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Kathleen DeSantis Klinich

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Kathleen DeSantis Klinich is an associate research scientist in UMTRI's Biosciences Group. She is also serving as an associate director of UMTRI.  She earned a PhD in mechanical engineering from the University of Michigan and B.S. and M.S. degrees in mechanical engineering, as well as a B.A. in technical writing, from Case Western Reserve University. Prior to joining UMTRI in 1996, she worked as a research engineer for TRC, Inc. at NHTSA's Vehicle Research and Test Center (VRTC).

Dr. Klinich has 27 years of experience performing research on how to protect occupants in motor-vehicle crashes, particularly child passengers. She has experience in the analysis of motor-vehicle crashes and crash databases, crash dummy design, laboratory reconstruction of real-world loading events, injury criteria development, occupant-anthropometry and posture evaluation, engineering analysis of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS), child-passenger-safety issues evaluation, and finite element modeling.  Her most recent research efforts have focused on improving compatibility between child restraints and vehicles, examining belt fit of child occupants, assessing the role of legislation on restraint use, and analysis of crash data to guide future safety priorities.

Dr. Klinich serves on the SAE Dummy Testing Equipment Committee, the SAE Child Restraint Systems Committee, and the IRCOBI Technical Committee.  She is a certified CPS Technician.  At UMTRI, she chairs the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion committee.

Visit Dr. Klinich's website

Google Scholar Citations


Rating child passenger safety laws relative to best practice recommendations for occupant protection
Klinich KD, Benedetti M, Manary MA, Flannagan CA

journal article Traffic Injury Prevention


State laws regarding child passenger protection vary...

Potential safety effects of low-mass vehicles with comprehensive crash avoidance technology
Kathleen D. Klinich, Carol A. C. Flannagan, Jingwen Hu, Matthew P. Reed

conference paper IRCOBI Conference