Nichole Ritchie Orton
Nichole Ritchie Orton joined UMTRI in 2003 and is a research area specialist senior in the Biosciences Group. She earned a master's degree in biomedical engineering from the University of Michigan and a bachelor's degree in biosystems engineering from Michigan State University. She is a certified child passenger safety instructor, is trained in transporting children with special health care needs, and frequently performs child-seat inspections.
Mrs. Orton’s research interests focus on impact biomechanics and she is a lead engineer in the UMTRI sled-impact facility. She supervises scheduling, equipment setup, data collection, and reporting of sled-impact tests of wheelchairs, child restraints, and other safety devices to the current federal and industry standards using anthropomorphic test devices (ATDs). She also performs biomechanical testing to measure injury response to vertical loading in support of blast dummy development and to optimize restraint systems for soldiers in military tactical vehicles. She has experience with the analysis of motor-vehicle crashes and crash databases, laboratory reconstruction of real-world loading events, occupant-anthropometry and posture evaluation, child-passenger-safety issues evaluation, and Madymo crash modeling.
Mrs. Orton serves on the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee at UMTRI and is the secretary of the Committee on Wheelchairs and Transportation (COWHAT). She received an UMTRI Research Excellence Award in 2007.