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ONR PANTHER research team, including Team Wendy’s Sushant Malave (back row, second from left)
and Ron Szalkowski (back row, second from right)
A soldier is riding in the back of a Humvee and there’s an explosion. It rocks the vehicle and the soldier hits his or her head.
The angle at which the soldier hits his head – combined with the speed in which it happens – raises questions about lasting impact on the brain. The answers to these questions are still not fully understood but ongoing research gives hope of one day getting fuller, more comprehensive answers.
In late August two engineers from Team Wendy traveled to Orlando to showcase new research into angular impact testing. They’re optimistic these tests better reflect the unpredictable nature of life in the field.
Ron Szalkowski, Team Wendy’s director of product development and research collaboration, along with mechanical engineer Sushant Malave, attended the Military Health System Research Symposium (MHSRS) at the Gaylord Palms Resort on Aug. 20 and 21.
MHSRS is the Department of Defense’s premier scientific meeting. It’s a venue for presenting new scientific knowledge resulting from military-unique research and development.
Team Wendy, together with the ONR PANTHER team, depicted research at two of the MHSRS poster sessions. One poster modeled what happens to the human brain in current military spec (blunt impact) testing. The second presented an algorithm for measuring head motion in impact.
Poster presenting an algorithm for measuring head motion in impact testing
A NEW ERA
Historically, blunt-impact helmet testing has focused on straight-ahead linear impacts. Testing angular impact is more indicative of real-world scenarios and Team Wendy engineers say we’ve only scratched the surface.
Team Wendy attended MHSRS amongst roughly 2,300 academics and representatives from the rehabilitative medicine industry.
“Our industry should be directly involved in this,” said Szalkowski.
The standard (linear) impact test
New rotational impact test