Julia Crowley Farenga
MIT SoE — DENSO Undergraduate Research and Innovation Scholar
Concussion-Protective Football Helmets
Concussion in sports has become one of the most critical public health concerns associated with otherwise peacetime human activity. Existing helmet technology used in American football has all but eradicated lethal skull fractures, but as a side product endowed the player with a hurtful weapon and a false sense of invulnerability. In this project we will analyze, design, fabricate, and test a novel concept in helmet technology, known as the “inverted helmet”, with demonstrated guarantees of mitigating concussion.
This project excites me because I am a huge professional football fan and I have witnessed concussions that have severely hurt my favorite players and my fantasy football team. Stories of NFL players committing suicide and having memory loss are now disturbingly common, and I want to be a part of the solution so that the sport can be safer for all levels of players.