Creating crash test innovations

Mar 28, 2013

A recent graduate's business, supported by funding from the Kettering Entrepreneur Society, aims at helping make the results of crash safety tests more useful.

Justin Schnabelrauch
Justin Schnabelrauch
Justin Schnabelrauch earned both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering at Kettering University and spent significant time in Kettering’s Crash Safety Center, so he’s familiar with the industry needs when it comes to vehicle crash testing.

With the help of the Kettering Entrepreneur Society, Schnabelrauch is currently in the development phase of a business, Lemon Lime Labs, aimed at making results of crash safety tests even more useful.

“It can be difficult to repeatedly position dummies in a vehicle to get consistent results between every crash test,” said Schnabelrauch, who has previously worked for Toyota as a design engineer. “I’m developing a device and user interface that allows for a quick way to capture three-dimensional data while at the same time positioning the crash dummies to get the most accurate results possible.”

Schnabelrauch is still in the development phases of his project. Support from KES has helped him refine his concept and test the technology. He’s worked with other Kettering students as he develops the second prototype. Schnabelrauch and Kettering student Ana Toumbalian, a KES member, were both awarded the Heinz C. Prechter Award for Automotive Excellence from SAE International for their research to this point. The prestigious award is given out yearly to young innovators and entrepreneurs in the automotive industry.
“I was inspired to start this business after seeing both a need for it and a way to fix the problem,” Schnabelrauch said. “It’s something that can help everyone in their daily lives.”

KES was established in 2006 with a KEEN grant from the Kern Family Foundation. The KES mission is “to promote an entrepreneurial culture at Kettering University based on innovation and social values.” In addition to the approximately $71,000 in funding that KES has provided to student startups, the organization also provides mentoring and feedback as students launch their businesses. For more information or to become involved in KES, contact Massoud Tavakoli at

Contact: Patrick Hayes
(810) 762-9538