Christopher R Dennison

Canada Research Chair in Biomedical Instrumentation

Tier 2 - 2017-11-01
University of Alberta
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council


Research involves

Studying how impacts and blasts affect the human body.

Research relevance

This research will help design and test better equipment to protect the human head, brain and neck from injury.

Better Injury Protection and Prevention

Every year in Canada, thousands of people sustain traumatic brain injuries. Many of these injuries are caused by impacts to the head and neck, such as in sports, car accidents or workplace mishaps. Finding ways to prevent such injuries has become a focus in recent years.

To better understand injuries to the human body—and prevent traumatic injuries—engineers use biomechanics and instrumentation to design effective protective equipment, such as helmets. As Canada Research Chair in Biomedical Instrumentation, Dennison is developing and applying new tools to study the biomechanics of injury, with a special focus on the head, brain and neck.

In their biomedical instrumentation lab, Dennison and his research team use mainly experimental methods and models to study how mechanical inputs, like impacts and blasts, can affect the human body. Their aim is to better understand potential injuries and how protective equipment can or cannot effectively protect us from injuries.

The design of protective equipment and the methods used to test it must be based on a sound understanding of injury mechanics. The methods developed by Dennison and his team may influence the way engineers design and test protective equipment, and ultimately lead to better technologies that will protect Canadians.