RAPID CITY, S.D. (Jan. 22, 2014) – South Dakota School of
Mines & Technology alumnus Jarid Shawd has led a team of engineers to produce
a mannequin robot and high-containment chamber to test protective clothing with
chemical warfare agents for the U.S. Department of Defense. For the first time,
the military can conduct high-quality and reproducible tests of protective
equipment without using a human subject.
Shawd is a 2000 mechanical engineering graduate from the
School of Mines. He joined Kansas City-based MRIGlobal in 2010 and has worked
closely with subcontractor Management Technology Northwest to integrate efforts
on mannequin-surface-system design, fabrication and testing.
The program, called the Individual Protection Ensemble
Mannequin System (IPEMS), was awarded in November 2008 to MRIGlobal, which
assembled a team of experts from across the country.
According to the Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical
and Biological Defense, the program is designed to provide data on the
effectiveness of the protective equipment when exposed to dangerous chemicals. Mimicking
human movements and physical responses, the mannequin allows for safe testing
of the Individual Protective Ensembles (IPE) with chemical warfare agents.
protective gear is tested using human subjects who perform defined activities
in an environment with non-toxic chemical simulants that mimic behavior of
chemical warfare agents.
the IPEMS project is fully completed, the military will be able to test a
soldier’s IPE on an advanced robotic mannequin with a full range of motion,
capable of simulating human movement while exposed to various chemical warfare
agents. The tests will occur in a variety of environmental conditions, be fully
reproducible and provide a near real-time indication (alarm) of chemical
intrusion into the IPE.
Individual Protection Ensemble Mannequin System now resides at the Army’s Dugway
Proving Ground, outside of Salt Lake City, Utah.
Founded in 1885, the South Dakota School of Mines &
Technology is a science and engineering research university located in Rapid
City, S.D., offering bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. The university
enrolls 2,640 students from 45 states and 37 countries, with a
student-to-faculty ratio of 14:1. The average starting salary for graduates is
$62,400 with a 98 percent placement rate. Find us online at www.sdsmt.edu, on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/sdsmt and on
Twitter at https://twitter.com/sdsmt.
MRIGlobal is an independent, not-for-profit organization
that performs contract research for government and industry. Founded in 1944,
MRIGlobal has built a reputation for innovation, technical excellence and
problem solving. Today, as one of the nation’s leading research
institutes, MRIGlobal conducts programs in the areas of national security and
defense, life sciences, energy and the environment, agriculture and food safety
and engineering and infrastructure. With headquarters in Kansas City, MRIGlobal
also has facilities in Rockville and Frederick, Maryland, and Palm Bay, Florida. In
addition to operating its own laboratories, MRIGlobal operates laboratories for
the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Department of Defense.