The brain trauma from head impact, such as concussion in sport, is being increasingly linked to neurodegeneration with devastating medium- and long-term health outcomes. Despite the widespread use of helmets by athletes, which serve to dramatically reduce the likelihood of severe focal brain injury, there continues to be a concerning level of injurious head impact. While acute exposure to an injurious event can be detrimental to head health, there is building evidence suggesting that repeated low-level exposure events are equally concerning. Current helmet testing standards use head acceleration profiles (rigid-body kinematics) to determine injury risk, however alternative approaches may be more representative of our developing understanding of head injury. In this presentation, Professor Oren Petel will take a focused look at current thoughts on helmet testing and injury prediction, as well as advances being made at Carleton University in this important health area. He will provide an overview of the innovations his team is pursuing with injury biomechanics research programs, which make use of a state-of-the-art (in situ) X-ray facility that was designed and built by his Impact Dynamics Research Group at Carleton University. This interactive discussion will include some hands-on demonstrations, explanations of his team’s unique technological capabilities, as well as some fun high-speed X-ray videos.
Oren Petel is currently an Associate Professor at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada. Prior to joining Carleton in August 2013, Oren received his PhD from McGill University in the field of condensed phase detonation and shock wave physics. Much of his current work is related to the dynamic response of multiphase protective materials and technologies as well as developing novel diagnostic capabilities for injury biomechanics investigations. He was a guest editor of a two-part series of Thematic Issues on Blast-Induced Traumatic Brain Injury for the Springer journal Shock Waves that was published between November 2017 and January 2018.
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