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Shawn Liu

SFU Student Undergraduate
Applied Sciences › Mechatronic Systems Engineering
Work-Study, Local Co-op
Position Title

My experience with the head-injury prevention lab at SFU this summer was truly amazing. I was able to learn so much about helmet technologies and high-impact mechanics thanks to this Co-op experience. The Head Injury Prevention Lab, known as the HIP lab, is a dedicated group of researchers at the Surrey campus investigating and making impact-diverting helmet technologies.

According to current research, we still don't know the main cause of concussion, but what we do know is that concussive injuries is often correlated to high rotational impact on the head. The lab develops a membrane that ruptures when impacted to reduce such rotational impact. 

As a tester in the lab, my role was to test and verify the performance of the membrane. Throughout this Co-op, I learned how each helmet standards, such as the NOCSAE for football helmet and CEN for bicycle helmet, was being conducted using a test rig, as well as learning the characteristics and features of different helmet technologies.

The skills I have gained from this Co-op include research, test rig operation, data analysis, helmet evaluation, optimization of impact areas, damage assessment, and attention to details.  I would highly encouraged students to try out research coops if they are not successful in securing their first coop in industry, and to anyone who wants to get some research experiences as an undergrad in university. 

I would like to thank Dr. Abram for this wonderful Co-op experience as well as the Masters student in the lab, Adrian Wikarna, for being a helpful mentor.