Helmet Research at Virginia Tech

The Virginia Tech-Wake Forest Center for Injury Biomechanics (CIB) is one of the most impressive injury research institutions around.  While it’s best known for studies performed by the Virginia Tech branch on football helmets, the Center is a diverse operation.  The bulk of the VT head injury office’s floor-space is actually devoted to classified military research, mainly related to vehicle crashes and IED impacts.  The institute also studies the safety of civilian vehicles in crashes and the safety of children’s toys; the Wake Forest portion conducts a great deal of automotive work.

The CIB operates from within the VT-WF School of Biomedical Engineering and Sciences.  Running the school is Dr. Stefan Duma, who also happens to be the man responsible for kick-starting modern helmet research and making it a topic of public interest.  Duma has co-authored hundreds of papers on impact injuries; his work has lately included research on head impacts in baseball players, how organs are affected by crashes, and how vehicle-related impacts affect pregnant women.  Duma has also been the key force behind the rapid growth and rising prominence of biomedical engineering at VT…

SLF has moved!  Check out the full post at http://www.secondlevelfootball.com/2012/05/15/helmet-research-at-virginia-tech/

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10 thoughts on “Helmet Research at Virginia Tech

  1. HokieHowieNC says:

    FOOTNOTE:
    In 2007 at Lane Stadium, QB Christian Ponder of Florida State sure could’ve used a better helmet. After a big hit, he staggered back to the bench and I swear his eyes were doing circles in opposite directions. Ponder did not return to that game, and later FSU returned the favor and knocked VT’s QB Glennon silly. Tyrod came in and finished off the Seminoles, 40-21, giving Frank Beamer his first win over FSU.

    • I remember that hit pretty clearly. That and the earhole stick Aaron Rouse laid on a tailback (from WF, I think) a few years back stand in my mind as two of the more wincing Hokie hits I remember from the past few years.

    • Jw says:

      Pretty sure that was Drew Weatherford that got knocked out of the 2007 game. Ponder came in as his backup and provided a bit of a spark…not enough of course.

  2. Tony Rulli says:

    I would also like to see testing on the youth helmets.

    It may also be helpful to include some information on ImPact Test (impacttest.com). In Collin County TX, all HS players must complete this test prior to the season, and there is now a push to include Middle School players. My son’s Club Team requires it starting in 6th grade. Just this most recent spring season, his 8th grade team had 5 or 6 players diagnosed with concussions–they were using youth Riddell Speed Helmet. These players missed a minimum of 1 game, w/ a few missing 3-5 games until they were cleared by a doctor.

    All youth football programs should require coaches to take a class/seminar on warning signs of a concussion, and it should be mandatory that any player suspected of a possible concussion not play again until cleared by a doctor.

    • Strong points. My wrap-up will talk about what VT’s done with youth helmet research and some general safety discussion on youth football, including info about Impact (I just heard a fairly-prominent neurologist talk about it at-length.)

      • Tony Rulli says:

        If at all possible, please email me when you post again on this subject. I will be forwarding to a few coaches that I know.

    • Will try to remember, but if it slips my mind during the publication rush, I plan on getting it written and posted in the next week or two while the neuro presentation and my background research is still fresh in my mind.

  3. John Draper says:

    Don’t forget- the chin strap-as the head snaps back from a frontal hit the chin strap tightens either pushing the jaw upwards and /or back. This could be an added complication to the concussion. John Draper

    • Good thought–could be a big factor in loose-fitting helmets. Not sure if it inspired your post, but I seem to recall loose fitting military helmets could cause serious problems if they were impacted by shockwaves while strapped-on.

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