Insight on Business

July 2011 IOB

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INS I G H T ON TRANSPORTATION By Kate Baer Crash test central FVTC, state troopers lead the nation in improving accident research A Fox Valley Technical College freightliner day cab undergoes validation testing for quick-stop occurrence at the college’s J. J. Keller Transportation Center in Grand Chute. The school is drawing national attention for its efforts to improve accident research. M ost of us have heard of the black box inside airplanes. No doubt many of us are aware that a similar concept exists in automotive engines – more specifically, heavy equipment trucks. Known as an Electronic Control Module (ECM), this device is oſten used to aid in reconstructing crash scene investigations. Aſter years of research and collaboration, Fox Valley Technical College and the Wisconsin www. insightonbusiness .com State Troopers have been internationally recognized for their part in better understanding ECM technology. A truck’s ECM controls the engines’ operation so when something is wrong, the ECM is aware of the problem and provides the data. Additionally, the ECM has the capability to record wheel speed, braking and many other components that help in crash scene reconstruction. “Little Fox Valley Technical College in Appleton, with what – 300 state troopers? And we are getting questions from all over,” says Wisconsin State Trooper Tim Austin, an accredited reconstruction specialist with the Wisconsin State Patrol Academy. “These are instructors that are giving up their personal time to improve accident investigation around the world.” Austin is referring to the recently published research he co-authored with FVTC instructor Mike Farrell that sets a standard and is a data collection manual that can be used by crash scene investigators and safety consultants nationally [continued] » July 2011 • INSIGHT | 37 COURTEST Y OF FV TC

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