Steve Rowson, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Research Areas

  • Biomechanics

Research Interests

My research focuses on investigating the human tolerance to impact loading, with specific interests in brain injury, skull fracture, protective design, and safety evaluation systems.  My primary focus is geared towards investigating the causation and prevention of concussion.

For over the past decade, I have been instrumenting athletes with accelerometer arrays in efforts to collect data that can biomechanically characterize concussions.  From this work, we developed the Virginia Tech Helmet Ratings, which evaluates the ability of helmets to reduce the probability of concussion, and disseminates the results to the public so that consumer can make informed decisions when purchasing helmets. This work has resulted in a paradigm shift in the way consumers purchase helmets, as well as how helmets are designed.

I am currently expanding my concussion research to understudied populations that include children and women.  

Education

  • Virginia Tech: Ph.D., Biomedical Engineering, 2011
  • Virginia Tech: M.S., Biomedical Engineering, 2008
  • Rowan University: B.S., Mechanical Engineering, 2006

Awards, Honors, and Service

  • Advisor: Outstanding M.S. Student, College of Engineering, Virginia Tech, 2017 
  • Outstanding New Assistant Professor, College of Engineering, Virginia Tech, 2016 
  • Editor’s Choice: Most Downloaded Article, Annals of Biomedical Engineering, 2016 
  • Leader in Research: Biomedical Engineering and Mechanics, Virginia Tech, 2015 
  • Leader in Scholarship: Biomedical Engineering and Mechanics, Virginia Tech, 2015 
  • Editor’s Choice: Most Downloaded Article, Annals of Biomedical Engineering, 2014 
  • Editor’s Choice Award of Excellence, Annals of Biomedical Engineering, 2012 
  • Brain Trauma Foundation: Science and Prevention Award, 2011 
  • Top Reviewer, Annals of Biomedical Engineering, 2011

Recent Publications

*Sproule DW and Rowson S, “Comparison of impact performance between youth and varsity football helmets,” Journal of Sports Engineering and Technology, vol. 231(4), pp. 374-380, 2017.

*Bland ML, Zuby DS, Mueller BC, and Rowson S, “Differences in the protective capabilities of bicycle helmets in real-world and standard-specified impact scenarios,” Traffic Injury Prevention, Accepted, 2017.

*Campolettano ET, *Bland ML, *Gellner RA, *Sproule DW, Rowson B, Tyson AM, Duma SM, and Rowson S, “Ranges of injury risks associated with impact from unmanned aircraft systems,” Annals of Biomedical Engineering, vol. 45(12), pp. 2733-2741, 2017.

*Campolettano ET, *Gellner RA, Rowson S, “High magnitude head impact exposure in youth football,” Journal of Neurosurgery: Pediatrics, vol. 20(6), pp. 604-612, 2017.

Cobb BR, Tyson AM, Rowson S, “Head acceleration measurement techniques: reliability of angular rate sensor data in helmeted impact testing,” Journal of Sports Engineering and Technology, Accepted, 2017.

*Sproule DW, *Campolettano ET, and Rowson S, “Football helmet impact standards in relation to on-field impacts,” Journal of Sports Engineering and Technology, vol. 231(4), pp. 317-323, 2017.

Rowson B, *Terrell EJ, and Rowson S, “Quantifying the effect of the facemask on helmet performance,” Journal of Sports Engineering and Technology, Accepted, 2017.

O’Connor KL, Rowson S, Duma SM, and Broglio SP, “Head-impact-measurement devices: a systematic review,” Journal of Athletic Training, vol. 52(3), pp. 206-227, 2017.

*Press JN and Rowson S, “Quantifying head impact exposure in collegiate women’s soccer,” Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine, vol. 27(2), pp. 104-110, 2017.

*Campolettano ET, Rowson S, and Duma SM, “Drill-specific head impact exposure in youth football practice,” Journal of Neurosurgery: Pediatrics, vol. 18(5), pp. 536-541, 2016.

Rowson Steve 1
  • (540) 231-8254
  • rowson@vt.edu
  • 343 Kelly Hall
    325 Stanger St.
    Blacksburg, VA 24061