SRS Welcomes New Team Members

Safety Research & Strategies is pleased to welcome automotive diagnostics expert Neil Black and Research Librarian Erica Little to our multidisciplinary research team.

A 2012 graduate of Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Illinois with a B.S. in automotive technology, Black specializes in electronic circuitry failure analysis.

“Understanding how circuits are designed to work is paramount to understanding how they can fail,” Black says. “As we create more computer-based automotive systems, the types of problems that exist in electricity – voltage drops, high heat, electrical shorts – can wreak havoc on a system. Each one can manifest a different problem, yet the systems are evolving faster than the understanding of automotive techs, the regulators – even some manufacturers.”

As an associate instructor of automotive electronics, Black trained with Dr. David Gilbert, an associate professor of automotive technology who has trained automotive technicians in automotive electronics for 30 years, and has been hired by automakers, such as Honda to develop technical teaching materials for their vehicle electronics instructors. Black is the author of Diagnosing Relayed Circuits for Undercar Digest, which is pending publication

In addition, Black has two years of hands-on experience, working as an auto technician for a Honda and a GM dealership, as well as an independent facility, where he repaired all makes and models. He is a member of the Society of Automotive Engineers and is ASE Certified in a wide variety of topics: engine systems, manual transmissions, suspension and steering, brakes, electrical systems heating and air-conditioning, powertrain electronics, and auto maintenance and repair

Black also holds a graduate degree in education, and was named SIU’s College of Applied Science and Arts Term Teacher of the Year in the 2015-2016 academic year. 

Erica Little melds a strong science background with her research skills, currently being honed in the master’s degree program at Simmons Colleges’ Library and Information Science program. She earned her B.A. from College of the Holy Cross.

Before joining SRS, Little worked for Technic Inc., a Rhode Island-based products testing company, as a quality control lab supervisor. Her duties included performing analytical testing on products, writing product test and training procedures and communicating regulatory information to customers and to in-house staff.

Little says that her previous work with ISO certifications and researching federal regulations has augmented her work at SRS.

“A lot of the principles are the same. This has been a change for me, but I really like learning about technology and I like being part of a company that impacts society,” she says.