John has been developing a new helmet that reduces the risk of devastating and potentially fatal brain injuries.
“Traditional helmets used in sport and by the military only provide protection against focal head injuries, such as skull fracture.
“They do not offer protection against reducing the risks of brain injuries, such as concussions, bleeding on the brain, or nerve damage.”
The alumnus tested a range of materials, investigating their ability to reduce rotational forces that act on the brain that can cause brain injuries. John has now devised a prototype helmet using a dilatant (shear thickening) material liner.
“Dilatant materials are semi-intelligent in that they respond differently to impact forces of varying magnitude and direction.
“The material hardens to disperse the impact energy allowing the helmet to move independently of the head and reducing the risk of brain injury.”
John graduated with a BSc in Ergonomics in 1992 and a PhD in Ergonomics in 2002.