Former NTSB Medical Officer to Speak in UA Lecture Series

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Dr. Mitch Garber, an expert on medical issues in transportation accidents, will speak about the intersection of engineering and medicine as part of the Richard C. Bradt Lecture Series in The University of Alabama College of Engineering.

Garber’s UA address, titled “Dual Disciplines: Where Medicine and Engineering Intersect,” will be held from 4-5 p.m. Nov. 5 in room 1013 of the South Engineering Research Center.

Garber, a physician and engineer with more than 20 years of military and civilian experience in transportation accident investigation, is a senior managing consultant with Engineering Systems Inc., specializing in medical analysis, transportation policy, human factors and ergonomics, accident investigation and reconstruction, and biomechanics, along with injury causation.

Before joining ESI in 2011, he was the first and only full-time medical officer for the National Transportation Safety Board, participating in more than 1,000 transportation investigations. He also testified to Congress regarding medical issues in transportation accidents.

Through his career, Garber has addressed a wide range of medical and human factor issues in all transportation modes, including physical standards, fatigue, perception, medication use, visual impairment, obstructive sleep apnea, substance dependence, injury analysis, egress and evacuation concerns and ergonomics, along with the effects of pre-existing disease on transportation operator performance.

His additional work, specific to aviation, included investigations of hypoxia and spatial disorientation along with visual and vestibular illusions.

Garber has often evaluated the potential role of subtle cognitive impairment from a variety of causes in complex transportation accidents. He is also an expert in the optimization of ergonomics for customized office and industrial workstations. He has held a private pilot certification since 1996.

The annual lecture series honors Dr. Richard C. Bradt, professor emeritus at UA, and is sponsored by ESI. The series was founded by Dr. Michael E. Stevenson, a former graduate student of Bradt’s and president and CEO of ESI. Stevenson gave the inaugural presentation a year ago.

Bradt’s distinguished career was recognized by the American Ceramic Society, which selected him for the W. David Kingery Award that recognizes distinguished, lifelong achievements involving multidisciplinary and global contributions to ceramic technology, science, education and art. The award is open to all people worldwide. It is the highest award of recognition by the American Ceramic Society.

He joined the faculty at The University of Alabama College of Engineering in 1994 as head of the department of metallurgical and materials engineering. In 2003, he was named the Alton N. Scott Professor of Materials Engineering. He retired in 2009, but he has remained an active researcher, speaker and educator.

Bradt’s research remains focused on the various areas of ceramics and mechanical properties of materials. His specialty is the fracture mechanics of brittle materials, and he is especially known worldwide for his research on the fracture of glass. He is an internationally recognized researcher who has received more than 20 national and international honors and awards for his teaching and research.

Through his research, he has published more than 400 journal papers in the technical areas of ceramics, glass and materials and edited more than 20 proceedings of international meetings. He has advised or co-advised the research of more than 100 graduate students and directed 50 doctoral theses.


Adam Jones, engineering public relations, 205/348-6444,