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Answering 'Whys' Leads to Improved Safety Gear, Better Life

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Nikhil Gupta (Image credit: NSF)

This ScienceLives article was provided to LiveScience in partnership with the National Science Foundation.

Name: Nikhil Gupta Institution: Polytechnic Institute of New York University Field of Study: Mechanical Engineering

Materials scientist and mechanical engineer Nikhil Gupta conducts research designed to improve the performance of materials used in safety helmets, armor and other protective gear. His experiments in bone breakage revealed that bone fractures differ depending on the speed at which the bone is compressed. Gupta built a special compression machine to conduct the tests. He undertook the research with collaborator Paulo Coelho of New York University. In addition to analyzing bones under stress, Coelho and Gupta study the way protective foams respond to compression. The results of all of this research could ultimately help in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of bone injuries as well as development of improved safety gear for military personnel and athletes. Gupta is an associate professor of mechanical engineering at NYU-Poly, and earned his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Louisiana State University. Below, he answers our 10 questions related to his life and work as a scientist.

Editor's Note: The researchers depicted in ScienceLives articles have been supported by the National Science Foundation, the federal agency charged with funding basic research and education across all fields of science and engineering. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation. See the ScienceLives archive.