Head impact biomechanics
and head protection


The HEADS Project

The HEADS project, an Innovation Training Network funded under the European Commission’s Marie Sklodowska-Curie Programme, aims to reach a new level of understanding of head injury and how it can be prevented, with applicable results to European industry. The project consists of 13 Individual Research Projects (PhD projects), one for each Early Stage Researcher (ESR), within 3 research topics:

  • Accident reconstruction and simulation,
  • Head model refinement,
  • and helmet certification improvements.
  • Our 6 partners, 3 industry and 3 academic, across 5 countries, are already involved in EU COST Actions and CEN, ASTM and ISO Standards activities in working towards new helmet standards:

  • KU Leuven, Belgium
  • KTH-Stockholm, Sweden
  • University College Dublin, Ireland (Lead Partner)
  • Charles Owen, UK
  • AGV, Italy
  • Lazer Sport, Belgium
  • Professor Michael Gilchrist and Dr Aisling Ni Annaidh co-chaired two symposia at the 8th World Congress of Biomechanics that was held in Dublin from 8th-12th July 2018.




    Keynote Speaker Peter Halldin
    ESR Presentations
    HEADS ESRs at 8th World Congress of Biomechanics

    Keynote Speaker Peter Halldin
    ESR Presentations
    HEADS ESRs at 8th World Congress of Biomechanics


    Michael Gilchrist, PhD, DEng, FIEI, is Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Head of the UCD School of Mechanical & Materials Engineering. He is co-lead PI of the HEADS ITN Project. His research concerns the dynamic mechanical behaviour of non-linear materials, including both biological tissue and polymer materials. This has applications relevant to:

  • impact biomechanics of the human body;
  • forensic biomechanics & engineering;
  • the dynamic response of skin, bone, neural tissue; micro-injection moulding of polymers, and
  • deformation and fracture of fibre reinforced polymer matrix composites.
  • Intellectual property from his research has been licensed to eight separate research groups in Ireland, UK, Belgium, US, Canada and Singapore.

    Dr. Aisling Ní Annaidh is Lecturer of Mechanical Engineering Design in the School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering at UCD and Programme Director of the MEngSc in Engineering Management as well as co-lead investigator on the HEADS ITN project. After graduating with a B.E. in Mechanical Engineering in 2007, Aisling spend time at Rice University where she worked on Computational Fluid Dynamics. After returning to Ireland, she completed a joint PhD (co-tutelle) at UCD and Université Sorbonne (UPMC) in the area of Biomechanics. Upon completing her PhD, Dr. Ní Annaidh worked for a leading multinational medical devices firm. She is currently Principal Investigator of the Tissue Biomechanics group at UCD and her research interests include Tissue Biomechanics, Medical Device Design and Assistive Technologies

    Keynote Speakers

  • 2001. PhD at the Royal Institute of Technology: Prevention and prediction of head and neck injury in traffic accidents - using experimental and numerical methods.
  • 1998. Licentiate in Biomechanics from Dept. of Aeronautics, KTH
  • 1995. M.Sc. in Aeronarutical Engineering, with specialization in Lightweight Structures, from the Department of Aeronautics, KTH
  • Research interests include: Finite element modeling of biological tissues; Injury prevention; Cervical spine injuries; Safety helmets; Impact tests of helmets