Graduate Studies


First Advisor

Dr. Cody Stolle

Date of this Version

Fall 12-6-2019


Published as: Schroder, B.D., Fallet, W.G., Faller, R.K., Stolle, C.S., Rasmussen, J.D., Bielenberg, R.W., Rosenbaugh, S.K., Ronspies, K.B., Development of an Energy Absorber for a New Roadside Safety End Treatment Option, Draft Report, Midwest Roadside Safety Facility, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, Nebraska, December 6, 2019.


A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Science, Major: Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics, Under the Supervision of Professor Cody Stolle. Lincoln, Nebraska: December 6, 2019

Copyright 2019 Brock Schroder


A novel energy absorbing mechanism was developed for roadside crash cushion hardware to meet Manual for Assessing Safety Hardware Test Level 3 (MASH TL-3) standards. Component testing, modeling, and physical testing were conducted to evaluate the concept.

A total of 6 quasi-static component tests and 83 dynamic components tests were performed on test specimens. Results indicated that the novel energy absorption mechanism could be controlled to generate repeatable results and in the range of forces required to meet MASH TL-3 requirements. Energy absorption variations were assembled and evaluated analytically, and a prototype configuration was selected for testing at elevated speeds approaching MASH TL-3 impact speeds with a steel-frame bogie vehicle. While the system performed well, researchers investigated methods of controlling intermittent force spikes which were higher than the average system forces.

Additional component testing was conducted with a modified energy-absorber design, which demonstrated improved behavior and reduced differences between peak and average forces. A modified crash cushion design was recommended using the modified energy absorber concept.

Advisor: Cody Stolle