Date of Award


Publication Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name



Mechanical, Automotive, and Materials Engineering

First Advisor

William Altenhof

Second Advisor

Peter Frise


Applied sciences, Crash test simulation, Finite element analysis, Safety design methodology, Safety regulations and NCAPs, Side impact sled model




This research focuses on the development of a design methodology for vehicle safety design to comply with the different side impact crash regulations that are used around the world. The main differences of each side impact tests and potential influences on vehicle design were identified. Door intrusion velocity, door trim component stiffness and seat airbag were selected as three design variables. Sled test finite element models based on the Heidelberg buck sled test set-up were developed to investigate the sensitivity of three design factors to the occupant injury in both moving deformable barrier test and oblique pole test load conditions. Occupant injury response variations were assessed at different levels of the design factors. From the simulation results, for moving deformable barrier test, there is a balance between limiting the thorax injury and abdominal injury. For the Oblique pole test, the simulation results show that the padding system development may be more effective than the vehicle structure enhancement. Design guidelines that would enable vehicles to comply with different side impact tests were extracted based on the simulation results.