Philadelphia University received an additional $1,277,000 research grant from the U.S. Army’s University Research Initiative for the University’s pioneering work focused on developing a new generation of chemically protective clothing for the modern soldier.
With this latest grant, the Laboratory for Engineered Human Protection (LEHP) has now received funds to conduct research in excess of $7 million and represents the largest research program in the University’s 125-year history.
Working with the Natick Soldier Center in Natick, Ma., LEHP has become a hub for the development, coordination and integration of complex systems involving research and development of materials and also acts as a catalyst for the transfer of technology to apparel-manufacturing companies.
“This funding ensures Philadelphia University’s researchers and graduate students will remain committed to developing the latest and most sophisticated garments for U.S. military personnel,” said David Brookstein, dean of the School of Engineering and Textiles and principal investigator of the program.
Day-to-day management of the program is handled by Stephen Hirsch, research professor and executive director of LEHP, and Steven Frumkin, associate professor of Textile Management and Marketing. Faculty from the Schools of Engineering and Textiles, Business Administration and Science and Health have also worked on the project over the past five years. These faculty include Janet Brady, associate professor of Textile Technology; Herb Barndt, associate professor of Textile Engineering; Les Sztandera, professor of Computer Information Systems; and John Pierce, associate professor of Psychology. Assisting the faculty are two full-time technical associates, Kristen Hultzapple ’07 and Sara Beth Kane ’06.
One of LEHP’s early research successes has been the development of an artificial neural network model used to investigate the relationship of the many parameters that govern the prediction of comfort.
At the state-of-the-art laboratory based at the Philadelphia University Research Center in Manayunk, researchers use specially designed equipment such as the Sweating Manikin and an environmental chamber to develop and test the technologically advanced materials.
LEHP is a key element in the University’s strategic plan to elevate applied research and provides the nation research services associated with our textile legacy.