Research Interests

Transient response of materials under high-strain-rate loading
The dynamic response of multiphase materials can exhibit strongly rate-dependent behaviour when deformation occurs. This rate-dependency is often exploited in applications requiring energy dissipation such as in protective equipment (e.g., helmets) or in the design of motion dampers. The overall theme of our research relates to the role of mesoscopic variations in heterogeneity on the response of bulk materials as means of controlling its rate-dependency.

Cineradiographic investigations of traumatic injury biomechanics
There remains a large gap in terms of understanding the response of the body and its tissues to trauma. This is partially due to the difficulties associated with investigating trauma. The focus of our research in this area is the use of high-speed X-ray cinematography (cineradiography) to investigate these injurious events. Our ability to combine impact events, using either a drop tower or linear impactor, with our unique high-speed x-ray system enables investigations into the deformation of tissues during traumatic impacts with exceptional temporal resolution.

General areas of interest

  • Shock wave physics in condensed and multiphase materials
  • Injury biomechanics related to impact trauma
  • Development of novel diagnostic systems
  • Smart materials for ballistic impact applications
  • Functionally-graded materials for protective applications

Open Research Positions

Porcine Lung Tissue Deformation Fields – The Impact Dynamics Research Group is currently seeking a PhD student to investigate the response of porcine lung tissue to impact forces. The work will use our x-ray system operating at 10,000 fps to record these deformation fields. This project will focus primarily on experimental investigations, but will include direct interactions with partners attempting to validate their blunt trauma lung tissue models.

Design of next-generation surrogates to investigate traumatic injury events – The Impact Dynamics Research Group is currently seeking multiple students interested in design, with a solid knowledge of biological systems or interest in biomedical engineering. The focus of the research effort will be to alter the design of existing human surrogates for helmet testing (headforms) to include deformable structures that mimic the response of the human head. Although the project is focused on design, there will be a strong experimental component to this work. This opportunity could be filled at the MASc or PhD levels.

Dynamic behaviour of polymeric and metallic foams under impact loading – The transient response of foams under impact remains a contentious issue. The project will involve the use of our single-stage gas-gun facility to investigate the response of these multi-phase materials under impact loading using laser diagnostics. The work will be almost completely experimental in nature and could be filled at the MASc or PhD levels.

Undergraduate Research Opportunities

  • Support the research activities of graduate students.