Concussion Biomechanics: Characterizing Tolerance and Reducing Risk through Helmet Design
Abstract: What happens to the brain during a head impact? How much force does it take to result in a concussion? What role do helmets play in preventing concussions? In this talk, Dr. Rowson will address these questions by discussing his research on concussion biomechanics. For over the past 15 years, Dr. Rowson has been instrumenting athletes with sensor packages to capture kinematic data describing head impacts. These data are collected in parallel with clinical outcome data related to concussion to provide insight on head impact tolerance. Dr. Rowson has used these data to model concussion risk and to develop a novel helmet evaluation program. This talk will connect real-world head impact measurement with in-laboratory helmet testing efforts to reduce concussion incidence in sports.
Biography: Steve Rowson is an Associate Professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering and Mechanics at Virginia Tech and serves as the Virginia Tech Helmet Lab director. His expertise is in injury biomechanics, concussion, and safe product design and assessment. Dr. Rowson has published over one hundred peer-reviewed papers on these topics, the impact of which has made sports safer through rule changes and improved protective equipment. In addition, Dr. Rowson runs and maintains the Virginia Tech Helmet Ratings, which he co-developed with Stefan Duma. The ratings provide consumers with an objective assessment of relative helmet performance and have resulted in a paradigm shift in the way helmets are sold and designed.
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