Dr George Rechnitzer is a professional engineer of almost 50 years experience. The past 30 years have specialised in applied, academic and research projects across five main areas:
- Forensic and Safety Engineering
- Safety by Design
- Expert reports, Expert Evidence for Court, and litigation support
- Road Safety
- Workplace Safety (OH&S)
- Collision & Accident Reconstruction
Dr Rechnitzer is one of the most experienced and highly regarded Forensic and Safety Engineers in Australia, and has provided litigation support and high quality expert reports for major jurisdictions in Australia relating to fatal and injury incidents in vehicle related collisions of all types, and workplace incidents. His forensic expert specialisation includes a focus on accident investigation, collision analysis and reconstruction and expert reports, involving all type of mobile vehicles and equipment, including, passenger vehicles, heavy vehicles, SUVs, motorcycles, pedestrian involved collisions, bicyclists, trams and trains.
Dr Rechnitzer received a 5-year appointment commencing 1 December 2018 at the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine (VIFM), as Adjunct Associate Professor in Forensic Engineering, School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, Monash University.
Dr Rechnitzer is also an Adjunct Associate Professor in the Transport and Road Safety Research Centre (TARS), Faculty of Science, University of NSW (since 2012). Dr Rechnitzer was the Project Manager for the Quad Bike Performance project, from its start in 2012 to completion in early 2015. This major safety project was funded by WorkCover NSW, and led by Professor Grzebieta from TARS
Dr Rechnitzer has published extensively with more than 150 publications, including contributing chapters in books relating to traffic accidents, accident investigation and reconstruction, road and vehicle safety, and OH&S. He has made presentations at over 80 conferences and seminars, both nationally and internationally.
Dr Rechnitzer is also a co-author since 1996 of the chapter and updates ‘Traffic Accidents Investigation Analysis and Reconstruction (2013), in the ‘Expert Evidence’ series Edited by Ian Freckelton QC. and Professor Hugh Selby (published by Thomson Reuters, NSW, Australia). https://legal.thomsonreuters.com.au/expert-evidence-online/productdetail/34138.
In May 2015 Dr Rechnitzer was a joint co-developer and lecturer with Professor Raphael Grzebieta and Dr Andrew McIntosh, for the NTSC-ATSB “Advanced Road Safety Investigation Training Course”, Jakarta, Indonesia. This collision investigation and analysis course was organised through the Australian National Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) in cooperation with and for the National Transportation Safety Committee of the Republic of Indonesia.
Road safety has been a long standing interest and passion of Dr Rechnitzer, and has carried out a number of major vehicle and road safety projects as a Senior Research Fellow at the Monash University Accident Research Centre (MUARC) from August 1990 to January 2003.
Through his consultancy GRA with expert colleagues, Dr Rechnitzer has undertaken major review projects of fleet safety and management systems, ranging from light to heavy vehicles for PBM Mining (Laos, 2013 & 2017-18), BHP Billiton (Chile, 2015), Cargill (Indonesia, 2015-16), and Hancock Natural Resource Group (logging in Australia and NZ, 2017-18).
Dr Rechnitzer has been active in research and development, and in legal cases, over many years and has also carried out major OH&S projects. While at Monash University Accident Research Centre (MUARC) as part of the OHS Research Group, Dr Rechnitzer's major projects have included transport vehicle safety, forklift through to agricultural and construction industry safety. He was part of a three-year project for VWA looking at safety in the construction industry. He has also provided litigation support in many OH&S matters involving heavy vehicles, forklifts, train collisions, mobile equipment, cranes, and system of work, conducting investigations and expert reports for Coronial Inquests and WorkCover, Victoria and NSW.
He has carried out in-depth investigations for the State Coroner of Victoria, as well as consultancies on vehicle safety-related projects for BHP, Australia Post, SECV and the Australian Industrial Relations Commission. He has also carried out major projects for Victoria Police, Australian Defence Department, VicRoads, Federal Office of Road Safety, Telstra, Victorian WorkCover Authority, and Australia Post, amongst many others. Projects have included vehicle, heavy vehicle and forklift safety; vehicle rollover; and transport and construction industry safety.
He graduated in 1971 from Monash University with a Bachelor of Engineering (Civil, Hons), received a Master Engineering Science degree from Melbourne University in 1979, and obtained his Doctor of Philosophy (heavy vehicle safety) from Monash University in 2003. He has attended specialist courses relating to Injury Research and Prevention, Crash Analysis and Reconstruction, Biomechanics of Impact Injury. In 2004, he was awarded the 2003 Warren Medal by the Institution of Engineers Australia as co-author of the papers “Crashworthiness Systems – A Paradigm Shift in Road Safety Design", Parts I and II.
In 2012, Dr Rechnitzer had a fractional appointment as Associate Professor, Course Co-Ordinator – Road Accident Investigation Courses, School of Health & Human Services Faculty of Sciences, Engineering & Health, CQUniversity, Rockhampton, Queensland. He completed lecturing activities for this course in April 2013. The two new courses started in 2012 at CQU on Accident Forensics (undergraduate degree) and Accident Investigation – (Specialisation) Master’s Degree.
From 2002 to April 2011, Dr Rechnitzer was a founding member and Director of Delta-V Experts, a leading forensic and safety engineering consultancy, which received the Society of Automotive Engineers Bronze Award in 2008 for their Rollover Protective Systems for light vehicles. He also provided expert consulting services on vehicle rollover cases to Xprts LLC, in the USA from 2004 to 2008.
Prior to joining MUARC in 1990, Dr Rechnitzer's experience included more than 20 years as a structural design engineer with major consulting engineering groups, working on large engineering projects involving the investigation, analysis, design and construction of a variety of structures and facilities.
Dr Rechnitzer is a Fellow of the Safety Institute of Australia (SIA). He has been active in the SIA for several years and chaired its National Technical Panel from 2009 to 2011; and was a member of the Victorian Transport Association's On Road Operators' Group until 2012. He has been on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Health & Safety, Research & Practice, SIA since 2010. Dr Rechnitzer is a member of the Institution of Engineers Australia, and the Society of Automotive Engineers.