Name: Adelino Yung
Born: Sau Paulo, Brasil
Profession: Biomechanical engineering & accident reconstruction
When someone is hurt in an accident, Forensic Engineers are experts in reconstructing the sequence of events leading to the injury.
What is a Forensic Biomechanical Engineer?
A forensic biomechanical engineer is someone who is called upon to investigate and analyze situations where something has failed (a vehicle, machinery, exercise equipment, etc) and an injury and/or death has occurred. The forensic biomechanical engineer will be called upon to find the root cause of the failure and determine the mechanism(s) of failure. Once this is done, the forensic biomechanical engineer will then determine whether these failure modes were responsible for the injuries and/or deaths that are being claimed.
What is a typical day as a Forensic Biomechanical Engineer like?
A significant amount of my time is spent in front of a computer. It is here that the forensic biomechanical engineer develops computer simulations of the accident/crime scene; calculates speeds, forces and accelerations; and generally "recreates" the accident/crime. While performing these analyses, the forensic biomechanical engineer will generally be talking with clients, performing research online, and developing theoretical models and/or calculations. Approximately 10-30% of your time will be "in the field". This is where the forensic biomechanical engineer actually visits the accident/crime scene to collect data and evidence.
Did you always want to be a Forensic Biomechanical Engineer?
I always knew I wanted to work in the field of biomechanical engineering. This field allows me to deal with the very "human" aspects of engineering design & analysis.
Meat. Yes or no?
Red meat? Yes, but in moderation. Now if you're a chicken, you don't wanna' get within' 10 feet of me.
What courses in high school prepared you for this field?
Math, math...and then more math. Along with biology, chemistry and anatomy & physiology.
What's your moto?
You only live once. But if you live it right, once is enough.
What's the best advice your mother gave you?
Study, study & study! Then when you're done with that? STUDY SOME MORE!
Where did you go to university?
Michigan State University (Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering)
Texas A&M University (Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering)
Cornell University (post-graduate studies in Biological Engineering)
How did you decide where to go?
Michigan State University was close to my family and that was important to me. Texas A&M University & Cornell University both offered me excellent scholarships to study under professors which had similar interests in biomechanics and biomechanical engineering.
If you had to be a car, what would it be and why?
I would be the new Tesla Roadster — an electric vehicle that runs from 0-60 MPH in 4 seconds.
Which is better: Phone or on-line?
Online (it gives you more time to think).
Was there extra training required for this career after you finished university?
In addition to on-the-job training (which can last anywhere from 3-5years), the final stages of a forensic biomechanical engineering analysis is typically expert testimony in a courtroom setting. In order to testify as a forensic biomechanical engineer in the U.S. court systems, a forensic biomechanical engineer needs to be licensed in his/her field. This license sure requires that the forensic biomechanical engineer pass an initial eight hour comprehensive engineering examination. Once this has been completed, the forensic biomechanical engineer must work under the tutelage of a licensed professional engineer for a minimum of four years before being allowed to take the final eight hour comprehensive engineering examination. Once the forensic biomechanical engineer has passed both examinations, he/she will be licensed to practice in the field of forensic biomechanicalengineering.
Would you rather have the face of Albert Einstein but the body of Brad Pittor be as smart as Einstein but have a tail of a kangaroo?
Is this a typo? Is there even a question?! Just call me Kangaroo Smarts baby!
What music do you have in your CD player right now?
What's the worst part of your job?
Once the analyses are done and the reports have been prepared, a forensic engineer's final task is to testify in federal, state and local courts in front of juries. Testifying in front of juries is usually done under very stressful conditions since one side usually doesn't like what you're about to say and/or present to the jury! As a result, the opposing side will oftentimes try to manipulate your words, misstate your previous testimony and/or smear your reputation in order to gain an advantage.
Ooooops! Everyone makes mistakes so what was the dumbest thing you've ever done at work?
Fortunately, with the level of precision required for this type of work, any mistakes are usually caught during the 12-step check process that we have in place (whew!).
What's your favorite piece of clothing?
My Armani Exchange t-shirts. They're THE most comfortable t-shirts on the planet, bar none.
If you were to sing a song at a karaoke bar, what would it be?
Sweet Caroline (50 extra points if you can tell me the original artist).
Any advice that you would give others seeking a similar career?
Be sure you are going into the field for the right reasons. You should have a mastery of mathematics and science and be self-motivated.
What is a typical salary range for a Forensic Engineer?
For entry-level engineers in the United States, salaries can range from $60,000-$85,000, depending on what part of the country you decide to live in. Self-employed professional engineers can command salaries ranging from $200/hr and up!
What are some great web links or references for someone interesting in reading up more about this career?
Biomechanical Research Institute (BRI)