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Injury Biomechanics & Protection Student

The US Army Aeromedical Research Laboratory (USAARL), located at Fort Rucker, Alabama, is a nationally recognized laboratory for research into safety, survival, impact tolerance, sustainability and performance effectiveness of aviators and Soldiers. The USAARL’s research focuses on blunt, blast and accelerative injury and protection; crew survival in military helicopters and combat vehicles; the en route care environment; human operator health and performance in complex systems and sensory performance, injury and protection. Current USAARL work for the Army’s modernization priorities includes research in the areas of future vertical lift, the next generation combat vehicle and directed-energy weapons. The Laboratory’s highly skilled workforce consists of rated aviators, medical professionals, doctoral- and masters-level researchers, and research technicians. For more information, please visit:

Participants will assist researchers with various aspects of approved research protocols and test plans to include, but not limited to, writing literature reviews, protocols, and test plans; conducting research protocols and test plans; collecting data; analyzing data; writing and publishing manuscripts; and preparing and presenting poster and oral presentations locally and at scientific meetings. Participants will learn about and use novel instrumentation and data acquisition techniques. Participants will share and communicate lessons learned and knowledge gained with research team colleagues and students. Participants will undergo a background investigation and must obtain a favorable clearance in order to participate.

Current research projects on Soldier injury mechanisms, human tolerance levels, injury-risk mitigation technologies, and health hazards present in the full spectrum of Army operational and training environments include: characterizing spine biomechanical and whole-body physiologic responses that Soldiers experience during the dynamic vehicle exposures from different land- and air-based military vehicles; digitizing data generated by the Naval Biodynamics Laboratory to preserve it, make the data available for the research community, and to conduct research on the understanding of neurological insult related to non-contact impact acceleration; identifying injury tolerance and dynamic biofidelity for the human skull, as well as developing injury criteria and performance assessment methods for use in medically based standards for future helmet systems; investigating the tolerance of the constrained human mandible to blunt impact; providing medical, injury biomechanics, and human and aviation safety analysis of protective equipment.

Appointment Length
An ORISE appointment period can be a summer (10-12 weeks) or yearlong appointment.

Appointments may be extended depending on funding availability, project assignment, program rules, and availability of the participant.

Participant Benefits
Participants will receive a stipend to be determined by USAARL. Stipends are typically based on the participant’s academic standing, discipline, experience, and research facility location. Other benefits may include the following:
  • Health Insurance Supplement. Participants are eligible to purchase health insurance through ORISE.
  • Training and Travel Allowance

Nature of Appointment
The participant will not enter into an employee/employer relationship with ORISE, ORAU, DOD, or any other office or agency. Instead, the participant will be affiliated with ORISE for the administration of the appointment through the ORISE appointment letter and Terms of Appointment.

While participants will not enter into an employment relationship with DOD or any other agency, this opportunity will require a suitability investigation/background investigation. Any offer made is considered tentative pending favorable outcome of the investigation.

Graduate or Undergraduate Students in the following disciplines: Aerospace Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, Material Engineering, Textile/Polymer Engineering, Industrial/Systems Engineering, Computer Science, Biostatistics, Applied Mathematics, Statistics, Kinesiology, Radiology, Pathology, Neurohistopathology, Neurology, Histology, Anatomy and Physiology, Epidemiology, and others.

Full-time or Part-time for up to 12 months
  • Students should provide evidence of research experience and/or intent to pursue a research-based academic program and/or career.