Imperial Blast research makes an impact
18 February 2011
On 9 December 2010, the newly formed, cross-faculty group called Imperial Blast Biomechanics and Biophysics organised a morning of presentations and discussions for funders and beneficiaries. With the support of military charities and of the UK’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory, Imperial Blast has managed to design, build and house an anti-vehicle, underbelly, blast-injury simulator (AnUBIS), pictured above. It is able to simulate injuries sustained by vehicle occupants by impacting legs of cadavers. Such attacks have been the insurgents’ weapon of choice in the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan. Dr Spyros Masouros (Bioengineering), the senior postdoc leading the engineering focus of Imperial Blast, reports on the event:
“The day commenced with an introduction by the Rector, Sir Keith O’Nions. Following that, Maj Arul Ramasamy (PhD student, Bioengineering) described the poor clinical outcome of injuries associated with blast-related events, based on his experiences in the battlefield and our published work.
Then, PhD student Chiara Bo (Physics) and I presented the clinical, experimental and computational work that was conducted by our group in 2010, and explained how it has been disseminated to the scientific community and to government organisations.
This stimulated discussions with our visitors at Prince’s Gardens that continued during a tour of the Musculoskeletal Mechanics Lab in the Department of Bioengineering. There, Dr Tim Bonner ( Bioengineering), who is also a serving medical officer in the Royal Navy with experience of trauma management from his operational deployments to warzones, such as Iraq, explained some of the work done in the lab, while PhD student Nic Newell (Bioengineering) explained how AnUBIS operates.
The morning ended with a presentation from Professor Anthony Bull (Bioengineering) on the importance of multidisciplinary working at Imperial and how this is being harnessed for military and civilian benefit. The discussions that followed over lunch gave us the feeling that our visitors understood the importance of the scientific findings, the uniqueness of this collaborative grouping, and our ability to conduct the work and disseminate it through multiple channels to make an impact.
Hopefully, this event will be the first of many for Imperial Blast.”