John Burford


6945 W. Dartmoor Rd.

West Bloomfield, MI. 48322

Phone: (248) 705-0616




VI-Grade GmbH, Application Engineer,      West Bloomfield, MI., May 2019 – Present

Support software and hardware of vehicle dynamic models and driving simulator.  

®       Softwre support of VI-Grade Car Real Time standalone software, VI-Car Real Time plugin to MSC.Adams/Car software.  Hardware support of Compact Simulators and DIM Simulations.


Aurora Flight Sciences, Dynamics Engineer,     Manassas, VA., Feb 2015 – April 2019

Responsible for Multi-Body Dynamics analysis of aircraft landing behavior and provide design guidance for concept aircraft configuration.  

®       DARPA Side-Arm project to recover autonomous drones without a runway. Analysis perform in MSC.Adams/View included simulation and correlation of capture mechanism.

®       Air Force Orion UAS Block 1 program included development of ground loads envelope and ground operational envelope.  Analysis tools for this project include: VI-Aicraft, HyperWorks, and Matlab.


Contractor, CAE analyst                                                               March 2004 – Feb 2015


Boeing, CAE analyst,             Everett, WA. and St. Louis, MO., Sept 2010 – Feb 2015

Responsible for weight reduction projects on the 787-9 and 737-MAX commercial airliners.

®       Typical projects include collecting background of existing designs, generating correlated finite element models to baseline information, and developing an optimization analyses to reduce weight and cost while maintaining positive safety margins.


Honda Research and Development, CAE analyst,    Raymond, OH., May 2008 – Sept. 2010

Responsible for developing Multi-Body Dynamics models to support the Vehicle Performance group.

®       Developed full vehicle simulation capability to correlate against physical tests: 4-post tests, K and C tests, handling maneuvers (constant radius, J-turns, lane change, etc..), torque steer tests, park effort tests, brake judder tests, and drift/pull tests.


BE Aerospace, CAE analyst,                       Winston Salem, NC., Jul. 2007 – Nov. 2007

®       Supported design development with structural weight reduction analysis using Optistruct topology optimization.


Rockwell Collins, CAE analyst,                                Irvine, CA., Nov. 2006 – June 2007

Responsible for creation and verification of MSC.Adams Multi-Body Dynamics models of pilot flight controls.

®       Parametric models created for Gulfstream G-650 Pitch, Roll and Yaw controls.

®       Correlated Boeing 787 Pitch controls to test data.

®       Programmed FORTRAN code to assist loads extraction from MSC.Adams results.                    


Caterpillar, CAE analyst,                                         Decatur, IL., Oct. 2006 – Nov. 2006

Supported introduction of Optistruct topology optimization into product design cycle.

®       On-site One on One training of engineers and demonstration of optimization analysis on current products.                                                                                                                     


International Truck, CAE analyst,                 Fort Wayne, IN., April 2005 – Aug. 2006

Supported vehicle dynamics and structural simulations.  Projects included:                                          

®       Test data correlation to MSC.Adams/Car models of full vehicle ride simulations of Heavy-Duty trucks.

®       Flex-body generation of truck ladder frames and cabs using MSC.NASTRAN.                                

®       Modal test vs. FEA correlation using MSC.NASTRAN, MSC.PATRAN, and MSC.PROCOR (modal assurance criteria).


Stewart-Stephenson, CAE analyst,                              Troy, MI., Dec.2004 – Mar. 2005

Supported concept phase for Future Tactical Truck System MSV (8 by 8) and UV (4 by 4) vehicles.         

®       Responsible for developing vehicle dynamics simulations and structural analyzes to guide concept design trade studies.                                                                                                                   


General Dynamics, CAE analyst,                     Burlington, VT., Mar. 2004 – Nov. 2004

Developed dynamic simulations for gun systems utilizing MSC.Adams and I-DEAS.  Projects included:                                                                                                                                                                                       

®       Joint Strike Fighter Gatling gun and ammunition handling system.                                                     

Altair Engineering, Inc., Project Engineer,                Troy, MI., Sept. 1998 – Feb. 2004                      

®       CAE analyst and designer, Structural optimization of ArvinMeritor Heavy-Duty truck differential housing.  

®       Project engineer, Simulation of Delphi Quadrasteer suspension.

®       Project engineer, 2003 Mustang Cobra wheel shudder simulation (Paper presented at MSC/ADAMS conference 2003).

®       Chassis engineer, Ford Motor Company, Safety Structures group.

®       Project engineer, full vehicle compliance testing using Leica laser tracker system.


University of Texas-Arlington Formula SAE race team,    Arlington, TX.

Team Leader and Chief Engineer,                                                   June 1994 – May 1998

1998 and 1996

®       Responsible for raising funds, training team members, organization of team resources, scheduling, purchasing, and vehicle design intent.

®       Designed and manufactured suspension, steering system, brakes, chassis (including FEA), drivetrain, ergonomics, crush zones for frontal and side impact, methanol-air intercooler, improved clutch basket and main gear, body work, and aerodynamics.

®       Conducted driver training and vehicle development including test design, test setup, and analysis of data.

®       2018 As the inaugural winner of the Formula Student UK competition, the 98 car was invited to return for 2018 competition and run the dynamics events.

Team member,

1997 and 1995

®       Researched and developed University of Texas-Arlington in-house electronic fuel injection system.

®       Designed and manufactured suspension.

®       Performed track side vehicle development including test design, test setup, and analysis of data.

®       Created braking system simulation.

®       Responsible for operation and safety of Formula SAE machine shop.

®       Designed and manufactured braking system, hand clutch and shifter, drivetrain, and pedal assembly.





®       CAD packages: Catia, Solid-Works, and Rhinoceros (NURB surfacing).

®       Solver software: MSC.ADAMS, VI-Aircraft, Hyper-Works, Motion View, Optistruct, and MSC.NASTRAN.

®       Suspension software: Adams/Car and , Motion View.

Languages: Experience in FORTRAN, Templex, and Matlad.

Fabrication Experience:

®       Lathe, vertical mill, horizontal mill, horizontal grinder, shaper, band saw, drill press, Welding, brazing, and composite wet lay-ups (graphite, Kevlar, and fiber glass).




University of Texas-Arlington,                                                                           May 1998

Bachelor of Science, Mechanical Engineering (1998)               


Leadership Achievements


2013-Present Formula SAE Competition volunteer and Rules committee member:  Technical Inspector and Rules Committee member.  SES group leader – This is a group of volunteer engineers that review student chassis designs for safety and rules compliance.


2011-Present  Design Judge for Formula SAE Competition - Responsible for evaluating  engineering design and methodology of student built single seat race cars.


1999-2003 Mentor to Lawrence Technical University Formula SAE team –Trained new team members on the fundamentals of vehicle dynamic and high performance driving.  Tutored suspension design group in the fundamentals of vehicle tuning.


1996 and 1998 Team Leader and Chief Engineer  - University of Texas at Arlington Formula SAE team.  The goal of the Team Leader position was to supply team members with the resources, information, guidance, and motivation that would result in the successful completion of their projects.  The goal of the Chief Engineer position was to guide the design intent of the vehicle and to verify all analyzes, designs, and prints.