on current production components. Responsible for leading, managing and directing engineering tasks with other functional groups. Assigned, approved, performed or delegated design modifications necessary to satisfy customer needs. Coordinated engineering design, development and production support of new parts. Coordinated with other engineers and production staff to reduce weight, complexity and assembly time. Performed design, production or supplier changes as necessary to meet cost reduction goals.

Canon USA, Inc.

Application Engineer, Irving, Texas

2000 to 2004

Optimized and maintained optics performance in Semiconductor Photolithography Equipment. Customized machine performance to customer’s manufacturing processes. Conducted training classes for engineers, technicians, and machine operators on new technologies. Documented field test results and reports to customer.

Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company

Technology Engineer, Lawton, Oklahoma

1997 to 1999

Managed equipment installation/redesign projects exceeding 10 million dollars of capital investment. Reduced maintenance costs $1 million/year by designing and installing new material handling system. Designed and implemented several safety improvements reducing lost time accidents by 12%. Modified existing conveyor systems increasing reliability and performance, systems still in place.

Raytheon Defense Systems (Texas Instruments – Defense Systems)

Design Engineer, McKinney, Texas

1996 to 1997

Modified production process resulting in $198,000 annual labor savings and 143% decrease in waste. Managed production team to streamline manufacturing methods and reduced defects by 67%. Designed, developed and manufactured; production tooling, injection molds, composite parts. Investigated optimum manufacturing processes of composite panel prototypes.

Hibdon Tires

Associate, Norman, Oklahoma

1994 to 1996

Responsible for maintaining the highest quality service to our customers. Repaired flats, mounted and dismounted tires, rotation, balance, performance and quality assurance. Top monthly salesperson in the company twice based on sales and customer satisfaction.


  • B.S. Mechanical Engineering, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK, December 2000
  • B.S. Electronics Engineering Technology, Cameron University, Lawton, OK, May 1992
  • A.S. Applied Science, Electronics, Cameron University, Lawton, OK, May 1991

Continuing Education

  • Advanced Interactive Driver Response Research Program (I.DRR) Instruction, Crash Safety Solutions, March 2022
  • Crash Data Retrieval (CDR) Data Analyst, Collision Safety Institute, 2022
  • Interactive Driver Response Research Program (I.DRR) Instruction, Crash Safety Solutions, August 2019
  • The Tire as a Vehicle Component, SAE International, June 2018
  • Tire and Wheel Safety Issues, SAE International, June 2018
  • Tire Forensic Analysis, SAE International, April 2017
  • Traffic Crash Reconstruction III, Northwestern University Center for Public Safety, June 2016
  • Advanced analytical and methodological concepts to better understand and explain real-world crash reconstructions. In-depth instruction focused on Monte Carlo analysis, advanced concepts in energy and momentum.
  • Traffic Crash Reconstruction II, Northwestern University Center for Public Safety, April 2016
  • Advanced skills and techniques for reconstructing traffic crashes through the analysis of real-world case studies including motorcycle, pedestrian, and truck collisions.
  • Convergent Diagnostics, Goodyear 2011
  • Continuous Improvement, Goodyear, 2011
  • 5S, Goodyear, 2010
  • 8D Problem Solving, Peterbilt (PACCAR), 2006
  • 5 Why Methodology, Peterbilt (PACCAR), 2006
  • Lean Manufacturing, Peterbilt (PACCAR), 2005
  • Six Sigma Green Belt, Peterbilt (PACCAR), 2004
  • Kaizen Method, Peterbilt (PACCAR), 2004


  • CDR System Operator


  • Private Pilot, Single Engine, Land, University of Oklahoma Aviation, 1996

Professional Memberships

  • Society of Automotive Engineers International (SAE)
  • American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME)
  • Tire Industry Association (TIA)

v. 09/1/22

Related Resources

See All of Richard's Published Content

Vehicle Wheel Separation: Causes & Consequences

By Richard Sherman
Expert Article

Wheels that separate from a moving vehicle create two potentially deadly hazards; the first is a disabled vehicle with diminished braking ability and directional control/stability, the second is an…

Tire Placement: Proper Placement of New Tires

By Richard Sherman
Expert Article

In this article, automotive engineer and tire expert, Richard Sherman addresses the often disputed topic of tire placement. This particular topic is an interesting example where industry standards and…

Motorcycle Tire Failures

By Richard Sherman & Roland Hoover
Expert Article

Motorcycle tires are designed and constructed to support dynamic loads and forces on varying road surfaces and weather conditions. The type of tires used, how they are maintained, and environmental…

Tire Forensics

Thursday, July 16, 2020
2:00 - 2:30 pm
Featuring Richard Sherman & Peter J. Leiss
Video Webinar

Blown or punctured tires are common in the aftermath of many vehicle crashes. In these instances, our experts are sometimes retained to determine if tire damage contributed to the cause of the crash,…

Interpreting Tire Damage in Vehicle Crash Cases

Thursday, October 14, 2021
2:00 - 3:00 pm
Featuring Richard Sherman

It is typical to find scuffs, gouges, punctures, and blowouts in tires following high energy vehicle crashes. The question we are often asked is whether the damage occurred as a result of the crash…