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John Paul Stapp Award

June 28, 2019

John Paul Stapp Award

This award was established and sponsored by Environmental Tectonics Corporation to honor Col. John Paul Stapp, USAF (Ret.). The award is given annually to recognize outstanding contributions in the field of aerospace biomechanics and to promote progress in protection from injury resulting from ejection, vibration, or impact.

Barry Shender (center), accepts the Stapp award from Bob Laurent (left), representing ETC, and AsMA President Roland Vermeiren (right).
   Barry Shender, Ph.D., received the 2019 John Paul Stapp Award for his 30+ years of experience primarily in developing requirements and protective means for humans in the extreme environments of sustained acceleration, thermal stress, pilot ejection, and aircraft impact, including the assessment of spinal injury risk and severity. His development of comprehensive math models and spine and neck injury criteria have helped predict and mitigate pilot injuries during aircraft operations. During his years with the Navy, he has established himself as an internationally recognized expert in maneuvering acceleration, hypoxia, thermal stress, neck and spinal injury, gender biodynamic differences, and the development of computational models of the neck and spine. He helped establish the Gender Neutral Dynamic Strength Requirements for High Performance Aircraft and conducted dynamic flight simulator research that demonstrated that small stature females had the capability to withstand repeated exposures to +Gz stress. He also led research to develop a parametric probabilistic injury prediction ligamentous model of the human head and spine.
   Dr. Shender earned a B.A. in biology at Temple University in Philadelphia in 1977 and then attended a 1-year MBA program there. In 1985, he graduated from Drexel University in Philadelphia with an M.S. in Biomedical Engineering and then earned his Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering, also from Drexel University, in 1988. He began his career in 1983 as a Research Assistant at Drexel University. In 1987, he joined the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division in Patuxent River, M.D., to serve in his current position as Senior Research and Development Lead for Digital Human Modeling at the Human Systems Department. From 1989–1996, he was also Electrical and Computer Engineering Liaison at Drexel. He has been an Adjunct Professor at Drexel and the Florida Institute of Technology in Patuxent River and is currently an Adjunct Professor at the University of Maryland University College in Adelphi. He is the author or co-author on over 60 papers and over 150 conference presentations and holds two patents.
   Dr. Shender served on the Executive Committee of the 12th Annual International IEEE/EMBS Conference in 1990, was Technical Chair at the SAFE Association Symposium from 2012–2016, is an Honorary Life Member of the SAFE Association, and a Fellow of the Aerospace Medical Association (AsMA). His numerous awards and honors include the Laura S. Campbell Award for Excellence in Teaching from Drexel, the Life Sciences and Biomedical Engineering Branch’s (LSBEB’s) Professional Excellence Award, SAFE Association’s Award for Team Achievement for the Aircrew Integrated Life Support System Program, LSBEB’s Research and Development Innovation Award, the Excellence in Federal Career Outstanding Technical, Scientific Professional (Non-Supervisory) Bronze Award, and the SAFE Association’s President’s Award. AsMA has awarded him the Eric Liljencrantz and Sidney D. Leverett, Jr., Environmental Science Awards. He is the only person in living memory to serve as Chair of the Scientific Program Committee twice. He was also chair of the Science and Technology Committee and managed the Science and Technology Watch column for the AsMA journal for many years.