NRCF with the June Gray Charitable Trust is funding the building of a skin/skull/brain model that will measure impact forces to the head and brain injury mechanism. There are increasing reports linking mild traumatic brain injuries to early onset dementia. Often these minor traumatic injuries have no clinical symptoms and are difficult to diagnose, hence no minimum thresholds have been established. 
Animal heads are quite different from a human head leading to the requirement for an accurate model that can be subjected to range of impact forces to the head and brain where the degradation of energy transfer through the skin/skull/brain can be measured. This project will build the physical model.
The knowledge from this study will be translational to fall injuries, the design of industrial PPE and the detection of physical abuse.
The research is being led by two Otago University Professors, Assoc Prof Neil Waddell Department of Oral Rehabilitation and Professor Darryl Tong a specialist in Oral and Maxillofacial surgery. Prof Tong is a Lt Colonel in the NZ Army Reserves and has extensive experience repairing military and ballistic trauma from war injuries in Afghanistan.  
It is hoped that the research will provide global collaboration opportunities as it is a novel but globally relevant topic. 
From Roger Gower