University of Southern Mississippi doctoral students Dave Krzeminski and Nadine Lippa have been awarded an international research fellowship and currently are collaborating with researchers in Australia.
Krzeminski of Grandville, Mich., and Lippa, of Bergen, N.Y., are conducting research at universities in Australia from January – May 2015. They are two of the 235 selected recipients from more than 4,000 applicants around the world. Only 15 Americans were selected for the Endeavour Research Fellowship program, an international, merit-based scholarship provided by the Australian government.
“We independently submitted proposals in June 2014 and found out on November 4 that we both received awards,” said Krzeminski. “What an incredible honor.”
Krzeminski is collaborating with Dr. Franz Fuss, professor in the School of Aerospace, Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT). Krzeminski and Fuss are looking into developing an affordable sensor technology that could fit into sports helmets to monitor impacts.
At Southern Miss, Krzeminski's research focus is sports helmets, specifically on impact biomechanics and the materials comprising the helmet's outer shell. Krzeminski is co-advised by Dr. Scott Piland, associate professor in the School of Human Performance and Recreation (HPR), and Dr. James Rawlins, associate professor in the School of Polymers and High Performance Materials.
“The challenges in sports engineering span across borders, so a global perspective is needed to solve these challenges,” said Krzeminski. “The RMIT sports lab alone has students from across Australia, Singapore, Israel, Iran, and Austria. We all have a passion for sports engineering and all bring a different approach.”
Lippa is working at Deakin University, Geelong Waurn Ponds campus with Dr. Paul Collins in the School of Engineering and Dr. Jason Bonacci in the School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences. Lippa is co-advised by Rawlins and Dr. Trent Gould, associate dean of the College of Health and HPR professor.
“The research project is a capstone to my doctoral research. We are studying human runners' biomechanics and will also look at ‘new' and 'old' shoes using an accelerated aging technique that I developed at Southern Miss,” said Lippa. “We want to quantify how shoes affect how people run, if running style changes after shoes degrade, and exactly what shoe degradation looks like, from a material standpoint.”
Krzeminski and Lippa hope to build and strengthen the relationships between the Australian universities and Southern Miss. Dr. Jeffery Wiggins, director of the School of Polymers and High Performance Materials, currently collaborates with Dr. Bronwyn Fox of Carbon Nexus, Deakin University's carbon fiber research center. The students expanded the existing collaboration by presenting their Southern Miss doctoral work at the Carbon Fibre Future Directions conference hosted by Deakin University last month in Geelong, Australia.
Krzeminski and Lippa expressed gratitude to their Southern Miss advisers -- Gould, Piland and Rawlins. They said the Southern Miss advisers' guidance and support prepared them for a productive and rewarding international research experience.