SOUTH BEND -- University of Notre Dame professor of aerospace and
mechanical engineering Timothy Ovaert has been named recipient of the
1st Source Commercialization Award celebrating research that has made
it to the marketplace.
The award, which carries a $20,000 cash prize, was presented recently
at an awards dinner on campus.
Ovaert was honored for his impact-reducing flooring system,
SorbaSHOCK. SorbaSHOCK is a specially engineered flooring system with
specific biomechanical impact-reducing properties that can be
installed directly on a concrete subfloor to form a coherent
SorbaSHOCK is designed to be used under flexible sheet vinyl flooring or carpet.
Unlike padded mats, SorbaSHOCK is designed to remain rigid during
normal walking conditions, but to collapse from the impact of a fall,
absorbing the critical energy that causes serious fractures and pain.
Laboratory testing indicates that the use of SorbaSHOCK reduces the
probability of serious injury (such as a broken hip) from falling by
about 68 percent.
However, a recent review of data collected from one of the
managed-care facilities that installed SorbaSHOCK last year showed
that 92 falls, over a nine-month period, resulted in zero fractures.
Statistically, 92 falls would normally result in three fractures.
Established in 2010 with a $1 million gift from 1st Source Bank, the
award is presented each year to faculty from Notre Dame or the Indiana
University School of Medicine-South Bend who have successfully
transitioned their technology from the laboratory to the marketplace.