About Us

All of kVA’s technical personnel are certified in functional safety. In addition to theoretical knowledge, kVA’s personnel have decades of real-world experience in standards, processes, and functional safety for automotive products.  As a certified independent safety expert, kVA offers independent reviews and audits up to the I3 independence level (the highest level as specified in ISO 26262- Most importantly, kVA is highly responsive to the needs of our clients. We get the job done for our clients, on time and under budget, on programs where safety is non-negotiable.

Our Mission

kVA’s mission is to become the world’s leading expert in the field of safe product development. kVA provides expertise to industry through technical consulting, training events, and software tools.

Community Outreach

kVA supports and encourages volunteer efforts by employees. The focus of kVA’s volunteer efforts are to encourage STEM education and careers in engineering and science. Over the years we’ve judged robotics competitions, helped teach students K-12 how to build electrical circuits, and provided charitable contributions to several local nonprofit organizations.

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Bill Taylor


As co-founder and managing partner of kVA, Bill Taylor has led a variety of programs in safety assurance for vehicle E/E systems.  He has led reviews of autonomous vehicle controller hardware for ASIL D applications, including evaluation of safety mechanisms compared to ISO 26262 specifications.  He has also consulted widely to manufacturers of steering systems, transmissions, and engine controllers. Mr. Taylor is a certified AFSE and trains automotive engineers worldwide on the principles of functional safety, risk assessments and ISO 26262.

Jody Nelson


As co-founder and managing partner of kVA, Jody Nelson has helped global automakers and suppliers achieve functional safety in a wide range of applications. He has broad experience in developing hardware, software, and systems in accordance with ISO 26262. Mr. Nelson served as safety manager for an OEM EV program using a motor at each wheel, where unintended steering due to motor failure was an ASIL D hazard. He successfully applied methods such as FSR/TSR decomposition and software test & assurance methods to achieve safety on this major program. He has also led supplier programs in functional safety, ranging from autonomous vehicle programs to steering assist systems.

Dr. Jim Winkelman

Principal Functional Safety Consultant

Dr. Jim Winkelman has over 30-years of experience in controls engineering and R&D. His current research seeks to extend concepts of control variables for safety situational analysis to the control systems domain, so that high-level safety requirements can be more systematically defined and verified. Dr. Winkelman is a Life Fellow in the IEEE Control Systems Society. He has been a prolific author in vehicle control systems engineering, authoring over 60 technical papers and patents, and speaking as an invited and keynote speaker in various IEEE conferences and other events.

Doug Barnes

Principal Functional Safety Consultant

Doug Barnes has helped lead functional safety initiatives with OEMs and suppliers on a wide variety of products, including transmission systems, battery management systems, electronic shifters, trailer brake controllers, electronic steering column lock, and LED driver modules. He has extensive working knowledge of safety analysis and has been involved in nearly every aspect of functional safety, from conducting HARAs down to reviewing requirement verification results. He is also an experienced instructor who has provided many kVA’s ISO 26262 training sessions both in the Detroit area and onsite.

Angelina Kretz

Principal Functional Safety Consultant

As a principal consultant for kVA, Angelina Kretz guides kVA clients in their initial adoption of ISO 26262 processes. She has strong experience in autonomous vehicle development, and enjoys finding solutions for the complex technical problems posed by autonomous systems. With 20 years of experience at Detroit based OEMs, Angelina’s product knowledge spans a wide variety of vehicle systems. She finds purpose in sharing that knowledge and learning from others while providing trainings in ISO 26262.

Jennifer Rajala

Principal Functional Safety Consultant

As a Principal Functional Safety Consultant at kVA, Jennifer Rajala has assisted global Tier 1 and Tier 2 suppliers with functional safety in a wide range of applications. With her previous experience and her time at kVA, Jennifer has a variety of experience including managing the development of systems, hardware and software in accordance with ISO 26262. Ms. Rajala served as safety manager for a Tier 1 supplier and has assisted to put into place the policies and procedures required to successfully achieve functional safety within that organization. She also has many years of experience in the development of active chassis controls systems at OEMs and has been involved in compliance to the ISO 26262 standard since its initial proposal.