Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (MSME)


Mechanical Engineering

Committee Chair

Eric Nauman

Committee Member 1

Tom Talavage

Committee Member 2

Joseph Rispoli


Roughly 1.6 to 3.8 million sports-related head injuries occur that lead to traumatic brain damage every year [1]. In the absence of visible concussive symptoms, previous studies have proven the presence of repetitive impacts that have led to irreparable neurophysiological damage [2]. This study improves on the currently deployed football NOCSAE helmet evaluation framework to better assess the effectiveness of headgear devices in attenuating translational and angular head accelerations over a range of impacts. Data was collected from two tests: one by impacting a headgear strapped to a Hybrid III head-form to map input force to output accelerations and another by a weighed ball drop to quantify energy absorption. Collected Hybrid III test data were processed and fed through a dimensionless equation framework that focused on two influential metrics: Π1 vs. π1 and Π2 vs. π1. Results demonstrated that only 3 out of the 28 headgear-location combinations effectively mitigated Π1, with 5 out of the 28 headgear-locations mitigating Π2. The 2nd Skull performed poorly against Π2 reduction at every location, while the Storelli Exoshield ranked the highest in attenuating both Π1 and Π2. The Guardian cap performed well at impacts administered to the front with effect-sizes greater than unity compared to the Riddell Speed but performed poorly in attenuating Π1 and Π2 across all other locations.