Title page for ETD etd-04122011-154511

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Rowson, Steven
Author's Email Address srowson@vt.edu
URN etd-04122011-154511
Title Head Acceleration Experienced by Man: Exposure, Tolerance, and Applications
Degree PhD
Department Biomedical Engineering
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Duma, Stefan M. Committee Chair
Gabler, Hampton Clay Committee Member
Hardy, Warren N. Committee Member
Madigan, Michael L. Committee Member
Stitzel, Joel D. Committee Member
  • concussion
  • mild traumatic brain injury
  • biomechanics
  • football
  • sports
  • injury risk
Date of Defense 2011-03-29
Availability restricted
Between 1.6 and 3.8 million sports-related concussions are sustained by persons living in the United States annually. While sports-related concussion was once considered to only result in immediate neurocognitive impairment and symptoms that are transient in nature, recent research has correlated long-term neurodegenerative effects with a history of sports-related concussion. Increased awareness and current media attention have contributed to concussions becoming a primary health concern. Although much research has been performed investigating the biomechanics of concussion, little is understood about the biomechanics that cause concussion in humans. The research presented in this dissertation investigates human tolerance to head acceleration using methods that pair biomechanical data collected from human volunteers with clinical data. Head impact exposure and injury risk are quantified and presented.

In contrast to the publicly available data on the safety of automobiles, consumers have no analytical mechanism to evaluate the protective performance of football helmets. With this in mind, the Summation of Tests for the Analysis of Risk (STAR) evaluation system was developed to evaluate the impact performance of footballs helmets and provide consumers with information about helmet safety. The STAR evaluation system was designed using real world data that relate impact exposure to injury risk.

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