Mother Nature Inspired IUPUI Students’ Design For A Safer Football Helmet

The thick peel of a pomelo was one of nature's bio-inspired designs the students examined.
The thick peel of a pomelo was one of nature’s bio-inspired designs the students examined.

Two IUPUI students drew upon the wisdom of Mother Nature to create biologically inspired designs that could be used to create a safer football helmet.

Their research has been published in the Society of Automotive Engineering International Journal of Transportation Safety.

The student authors of the paper, “Cellular Helmet Liner Design through Bio-Inspired Structures and Topology Optimization of Compliant Mechanism Lattices,” are Jacob DeHart, a media arts and science student in the School of Informatics and Computing, and Joel Najmon, an engineering student in the School of Engineering and Technology.

Zebulun Wood, a lecturer in media arts and science, and Andres Tovar, an associate professor of mechanical and energy engineering and an assistant professor of biomedical engineering, are co-authors and co-directors of this research project.

“Our research and design algorithms show innovative, energy-absorbing cellular helmet liners,” Najmon said. “Cellular helmet liners are ideal for impact energy absorption, as their structures can mimic the excellent absorbing capabilities of foam and energy protective biological structures while maintaining the ability to be engineered for specific impact, dynamic responses.”

The two students were given the reins to experiment and explore different ways of making something that could be useful to people, DeHart said. “I took a more interpretative look at nature, mimicking functions and forms from nature, while Joel took a more scientific one, putting numbers into a program to get results.”

This work shows lessons learned from bio-inspired designs using protective structures such as pomelo peel, nautilus shell and woodpecker skull, Tovar said. “Our work explores a design approach to tailor the response of a cellular material subject to impact, an approach that offers the potential to mitigate head injury by decreasing acceleration, decreasing penetration and increasing specific energy absorption.”

“What this study really gets to is that nature, through millions of years of innovation and evolution, knows best,” Wood said. “We took some of nature’s hardest surfaces — surfaces that could be translated to helmet design — and re-created them in a way that can be simulated in engineering software.”

Nature may have provided inspiration for the cellular designs, but it took the students months to figure out how the bio-inspired shapes developed by DeHart could be re-created in a way that they could be used by Najmon in engineering simulation software that showed whether their helmet liner would reduce risk of injury.

The challenge the two students faced, Wood said, was to learn how to create geometric shapes that were inspired by nature but could also be simulated in engineering software. “Until our experiment, that was very difficult to do. It’s still difficult to do. Now IUPUI knows how to get those shapes to work together.”

The kind of collaboration that enabled the students to bridge the gap between the domains of media arts and science and engineering could only happen at a campus like IUPUI that encourages people in different fields to work together, Wood said.

The helmet liner study was supported by a grant from the Sports Innovation Institute at IUPUI.

Read the original article from IUPUI NewsJohn Schwarb and Rich Schneider

Apply to Participate in the 2019-20 Religion, Spirituality & the Arts Seminar

The Religion, Spirituality, and the Arts Program (RSA) is a program of the IUPUI Arts and Humanities Institute that brings together artists, religious leaders, religious communities, humanities experts, and a broad range of publics from diverse backgrounds and disciplinary perspectives for sustained study, analysis, and discussion of religious texts in a classroom environment. Directed by Rabbi Sandy Sasso, these textual discussions, which explore the varieties of religious experience and understanding, provide the inspiration for creating new artistic works (e.g. music, poetry, fiction, drama, visual art, dance). Artists share their creations through exhibitions and presentations to members of the Central Indiana community, including religious organizations, congregations, schools, libraries, and community groups.

2019-20 Theme

We will explore the story of Jonah in the Bible and the Quran and consider a variety of themes including the arbitrariness of unwarranted compassion and the desire to escape calls to human responsibility. When others cry out, Jonah runs away or sleeps. Might we see contemporary responses to crises through Jonah’s actions? What about the human desire to flee distasteful obligations? Through visual arts, poetry, and music we will explore the symbolism of the big fish as “reassuring womb” or “terrifying tomb” and the strange prophet who hates change but nevertheless brings it about in the end.

Faculty

The faculty list for the 2018-19 seminar is still growing. So far, the faculty include

  • Anila Quayyum Agha, Associate Professor of Drawing and Illustration in the Herron School of Art and Design at IUPUI

  • Julia Muney Moore, Director of Public Art for the Arts Council of Indianapolis

  • Sandy Sasso, Rabbi Emerita of Congregation Beth-El Zedeck

  • Steven Stolen Host of WFYI’s Stolen Moments

  • Shari Wagner, Author and Indiana Poet Laureate (2016-2017)

  • Joseph Tucker Edmonds, Assistant Professor of Africana Studies and Religious Studies at IUPUI

Meetings

Sessions will be held for 2 1/2 hours weekly for a total of eight weeks and will meet evenings from 6:00–8:30 p.m. on 9/19, 9/26, 10/3, 10/10, 11/7, 12/12, 1/9 or 1/16, 2/6

How to Apply

Applications for this seminar will be accepted from April 29 to May 28, 2019.

Applicants may be anyone in the community who is active (as a professional or amateur) in the artistic disciplines. Selected applicants must be able to make a commitment to attend all seminar sessions and engage in open and respectful dialogue. Seminar participants will produce creative work to be performed and/or exhibited in a public forum. Seminar participants will receive a $150 stipend at the conclusion of the group exhibition.

Application Form

To apply to be an artist-participant in the current seminar, please submit your application using the online form.

In addition to basic demographic information, the form asks you to answer the following questions:

      • How do you see your art form interacting with a religious text?

      • How do you imagine this experience will impact your creative work?

You will also need to upload

      • An artist resume

      • Three examples of your work

For more information, please visit our website! 

Herron’s Ninth Annual ‘Look/See’ Event Celebrates Indianapolis’s Emerging Artists, Art Therapists And Design Strategists

Opening Eyes: Students Learn About Neighborhoods That Predated IUPUI

Anthropology professor Paul Mullins leads the new Digital History and Community Change in Indianapolis class in University Library. The course explores the history of neighborhoods that existed where IUPUI is today. Photo by Tim Brouk, Indiana University
Anthropology professor Paul Mullins leads the new Digital History and Community Change in Indianapolis class in University Library. The course explores the history of neighborhoods that existed where IUPUI is today. Photo by Tim Brouk, Indiana University

Alysa Meyer’s sobering research project began with a 1978 article about an Indianapolis man found drowned in Fall Creek.

The tragedy and the life of Dr. George Watkins was part of the new Digital History and Community Change in Indianapolis class, which focuses on the histories of racial displacement and urban transformation along Indianapolis’ downtown canal in commemoration of the IUPUI 50th Anniversary and Indiana University Bicentennial. The class explores the rich history of the Indiana Avenue Cultural District and the nearby Ransom Place neighborhood as well as the contentious displacement and gentrification that occurred when IUPUI was established in 1969.

Meyer and research partner Kyle Turner dug up what they could with the random address they were assigned: 402 W. Vermont St. Watkins’ home also held his practice, once standing where parking lots are now paved near Inlow Hall.

As their research will soon be published online, Turner and Meyer were guest presenters at the April 12 Butler Undergraduate Research Conference. Their findings shocked their peers from other Indiana institutions. Though Meyer grew up in Indianapolis, she, too, was unfamiliar with the history of the area before the university, which included Watkins’ sad story.

This house that once stood at 402 California St. belonged to Dr. George Watkins. It was located where parking lots for Inlow Hall and the Science and Engineering Laboratory Building now exist. Photo courtesy of Indiana Landmarks Central Canal and IUPUI Image Collection

“He was very involved in the community and worked a lot with the YMCA,” said Meyer, a biology senior with an anthropology minor, of Watkins. “We found articles that said he would often give his chiropractic services for free in a way to give back to the community. In his later years, he would wander around the old neighborhood, searching for his house, according to another article. It was thought he had developed Alzheimer’s.”

The Digital History and Community Change in Indianapolis course is led by the team of Andrea Copeland, associate professor of library and information science; library and information science lecturer Kisha Tandy; and anthropology professor Paul Mullins, whose 2009 book, “The Price for Progress,” pays tribute to the neighborhoods that once bustled before IUPUI’s establishment. The final projects are being managed with the help of Herron Art Library digital services specialist Danita Davis and librarian Sonja Staum, who is also the director of the Herron Art Library.

The class of 17 undergraduate and graduate students majoring in science, museum studies, library science and public history utilized digitized newspapers, databases, old city directories, and Sanborn insurance maps from the late 1800s and early 1900s to monitor what kind of homes, businesses and landmarks once stood where IUPUI is today.

Museum studies graduate student Hannah Lundell had no idea of the history that was once literally beneath her feet as she prepared for her class, which takes place in University Library.

“It’s been a consensus with the class that a lot of people weren’t fully aware of the extent of the neighborhood that used to exist here,” said Lundell, a Florida native. “But we’ve been able to talk to former residents, which is rare when working in archives and piecing together stories.”

‘Study our city’

As the student projects are nearing completion, the research is being uploaded into a digital map from 1908. Users will be able to scroll along the map and click on the houses to learn more about the structures and the families who once inhabited them. Some of the content was acquired in collaboration with Indiana Landmarks.

A Civil War-era mansion once stood at 538 W. New York St., near where Inlow Hall is today. Photo courtesy of Indiana Landmarks Central Canal and IUPUI Image Collection
A Civil War-era mansion once stood at 538 W. New York St., near where Inlow Hall is today. Photo courtesy of Indiana Landmarks Central Canal and IUPUI Image Collection

Copeland said her students have learned about an early, hyper-local example of gentrification and displacement, which occurs in cities all over the country. These final projects give needed history, images and data to one of the most historically underrepresented parts of Indianapolis.

Copeland hopes the class will help pave the way for an Indianapolis history minor, specialization or certificate at IUPUI.

“There is a need to study our city,” she explained. “We don’t have a permanent course with the word ‘Indianapolis’ in it. Geography, history, social issues, current events, economics in our city — it’s all intertwined.”

Dr. Watkins’ story to live on

Meyer and Turner’s work filled in not only Watkins’ story, but that of his neighborhood.

“I think this is really eye-opening for a lot of people because I don’t think they realized this was happening,” Meyer said. “I think it’s a good way to teach people about displacement. You get to read about people’s lives and who it affected.”

Since publishing his book, co-authored with Glenn White, Mullins gets calls and messages from relatives of former area residents who are curious about their former homes. He hopes his class’s digital research project will answer questions for those relatives as well as for Hoosier historians.

“In general, we are interested in putting as much of this history as possible in an accessible, digital place,” Mullins said. “We’re building like genealogists would. We have so much digitized. Now, it’s about helping people understand how to use it and what they can do with it.”

Read the original story from IUPUI NewsTim Brouk 

Negotiating the Diaspora: African Immigrant Women’s Memoirs Dialogue with Human Rights

Dr. Tobe Levin von Gleichen, a multi-lingual scholar, translator, editor and activist, is an Associate of the HutchinsCenter for African and African American Research at Harvard University; a Visiting Research Fellow at the International Gender Studies Centre, Lady Margaret Hall, University of Oxford; an activist against female genital mutilation (FGM) and professor of English Emerita at the University of Maryland, University College. Her most notable works to date are Empathy and Rage, Female Genital Mutilation in African Literature, and Waging Empathy.

Please join IUPUI Committee on African Studies, CAS, as Dr. Levin von Gleichen lectures on the topic of human rights for immigrant women in the African diaspora. Come with questions and leave with knowledge.

Wednesday April 17th 12-1pm
Business Building BS 3018

We’ll see you there!

Run Toward Fear: Education & Art as Cultural Sites of Resistance

A Diversity Speaker Event Featuring Haki R. Madhubuti; a poet, professor, and publisher. A Leading poet and one of the architects in the Black Arts Movement, Haki R. Madhubuti has been a pivotal figure in the development of independent Black Institutions and a strong black literary and intellectual tradition. He is one of the world’s best-selling authors of poetry and nonfiction. In this public lecture, Prof. Madhubuti will address challenges and opportunities confronting us in our current historical moment, He will speak on the importance of developing critical stances in matters of culture, agency, social justice, equity and community.

Friday April 19th
2-3:30pm
Lilly Auditorium
UniversityLibrary
755W.MichiganAve

This event is free and open to the public! We’ll see you there!

16th Annual Thomas H. Lake Lecture

We hope you can join us for our 16th Annual Thomas H. Lake Lecture. This year we will hear from best-selling author and world-wide speaker, Lynne Twist at Indiana Landmarks in Indianapolis on Thursday, April 11, 2019. The topic is “The Soul of Money: Shifting from Scarcity to Abundance.” The lecture begins at 6:00 pm with a reception to follow. This talk will address the mindset of scarcity and how it grips us, having us live in a constant state of worry and fear, rather than allowing us to see the bounty, flow, generosity and sufficiency that is available to each of us in life.

Ms. Twist is the author of the best-selling, award-winning book “The Soul of Money: Transforming Your Relationship with Life and Money.” Founder of the Soul of Money Institute, Lynne has worked with over 100,000 people in 50 countries in board retreats, workshops, keynote presentations and one-on-one coaching in the arenas of fundraising with integrity, conscious philanthropy, strategic visioning and creating a healthy relationship with money.

You can register for the lecture here.

‘Digging’ the next Liberal Arts Talk

From left: Graduate student Allie Powell, professor Jeremy Wilson and graduate student Gretchen Zoeller discuss findings from the dig at the Bethel Cemetery located on the grounds of the Indianapolis airport. Photo by Liz Kaye, Indiana University

In 2018, the Department of Anthropology partnered with industry leaders to undertake one of the largest applied anthropological research projects ever in Indiana. This work, involving the detection, exhumation and analysis of over 500 individuals from Bethel Cemetery, provided a unique opportunity to identify and reconstruct the lives and lifeways of early Hoosier pioneers, as well as later inhabitants who experienced industrialization, urbanization and key moments in the state’s and nation’s history.

Associate professor of anthropology Jeremy Wilson will share details of the project in the upcoming Liberal Arts Talk, “Digging Deeper into 19th-Century Central Indiana: A Bioarchaeological Analysis of the Bethel Cemetery.” The lecture is set for 4 p.m. March 21 in the Campus Center, Room 307. Register online to attend.

Read the original article from IUPUI News

Equity in Modern America with Jelani Cobb, Jeff Chang, and Negin Farsad

What do we mean when we use the word “equity”? How do we build an equitable society? Join us for a conversation with Jelani Cobb, Negin Farsad, and Jeff Chang about Equity in Modern America.

Jeff Chang is author of Can’t Stop Won’t Stop: A History of the Hip-Hop Generation and We Gon’ Be Alright: Notes on Race and Resegregation.

Jelani Cobb is author of The Substance of Hope: Barack Obama and the Paradox of ProgressThe Devil and Dave Chappelle, and To the Break of Dawn: A Freestyle on the Hip Hop Aesthetic.

Negin Farsad is author of How to Make White People Laugh and director of The Muslims are Coming!

This event is part of the IUPUI Arts & Humanities Institute’s Entanglements Series which puts scientists, social scientists, humanists, and artists in conversation with the audience to ask questions that transcend disciplinary boundaries.

Equity in Modern America is presented with the Kheprw Institute, the Central Indiana Community Foundation, Indiana Humanities, the Kurt Vonnegut Museum and Library, and the IUPUI Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. Support for this event comes from the Indiana University New Frontiers in the Arts and Humanities grant program.

RSVP NOW!