High G Energy Absorbing Seat Mechanism for Vertical Loading Conditions


The development of crashworthy seating is a continual area of interest for industry as manufactures look for more effective ways to limit occupant injury during emergency landing conditions. With this in mind, researchers at Wichita State University have developed a novel seat mechanism which provides for a cost effective means of minimizing occupant lumbar load due to high vertical load conditions. The system consists of a load limiting retractor and shear pin configuration which provides for an attenuation system that can be easily configured to accommodate varying loads. Additionally, a mathematical model has been developed alongside the mechanical system which allows for precise design and customization of the seating mechanism depending upon the stated needs of the aircraft or military vehicles in which it will be utilized.


  • Cost effective
  • Customizable
  • Requires no more than 4 in. of travel and could be significantly less depending on the size of the occupant
  • Proven to reduce the lumbar load well below the 1500 lbs. requirement * Easily and effectively sized in order to meet varied weight demands (from 5th to 95th percentile)


  • Aerospace industry
  • Ground-based military vehicles that are subject to high vertical deceleration loads.


  • Available for license/purchase and patent-pending
  • Potential for ongoing collaboration with inventor Dr. Gerardo Olivares

  • Gerardo Olivares

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Rob Gerlach
Director of Technology Transfer