Ara Nazarian is a Biomedical Scientist in the Boston area. His training is in mechanical and biomedical engineering. Ken Rodriguez, known as KROD, is an Orthopedic surgeon and engineer who specializes in trauma at the same institution in Boston. Both passionate skiers came up with an idea to utilize Nitinol to create a pair of “shape-shifting” skis or snowboard. Their final design keeps the same shape of the ski but changes the material properties and stiffness to go from a standard ski/snowboard configuration to a “stiffer one” as needed. As it turned out, they used their experience with Nitinol from their medical research projects to create this new advanced snow sports technology and build a prototype.
“Ken and I had thought about Nitinol for some of our biomedical projects, and one day we asked ourselves, why can’t we use it in skis to allow us to control the stiffness of our skis? Being east coast skiers, where we can ski on ice and mashed potato snow all in one day and on the same mountain, we figured we’d consolidate a quiver into a single pair of skis that could handle different conditions by making the skis softer or stiffer as dictated by the conditions. And as they say, the rest is history, and Verispellis was born. The idea was conceived on Mount Sunapee in NH, where many bouts of ambient, snow and ski temperatures were recorded over different weather conditions. Verispellis was born in Boston, first in our computers, where we designed and simulated skiing on different types of snow at different skiing conditions (carving at different angles) using finite element (FE) modeling, followed by building our first fully skiable prototype.” – Dr. Ara Nazarian and Dr. Ken Rodriguez