Progress Report #5- January 19th, 2011

Senior Design Group 3
Football Helmet Design
Douglas Browne
Jeffrey Markle
Tyler Severance
What we have done:
Since the previous update, our group has managed one crucial step of progress. We traveled to
Knoxville to meet with Dr. Halstead, one of the nation’s leading experts in helmet design. Although he
has minimal education, he is brilliant in the field and was able to pick apart our theories in a matter of
minutes. For example, he was able to use video evidence to prove that actual contact with a helmet
was not always the direct cause of concussions and hemorrhages; instead, it is only the high velocities
and their associated acceleration/deceleration. Although the tour of his lab was great and actually
testing helmets using the free drop method were fun and insightful, the most practical was definitely
the mathematical discussion.
Current Status:
Originally, our group hoped to alter the cushion length and other properties to help reduce
angular acceleration while keeping the translational acceleration at a manageable level. However, by
proving that limited space and limited range of elasticity, the cushion could only affect a small time
frame of collision which really wouldn’t change our results at all. Thus, he recommended that we go a
different route and try to incorporate shoulder pads into the design to give us more potential for
What we plan to do:
Armed with new ideas (and a genius to guide us), we are hoping to redesign the helmetshoulder pad complex to create some form of safety belt design. In this way, we can still allow free
movement of the head while also creating a controlled resistance to the potential hits that could cause
high angular acceleration. Specifically, our group has three meetings planned over the next week (twice
on our own and once with our advisor) to begin trying new ideas.