In The News

CBC: At Three Little Pigs Lab, Western researchers break buildings to save them from hurricanes

September 13, 2017

How do you beat a hurricane? You could start by creating one of your own. As Hurricane Irma lashes the northern Caribbean with 295 km/h winds, a group of Western University engineers are replicating high-wind conditions to learn how to build structures that can withstand the worst windstorms. The research happens at what's officially called the Insurance Research Lab for Better Homes. Those who work there call it the Three Little Pigs research lab (think Big Bad Wolf). A tall steel building placed among the aircraft hangars near London's airport, the research facility is big enough to accommodate a typical two-storey building. To recreate hurricane-force winds in the lab, the researchers use a complicated system of fans that simulate the same suction forces that can peel roofs off buildings during severe storms. Read the full article here.

The Spectator: Collision Course: A report on concussions and football

September 7, 2017

Football can be a dangerous, brutal sport. It’s particularly bad for brains. So far, most of the supporting evidence for that has come from studying the brains of dead players. Today, we’re going to change that. For more than two years, The Spectator has been involved in a unique collaboration with a team of McMaster University researchers. We’ve been conducting sophisticated brain scanning experiments on nearly two dozen retired CFL football players to measure the long-term impacts of concussions and repeated hits to the head. We believe this is the first study anywhere to report findings from living former football players using such a wide array of tests. The results are “shocking,” one of our experts said. Read the full article, and the four-part series here.