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Prof. Christian Franck
September 11, 2023

Faculty Focus: Christian Franck

Written By: Caitlin Scott



Christian Franck is the Bjorn Borgen Professor of Mechanical Engineering and runs the Franck Lab for experimental soft matter and cell mechanics. His research specializes in cellular biomechanics and in the development of new experimental mechanics techniques at the micro and nanoscale. Franck is also the director and cellular traumatic brain injury lead of the PANTHER program.

View Prof. Franck’s faculty research video feature >>

Mechanical Engineering Research – Christian Franck


What one project are you most excited about working on right now?

One of the projects I am most excited about is our work toward a complete resolution of the first, physics-based cellular injury risk curve for traumatic brain injuries. That is, a curve that, with actual numbers, will, for the first time tell when someone’s brain gets injured and how. This is something that the whole brain biomechanics and brain safety communities have been waiting on, and I’m so excited to finally deliver it soon with the work we do here at UW. 

What do you think the impact will be on tech and society?

I believe the impact of having a clear and objective measure on when the brain becomes injured will be very significant, as it will provide the foundation for next generation, advanced brain injury detection systems, and it will form the basis on which to provide truly brain-protective personal equipment on from bicycle to military helmets. Through our work with the Panther program we will be ready to push the results of this cutting edge science to our citizens, consumers and our military within a very short time, which should be a big game changer, as it will mark the first design cycle of helmets to truly protect against brain injury and not just skull fracture.