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SANDY H. STRAUS
B.S., M.S., G.C., ABD PhD
Sandy Straus is an engineer, dual-licensed contractor, and an international authority and inventor of numerous automation and transportation designs and devices. She held engineering positions in the academic, municipal, and private sectors. She taught university-level geology, mathematics, and aerospace engineering classes.
Ms. Straus has designed the first automated transportation license test system, the ESRA Dynamic Assessment for Transportation ™, or ESRA DAT. She has developed and invented one of the largest lines of computerized products, packages, and systems that relate to all areas of transportation and, in particular, the automated screening of vision, cognition, knowledge, sign recognition, and/ or driving skills of individuals who may use touch screen technology, driving simulators, kiosks, or other devices. These unmatched and patents-pending designs apply to transportation agencies, medical facilities, educational institutes, and military installations and may save millions of dollars and numerous lives in the sectors of aviation, agriculture, rail, maritime, motorcycles, hazardous materials, commercial driver's licenses, and Homeland Security. Her authoritative text, New, Improved, Comprehensive and Automated Driver's License Test and Vision Screening System, and research note have has been widely acclaimed and recognized by driver’s license bureaus in the USA, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand. These publications have also been incorporated into neuropsychology courses at the University of Hawaii. Her recent presentation, A Call for New Transportation License Test Reforms, is published on the United States Department of Transportation website.
Straus has also co-invented the Automatic Clock Drawing Test ™, the first online, rapid, computerized, and validated Clock Drawing Test, in both standard and international time (military time) versions. These cognition tools have been designed to rapidly and objectively screen for cognitive impairment, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, brain injuries, psychiatric conditions, and patient pathology, among other applications. In addition to published articles in prestigious journals, the patents-pending Automatic Clock Drawing Test has recently been featured in a session on dementia at the 9th European Conference for the Advancement of Assistive Technology in Europe, AAATE 2007, in San Sebastian, Spain. Straus is the inventor of the Online Trail Making Tests ™, the first rapid, sensitive, objective, and scientifically proven automated online version of the traditional Trail Making Tests that were originally developed for the US Army. A recent presentation on these cutting edge online cognitive tests is a must-read guide for clinicians and decision makers. Straus has also co-designed several patents-pending static and dynamic visual acuity screening tests to automate the process of vision testing online unlike any before. Her inventions are the force behind her technology company's recognition as SFBJ 08 Technology Award Finalist. Her numerous new automated testing systems and methods are designed to improve safety and to save lives, especially within the transportation infrastructure, and to advance medicine in densely populated and remote clinical settings. Straus also has developed new patents-pending truck lanes, mathematical models, and software, the Straus Pavement Damage Estimation ™, or ESRA SPDE, to estimate pavement damage due to overweight trucks. The Straus Pavement Damage Estimations have been successfully tested and adopted in several Departments of Transportation across the USA. Straus has also acted as primary author of a recent Arizona Department of Transportation report and Transportation Research Board paper on overweight vehicles that has resulted in improvements to international and intrastate border security. It has been presented at and disseminated by the National Academy of Science. These publications are available through the United States Department of Transportation, United States Department of Commerce National Technical Information Service, and ESRA. Other reports are currently pending publication.
In addition to being an internationally recognized expert in automated driver’s license test design and vision screening test development, Ms. Straus is also a distinguished author of reports on risk analysis, perception, and simulation associated with visual acuity, older driver assessment, dementia driver analysis, teen driver aptitude, road and highway safety, driver license testing, driver’s license policy, human factors, overweight vehicles, and transportation engineering. She has had a personal lifelong commitment to traffic safety and collision prevention. Simulation development and analyses have completely spanned Ms. Straus’ entire academic and professional careers. Straus has been recognized for her successful online test inventions that provide automatic fitness to drive determinations, fitness-for-duty (military) measurements, and brain fitness evaluations. Her online products and inventions have set the gold standard to go green without the need for paper, software, e-waste, or new computer systems.
As a traffic engineering and safety expert, Straus has also developed several fully automated and autonomous patents-pending road traffic sign tests based on the her computational analyses of millions of road collisions, the driving behaviors of millions of drivers, as well as her experiences advising governments where to actually install traffic control devices.
Additionally, Ms. Straus has demonstrated outstanding proficiency in risk analysis and nuclear waste disposal through significant authorship, experience, refereeing, computation, lectureship, certification, and education. She has authored, along with Dr. Ian Farmer, six books, pending publication, on the subjects of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP), Yucca Mountain, the United States Department of Energy waste generator-host sites, mine safety, and international approaches to nuclear waste disposal.
Ms. Straus has proven her extensive expertise in the areas of geology, nuclear engineering, seismology, and volcanology and how these relate to probabilistic risk assessment of geologic nuclear waste repositories, through refereeing posts for a prestigious international journal. She has also refereed papers on flood risks, mitigation, and phenomena. Ms. Straus is also an expert in risk perception and risk analysis of the impacts of transuranic nuclear waste transportation through the American Indian tribal lands of New Mexico. In a recent Transportation Research Board presentation and paper, Ms. Straus has demonstrated that traffic risks, in addition to radiological risks, require further study along current and future waste transportation routes. She has worked with every pueblo and reservation in New Mexico to accomplish this aptitude. She has developed and implemented national and international risk communication and assessment programs. Ms. Straus also has strong computing and coding skills in UNIX, Mac, and PC platforms. Ms. Straus has successfully generated two- and three-dimensional magnetic field maps of the lunar crust using Lunar Prospector data through a NASA-funded grant. She has also worked on OS/2-Warp at IBM.
Ms. Straus also has proficiency in environmental impact assessments, Environmental Impact Statements (EIS), land development, regulatory permitting, contamination, failure analyses, exposure assessment, probabilistic exposure assessments, hazards and risks evaluation, transportation route analyses, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) compliance, mining, petroleum and gas probabilistic assessments, hydrogeologic characterization, safety engineering, residential and commercial construction, and overweight vehicle impacts on pavement damage.
Ms. Straus is also educated in the storage, transportation, safety, and legal aspects of explosives and explosive devices. She holds a certificate of Hazardous Materials Incident Response: Awareness through the University of Missouri- Columbia. She is also certified in Radiological Emergency Management, Radiological Emergency Response, Building for the Earthquakes: Complying with Executive Order 12699, Engineering Principles and Practices for Retrofitting Flood-Prone Residential Structures, IS-100 Incident Command System, and IS-700 National Incident Management System (NIMS) through the United States Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
Ms. Straus is currently a board member of the Gold Coast Chapter of the University of Minnesota Alumni Association and a member of the South Florida Big 10 Alumni Association. Straus volunteers to raise funds for the ALS Association to fight Lou Gehrig's Disease. She is a past member of the Society of Women Engineers and the Society of Mining Engineers. Ms. Straus is also a friend of several Transportation Research Board Committees (TRB) of the National Academy of Sciences, including the TRB Motor Vehicle Size and Weight Committee (AT055) , the TRB Committee on Transportation of Hazardous Materials (AT040), and Simulation and Measurement of Vehicle and Operator Performance (AND30). Straus also referees for engineering and medical journals.
Ms. Straus has recently participated in the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) Annual Meeting. She also has been an ongoing member of the Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA) Group of the Society for Risk Analysis Workshop, "Comparative Risk Assessment and Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis: A Framework for Managing Contaminated Sediments". Her recent work in the area of Homeland Security has been published in Risk Analysis. Her invention of one of many transportation license testing systems has been nominated by the Department of Transportation for a prestigious award through the Federal Highway Administration.
Ms. Straus has a dual contractor’s license in blasting (explosives engineering). She is one of a few women in the U.S.A. who has earned this certification. Ms. Straus is developer and co-owner of patents pending and copyrights on the devices, methods, and materials for preparation, education, and delivery of an explosives engineering / blasting contractor’s license test system.
Ms. Straus is founder of ESRA Consulting Corporation. As an expert on numerous transportation and engineering topics, Straus is often featured in the media. Her reports on overweight trucks and impacts on roads and structures are headline news on MSNBC, Yahoo News, Arizona Capitol Times, The Arizona Republic, and The Arizona Daily Star, among others. She also provides expert witness testimony in cases involving traffic, security, transportation, explosives, mining, and hazardous materials.
Ms. Straus also designs software and tests for the US government and military.
Sandy H. Straus holds a Bachelor of Science in Geological Engineering from the University of Minnesota and a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Florida International University. The title of her thesis was "Viscous Laminar Fluid Flow in a Curved Annular Confocal Pipe of Elliptical Cross-Section". Her Ph.D. studies in Mechanical Engineering focused on fluid mechanics, heat transfer, computational fluid dynamics, parallel computing, and complex flow field simulation research and development.
Email Ms. Straus.
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