Development of a smart material designed to attenuate oblique and direct impacts

Host Faculty: Engineering
General Subject Area: Mechanical / Materials Engineering
Project Level: PhD
View the Research Website
FIND A PROJECT - Engineering

Development of a smart material designed to attenuate oblique and direct impacts

The goal of our project is to produce a material which is capable of offering an anisotropic response to oblique and direct impacts for use in a variety of contexts.

Studies of brain injury mechanisms have highlighted the importance of reducing rotational acceleration during impacts to the head. Such accelerations are typically caused by oblique impacts, leading to the development of technologies that reduce the rotational effect of such impacts.

Thus far, many of the technologies presented are capable of reducing the effects of a single oblique impact. In many sports, repeated oblique impacts are unavoidable, yet to date, no solutions are widely adopted that specifically look to reduce the effect of oblique impacts for the wearer, whilst also mitigating the effects of a direct impact. Solutions that are presented are typically bulky and reportedly uncomfortable for the wearer.

The general hypothesis of this project is that it is possible to build a low-volume, comfortable, energy absorbing layer capable of attenuating repeated direct and/or oblique impacts. In the first instance this technology could be suitable for implementation in protective equipment such as soft shell headgear, offering potential mitigation of head injuries without compromising comfort and performance of the wearer.


Supervisor: Natalia Kabaliuk

Key qualifications and skills

Masters of Engineering or equivalent - knowledge of mechanical and/or materials engineering.

Does the project come with funding

Yes - PhD scholarship through College of Engineering. 

Final date for receiving applications



Engineering; impact forces; material properties; oblique and direct impacts;