By: Jessie Archambault & Katrice Sutherland

A group of Carleton and Algonquin students with a crash test dummy on a bike. The students teamed up with members of the Collision Investigation Unit of the Ottawa Police Services to take over an experiment on how parts of the body would be damaged in a collision.

Despite the cold morning, students from Algonquin and Carleton conducted a crash test simulation between a dummy and a moving vehicle at the National Research Council of Canada in Vanier on March 25.

First-year students in Algonquin’s mechanical technician toolmaking program and 19 of Carleton’s fourth-year undergraduates in biomedical and mechanical engineering joined members of the Collision Investigation Unit of the Ottawa Police Services to takeover an experiment set up by graduates from the previous year.

“We are hoping to figure out what kind of forces would be applied to different parts of the body to see what kind of injuries they would sustain,” said Bridget Babin, project coordinator for Carleton.

Paramedics and Ottawa Fire Services were present on the scene to provide assistance at the event.

The purpose of this demonstration was to help the collision squad examine and better understand the mechanics of a collision between cyclists and a moving vehicle.

The test will help Ottawa Services develop an idea of how to react efficiently when arriving on scene at a collision.

While Carleton students engineered the testing elements and collected data, Algonquin students were in charge of material construction.

The dummy was structured from a fiftieth percentile of the average male weighing approximately 175 lbs.

The model was based off of the national standard crash test dummy, Thor NT, with a number of design modifications made to the body by students over the past two years.

The dummy was made of steel, aluminum, a ballistic get coating and the students chose to use a life preserver for extra padding.

The test involved a moving vehicle and a bicycle being ridden by a crash test dummy equip with a POV helmet camera and a number of nerve position sensors, propelled by a launching mechanism.

An new feature for this year’s model was the addition of an accelerated self-balancing bike device.

“It’s pretty exciting working with another school like this,” said Matt Guthrie, Algonquin’s project coordinator. “We’re just here to finally see all the parts we worked hard on get smoked by a car.”

Babin recalled the planning for the test.

“We are applying everything we have learned over the past four years. Hopefully the car and the bike actually collide and we’ll get some good readings,” said Babin.

It took four attempts over three hours for the simulation to work properly. At a speed of 25 km/h, the dummy crashed, broke through the front passenger window and left an indent on the side door of the car driven by a trained Ottawa police officer.

“Last year was more about proof of concept. This year we have a lot more information and are very data oriented,” said Guthrie.