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

Digital Scholarship Team Gives Blind Students Unique Senior Portraits

Dressed in their emerald green graduation gowns and mortarboards, the 19 graduating seniors from the Indiana School for the Blind and Visually Impaired lined up for their class pictures.

Two queues occupied the cafeteria space inside the historic school: one for the traditional still-portrait photographer and another for a team from the IUPUI University Library Center for Digital Scholarship manning two 3D-scanning stations. Most of the students sat down for both.

The scanning took only about a minute for each student. The digital composites will be sent to the school’s records as well as to the students, who can then 3D-print the scan.

Emma Parker, a biomedical engineering sophomore and 3D digital assistant for the IUPUI University Library Center for Digital Scholarship, does a 3D scan of Kurt Stickradt, a senior at the Indiana School for the Blind and Visually Impaired. Photos by Tim Brouk, Indiana University
Emma Parker, a biomedical engineering sophomore and 3D digital assistant for the IUPUI University Library Center for Digital Scholarship, does a 3D scan of Kurt Stickradt, a senior at the Indiana School for the Blind and Visually Impaired. Photos by Tim Brouk, Indiana University

“We hope this becomes a new tradition for us,” said school superintendent Jim Durst. “A picture is worth a thousand words, and an object is worth a thousand pictures. Our kids can have access to information through 3D printing, but this really personalizes it at a level we hadn’t thought of or anticipated.”

The technicians used Creaform portable 3D scanners, which take about 1,000 digital photographs per second. The software stitches the images together to create a surface in staggering detail. The 3D scans can sharpen the details of a face — or any object — to a tenth of a millimeter.

The Center for Digital Scholarship has been busy for years with collaborations with the Benjamin Harrison Presidential SiteIndianapolis Motor Speedway MuseumIndianapolis Firefighters Museum, and several other institutions and programs. Typically, the team scans inanimate objects for virtual online museum experiences that users can access anywhere on the planet. At the 2018 Regatta, the team scanned 200 students’ faces, including one who 3D-printed a life-size version of his face to make into a Halloween mask. At the Jan. 24 50th Anniversary Birthday Bash, 400 students were scanned.

Steve Mannheimer, professor of media arts and science, had worked with the Indiana School for the Blind and Visually Impaired for years as part of assistive, accessible and inclusive technology research with the Department of Human-Centered Computing. He met with Durst to plan the April 16 scanning session.

Decades of two-dimensional class photos line the school’s halls, but many of the students can’t see them. The goal of the class of 2019’s 3D scans is for that to change.

“One research question is, ‘Will the students recognize themselves?'” Mannheimer said. “Thanks to digital technology, we can provide tactual, acoustic, gestural opportunities to say, ‘How will this help somebody who may be differently abled to better interact with the world?'”

Durst was excited about what the 3D scanning will lead his students to.

“In the future, when they come back years from now with their children and grandchildren,” he said, “they can say, ‘Here’s my picture. This is what I look like,’ without depending on somebody else to find their picture.”

Visually impaired students had the option of keeping their eyes closed, as the handheld scanners emit bright lights while scanning. No sound is emitted during the process as the technician holds the scanner about an arm’s length from the subject.

Derek Miller, 3D project coordinator for the University Library Center for Digital Scholarship, scans a graduating senior at the Indiana School for the Blind and Visually Impaired. The student will be able to send the file to a 3D printer. Photo by Tim Brouk, Indiana University

“It’s like a projector that slides across a surface’s mountains and valleys,” said Derek Miller, 3D project coordinator. “We can also capture color and texture of materials.”

Inspired by a few other assistive technology initiatives, Miller hopes to offer scanning services to the school again — not only to the graduating class, but for every class. From kindergarten to senior year, blind students will be able to realize their physical growth from their 3D-scanned portraits.

“It’s going to allow them to feel themselves tactilely,” Miller said. “Someday, hopefully, we’ll be able to scan a blind student at the age of 5 and then scan them every year. In theory, we could build a timeline of them growing that they can actually feel.”

Senior Cassondra Ernstes was one of the first students to get scanned. She was thrilled to be among the first class to have such unique senior pictures.

“That was pretty interesting. I didn’t feel anything,” Ernstes said. “I’ll be 3D-printing this. We’ve never had anything like this before. It’s pretty different, but pretty cool.”

Read the original story from IUPUI New’s Tim Brouk 

These scanners were supported by a grant from the IUPUI Arts and Humanities Institute.

Greening IUPUI Grant

Taking Your Good Idea to the Next Level

Are you an IUPUI student, faculty, or staff member that has come up with a way to advance campus sustainability? Submit your idea, and you could win a Greening IUPUI Grant to make it happen.

Greening IUPUI Grants are awarded one time per year to projects that advance our campus sustainability principles and improve IUPUI’s STARS score. IUPUI dedicates a total of $50,000 annually to fund these projects.  You can review the Greening IUPUI Grant Guidelines here

Application Information

Deadlines

  • Application period opens: December 1, 2018
  • Application period closes: February 1, 2019 (11:59pm)
  • Applicants notified: April 1, 2019

Eligibility

IUPUI students, faculty, and staff may apply.  Students must have a faculty or staff member’s support and designate them as the project contact person on the application

Guidelines

Review the full Greening IUPUI Grant Fund Guidelines before applying.
Proposals should focus on one or more of the following areas:

  • Planning & Administration (Strategic initiatives, diversity, affordability, innovation)
  • Academic (Courses, research, other educational pursuits)
  • Campus Engagement (student engagement programs, events)
  • Public Engagement (volunteer opportunities, campus-community partnerships)
  • Operations (Grounds, energy, waste, water, purchasing, transportation, buildings)
  • Health & Wellness (Food, health, equity, and human sustainability

Proposals will be received by the Greening IUPUI Grant Review Committee who will evaluate the applications based on the following criteria:

  • Improving IUPUI’s STARS score
  • Long-term impact for IUPUI
  • High-impact learning experience(s)
  • Visibility
  • Student involvement
  • Reasonable timeline and feasibility
  • Financial considerations

To Apply

Complete the Greening IUPUI Grant application. You can preview the application before starting the application process.

Past Grant Awards

Need ideas?! Check out our sustainability principles, latest STARS report, and a few recent grant awards! Submit your Final Assessment Report here!

IUPUI Arts & Humanities Grant Deadline is February 15!

The IUPUI Arts & Humanities Grant deadline will be here sooner than you think. Be sure to give yourself plenty of time to get your application together. Here’s what you need to know to get started . . .

The IAHI Grant Program supports campus-wide attainment of excellence in research and creative activity in arts and humanities. It is designed to enhance the research and creative activity mission of IUPUI by supporting research projects and scholarly activities that are conducted by arts and humanities faculty. The program is intended to stimulate existing and new research and creative activity and to support faculty in becoming competitive in securing external funding and sponsorship.

ELIGIBILITY

All full-time tenured and tenure-eligible faculty from all schools and units at IUPUI are eligible to apply. Under certain circumstances, non-tenure-track faculty members whose evaluation criteria include research or creative activity may also be eligible with an explanation in the letter of support from their chair or dean.

Visiting and associate faculty members and post-doctoral fellows are not eligible.

An associate member (or non-eligible member) of the IUPUI faculty can be a participant in a grant in collaboration with a PI who is an eligible member of the IUPUI faculty.

FUNDING AND PROPOSAL REQUIREMENTS

All grants are intended for support of research and scholarly activity, and not for support of teaching and/or service activities. Scholarship of teaching may be supported under this grant program, if it has strong and clearly articulated research outcomes.

Projects will be limited to one (1) year in duration.

Funds will not be granted for a project currently supported by another internal funding mechanism, unless a case is made in justifying the complementary funding.

An investigator may not serve as PI on more than one IAHI grant proposal in a given round.

Applications will be judged on the merit of the proposed research or creative activity, qualifications of the applicant, significance of the research to the field, the potential for additional external funding, and the project’s importance to the individual’s future research plans. Applications for new projects are encouraged.

CATEGORIES

A. Small Travel Grants for Conferences and Exhibitions: up to $500 to support travel to a conference or exhibition related to a research or creative project.

B. Event Support Grants: up to $1,000 to support a public event at IUPUI related to a research or creative project.

C. Research/Creative Activity Grant: up to $5,000 for travel, equipment, materials, space, hourly assistance, etc. This grant does not require a match. A grant recipient may apply and receive this grant on a yearly basis.

D. Matching Grant for Research/Creative Activity: up to $15,000 which might be used for such things as release time, summer salary, research assistant support, or a research workshop or conference, as well as incidental expenses. This grant requires a 1 to 2 match from the school, department, and/or center sponsoring the faculty (i.e. two thirds or 66.67% of funds come from IAHI, and one third or 33.33% from the faculty’s unit). Salary requests are allowed and cannot exceed one month of salary per person. A Matching Grant recipient is eligible to apply for a new Matching Grant no sooner than two years from the previous grant proposal submission.

E. Collaborative Grant for Research/Creative Activity: up to $30,000 to support research projects and scholarly activities that are conducted by a team of two or more arts and humanities faculty from different units on campus. Funds might be used for such things as release time, summer salary, research assistant support, or a research workshop or conference, as well as incidental expenses. This grant does not require a match from the school, department, and/or center of applying faculty. Funding preference in this category will be given to projects that correspond to one of the following themes: a) Social Justice and the Urban Environment, b) Communication and Exchange in the Digital Age

Click here to learn more or apply for a grant.

 

Five new centers awarded Signature Centers Initiative grants

INDIANAPOLIS — One team of scientists is searching for an innovative repair strategy for human spinal cord and brain injuries. Another is looking for cures for the “wasting away,” imagesexperienced by patients with cancer, congestive heart failure, AIDS and other underlying diseases.

Both are the recipients of a grant from the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis to establish their research centers as viable units whose work will translate into better understanding of disease and the development of better cures and treatments.

The two groups are among five research center teams awarded development funding in Round 8 of the IUPUI Signature Centers initiative Program.

“This is the eighth year that we have been running this internal grant program, and I congratulate the new centers that have been selected for funding,” Kody Varahramyan, IUPUI vice chancellor for research, said.

“The Signature Centers Initiative has become a key cornerstone of the IUPUI research enterprise, playing an important role in enhancing research and scholarly activity, while fostering the development of research centers that are addressing important national and global needs, and contributing to economic and social well-being,” Varahramyan said.

Two of the five centers selected in the latest round have received Category A (three-year) funding:

Center for Spinal Cord and Brain Injury Research, Xiao-Ming Xu, director, IU School of Medicine. Focus: To understand molecular mechanisms underlying traumatic spinal cord and brain injuries and to develop innovative repair strategies that can be translated to clinical treatments of these diseases in a timely and responsive fashion.

Indiana Center for AIDS Research, Samir Gupta, director, IU School of Medicine. Focus: To develop internal infrastructure to facilitate novel collaborations among researchers that will lead to improving access to care for all HIV/AIDS patients; and improving retention in care and adherence to antiretroviral therapy especially for racial and sexual minorities.

The other three centers have received Category B (one-year) funding for planning purposes:

Center for Aerial Unmanned Systems Imaging, Dan Johnson, director, IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI. Focus: non-military applications of unmanned aerial systems (drone) technology such as remote imaging for water quality, mosquito habitat mapping, disaster preparation and precision agriculture; and the utilization and analysis of data collected with unmanned aerial systems.

Institute for Product Lifecycle Innovation, Hazim El-Mounayri, director, Purdue School of Engineering and Technology. Focus: the promotion and management of product lifecycle practice in advanced manufacturing and life science applications in order for American industries to remain competitive in the global market; to serve as a test bed and vehicle for the rapid implementation of advanced product liability tests, digital manufacturing and designing.

Center for Cachexia Research Innovation and Therapy, Teresa Zimmers, director, IU School of Medicine. Focus: U.S. multi-investigator cachexia (involuntary weight loss) research center will support development of interdisciplinary, multi-investigator collaborations through meetings, a research retreat and the development of a regional consortium with Ohio State University; and center will invest in a thematic research program on cardiopulmonary effects in tobacco-associated cancer cachexias.

The IUPUI Signature Centers Initiative fosters the development of centers that are unique to IUPUI and that can lead the way in world-class research and creative activities, and make a difference in the lives of people. The initiative provides each selected center with initial funding for a period of one to three years. The centers are re-evaluated at the end of three years and if approved, receive a five-year designation as an IUPUI Signature Center.

Indiana University researchers awarded grant to study employment behavior of artists

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — With a newly announced grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, two Indiana University researchers will examine key economic issues facing IU Logoartists.

School of Public and Environmental Affairs faculty members Doug Noonan and Joanna Woronkowicz will use data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey and data from crowdfunding websites including Kickstarter and Indiegogo to study these questions:

What was the effect of the Great Recession on the employment of artists and how have they fared during the recovery?
How do crowdfunding campaigns for arts projects differ in their results from similar campaigns for technology and other non-arts projects?

The $15,000 research grant is one of only 19 research projects nationwide funded by the NEA through its Research: Art Works program.

“We want to better understand the role of artists in creating economic value,” Noonan said. “We want to develop data that shows the impact of artists on the economic fabric of society.”

Tracking employment and salary for artists is difficult because of the nature of their work. They have flexibility in schedules, often hold multiple jobs and can be footloose in regard to where they live and work.

“We know a good deal about artists from data taken at a particular moment in time, but this research goes in a new direction,” Woronkowicz said. “By studying how artists work and move across years and during a sustained and challenging economic period, we can get a much broader understanding of how they survive and how, as a society, we can help them thrive.”

Noonan and Woronkowicz will analyze data from the 2003-14 Current Population Surveys as well as data from Kickstarter and Indiegogo from 2009 to 2014.

“We hope to create data sets that other researchers can use to further define the economic contributions of artists,” Noonan said. “They enrich our lives in so many ways, but too little is known about the many ways artists earn a living.”

Noonan is a professor at the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. He is also research director for the IU Public Policy Institute. Woronkowicz is an assistant professor at SPEA at IU Bloomington.

Competition for 2016-17 Core Fulbright Scholar Program

The competition for the 2016-17 Core Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program is now open. The http://www.cies.org/program/core-fulbright-us-scholar-programCore Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program sends approximately 800 American scholars and professionals annually to approximately 130 countries, where they lecture and/or conduct research in a wide variety of academic and professional fields. Visit the CIES website for application details.

Below are a few facts to keep in mind:

Grant lengths vary: applicants can propose projects for a period of two to 12 months, as specified in the award description.
Grant benefits vary but generally include travel and living expenses for the awardee and accompanying dependents.
Open to all U.S. citizens (permanent residents are not eligible)
Application deadline: August 3, 2015

The Catalog of Awards is available at http://catalog.cies.org. You may also join the My Fulbright online community for updates and to access helpful resources for applicants.

For more information, visit the CIES website, and contact the Fulbright representative on your campus:

IU Bloomington: Professor Marissa Moorman moorman@indiana.edu
IU Kokomo: Professor Kathy Parkison kparkiso@iuk.edu
IUPUI: Professor Ian McIntosh imcintos@iupui.edu
IU South Bend: Professor Joseph Chaney jchaney@iusb.edu

Congressional Research Grants Applications Available Now

dclogo_300px_400x400The Dirksen Congressional Center invites applications for grants to fund research on congressional leadership and the U.S. Congress. The Center, named for the late Senate Minority Leader Everett M. Dirksen, is a private, nonpartisan, nonprofit research and educational organization devoted to the study of Congress. Since 1978, the Congressional Research Grants program has invested more than $944,208 to support over 436 projects. Applications are accepted at any time, but the deadline is March 1 for the annual selections, which are announced in April.

The Center has allocated $50,000 in 2015 for grants (an increase of $15,000 over 2014) with individual awards capped at $3,500. Stay tuned for news on the application and selection process.

The competition is open to individuals with a serious interest in studying Congress. Political scientists, historians, biographers, scholars of public administration or American studies, and journalists are among those eligible. The Center encourages graduate students who have successfully defended their dissertation prospectus to apply and awards a significant portion of the funds for dissertation research. Applicants must be U.S. citizens who reside in the United States.

Complete information about what kind of research projects are eligible for consideration, what could a Congressional Research Award pay for, application procedures, and how recipients are selected may be found at The Center’s website.

To Apply: Download the Word document — Congressional Research Grant Application — and complete the required entries. You may send the application as a Word or pdf attachment to an e-mail directed to Frank Mackaman at fmackaman@dirksencenter.org. Please insert the following in the Subject Line: “CRG Application [insert your surname].”

Deadline: All proposals must be received no later than March 1, 2015.

Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor (DRL) Fostering Civil, Political, and Labor Rights in Cuba Applications Now Available

imagesDRL invites organizations to submit SOIs for programs that promote internationally-recognized individual, civil, political, and labor rights – as set forth in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international agreements – in Cuba.

The Cuban government fails to respect freedom of speech and the press, restricts internet access, maintains a monopoly on political power and media outlets, circumscribes academic freedom, and maintains some restrictions on the ability of religious groups to meet and worship. The government refuses to recognize non-governmental human rights groups or permit them to function legally. The government continues to prevent workers from forming independent unions and otherwise exercising their labor rights. Common human rights abuses on the island include those involving the abridgement of the right of citizens to participate in their government, including through periodic and genuine elections, as well as the use of government threats, extrajudicial physical violence, intimidation, organized mobs, harassment, and detentions to prevent free expression and peaceful assembly. In addition, the government continues to engage in or permit the following abuses: short-term, arbitrary unlawful detentions and arrests, harsh prison conditions, selective prosecution, and denial of fair trial. Authorities also interfere with privacy, engaging in pervasive monitoring of private communications without legal authority and with impunity.

Award Amount:
Lower: $500,000 – Upper: $2,000,000
Eligibility:
Organizations may form consortia and submit a combined SOI. However, one organization should be designated as the lead applicant.
Limitation: Two per Indiana University
An organization may submit no more than two applications.
IU Internal Deadline: 1/14/2015
DRL Statement on Interest Deadline: 2/5/2015
To apply for IU Internal competition:  For consideration as an institutional nominee, submit the following documents electronically to limited submission, limsub@iu.edu, by January 14, 2015 for internal coordination. It is highly recommended that you contact Donna Carter at limsub.iu.edu indicating your interest in this program to help expedite the review process.

  1. 1-2 page Statement of Interest (limitation does not include references) that includes:
    • A statement of work or synopsis of the program, including a brief statement on how the project will have a demonstrated impact;
    • A concise breakdown explicitly identifying the project’s objectives and the activities and expected results that contribute to each objective; and,
    • A brief description of the applicant(s) that demonstrates applicant(s) expertise and capacity to implement the program and manage a U.S. government award.
  2.  A letter of support from Chair or Dean
  3. Abbreviated CV for the PI (not to exceed 3 pages)

Limited Submission 

IUPUI applicants must copy Etta Ward, emward@iupui.edu, on submissions.

New Frontiers Exploratory Travel Fellowships Applications Available Now

imagesIndiana University New Frontiers in the Arts and Humanities
Indiana University is pleased to announce the 2014-2015 New Frontiers in the Arts and Humanities seed funding program. The objective of this opportunity is to help Indiana University faculty members by supporting the initial stages of path-breaking and transformative programs of scholarly investigation or creative activity.

Exploratory Travel Fellowship funding up to $3,000 is available to support national and international travel for scholars and researchers pursuing new and innovative research or artistic projects in the arts and humanities. The grants will allow travel to museums, libraries, laboratories, art galleries, and cultural sites; travel and participation in conferences, workshops, symposia, and performances; and visits to collaborators. Exploratory travel fellowships prioritize travel that is a crucial element of new projects which are themselves potentially significant to the larger scholarly or creative community.

Travel to present or support work that is already well advanced is not eligible for support; travel to give short conference presentations of exploratory work, or to participate in conferences that have limited impact in the field have low priority for New Frontiers. Because overall New Frontiers funding is limited, multiple fellowships for the same project are not possible, and funding is not available for projects that have already been supported through other New Frontiers programs. For the same reason, faculty members are limited to one Exploratory Travel Fellowship award every 18 months (calculated from the submission deadline of the most recent award).

Deadline: February 15 (SLA Internal Deadline February 8), 5 pm

Guidelines