Date of Award


Degree Name

MS in Mechanical Engineering


Mechanical Engineering


College of Agriculture, Food, and Environmental Sciences


Joseph Mello

Advisor College

College of Agriculture, Food, and Environmental Sciences


Currently California Polytechnic State University has a patent pending on a new type of seating system designed to increase the functionality of public transportation vehicles. The patent is based on the work completed by a senior project group in 2016, whose design showcased the feasibility of the idea. Further development was completed by a second senior project group, the Adjustable Seating Systems, in 2019. The intent of the Adjustable Seating Systems group was to develop a seating system with the intent of commercialization and implementation in paratransit vehicles with future development into large buses and trains.

Seating systems used in public transportation are required to meet strict geometric and structural standards by the federal government under FMVSS 207, 208, 209 and 210 to be comfortable and protect the passenger in a wide variety of situations. Included in these standards are quasi-static and dynamic tests developed to simulate the loading conditions of a crash event. Seating systems must be able to withstand the loading conditions with no obvious signs of failure to ensure the safety of the passengers.

The work of this thesis was to simulate the loading conditions outlined by the safety standards on the design developed by the Adjustable Seating Systems group using finite element analysis. The results confirm the seating system meets the required safety standards. The largest stresses induced in the system are between the yield stress and ultimate stress of the material, indicating plastic deformation without failure due to fracture.

Available for download on Monday, June 13, 2022