It doesn't take long talking with Roy Burek, grandson of the founder of Charles Owen, before the conversation steers into the science of head injury and the wonders to be found beneath the skull.
His passion has led him to be a supervisor for the HEADS ITN, a current Horizon 2020 European €3.4 million project* researching the future of sports helmet standards. Through his involvement with this project, he is in regular communication with top universities both in Europe and North America.
Charles Owen was chosen as one of only five first-round winners by the NFL** to develop a new material to absorb the energies involved in concussions. With Burek's extensive network, connections with Cardiff and Cambridge were established to develop a metamaterial, a material engineered to have a property that is not found in nature.
"This was an opportunity to go back to the fundamentals. Using the science of Origami, we can use theoretical mathematics to understand how to tune metamaterials to be superior. Then perfectly matching the needs of the brain to the complex geometry requires many hours of supercomputing and a deep understanding of the fast-moving science of neurotrauma," Burek commented.
"Cardiff University is recognised as a top engineering and supercomputing centre with access to the European leading brain imaging centre, CUBRIC and wide experience of additive manufacture that is necessary to create the final complex geometry in an ovaloid."
Professor Hywel Thomas***, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research, Innovation and Engagement at Cardiff University, welcomes Roy Burek as he accepts the position of Honorary Visiting Professor at the School of Engineering and joins the recently formed Concussion & TBI Prevention research group.
"It is an honour that you can only dream of and was totally unexpected," commented Prof Burek. He joins his older sister as the second Professor in the family, who currently holds the position of Professor in Geoconservation at Chester University.
About Charles Owen
Known throughout the world as the leader in equestrian helmet design, Charles Owen represents more than 100 years of innovation and style for a safer world. Each Charles Owen helmet is handcrafted using the highest quality materials. With the largest range of helmet styles and shapes, independently certified to up to four international equestrian safety standards, Charles Owen offers a wider range of protection in a potential accident. For further information, please visit: www.charlesowen.co.uk.