DRDC Research Technologist, Adrienne Sy, conducts research to improve upon working conditions for CAF



Every human is different. Some people have longer torsos, some people have shorter torsos. Things like that affect fit in vehicles. Whether they can reach pedals, whether they can see the mirror, whether they can see through smaller windows in a tank, for example.

So, for this study, what we have is the Canadian Load Effects Assessment Program Course. It’s essentially a course that is designed to simulate things soldiers would do in operational settings. When they’re moving, when they’re going through a tunnel, when they’re going up stairs, ladders, bounds, things like that.

My role is to conduct research and provide evidence-based advice for the Canadian Armed Forces.

The specific study, we look at different body armour. So, the in-service equipment is one of the test conditions. So, in this case, what we do, is we run them through the course and we have simulated shooting, things like that, and after that, we get them to do a march and then get them to do the course again. So, essentially, we try to simulate an entire day of infantry.

So, we make sure that we balance the pros and cons and we look at survivability versus mobility.

As I’ve become more involved with DRDC, as I’ve worked here for longer, what we do is for the military. It is for the Canadian Armed Forces. It’s for the soldiers so that they can operate better, whether at home or abroad. What we want to do is make their job easier.

We’ve collected data on the soldiers so far. And what we’re doing is providing this data to people who will been designing equipment for the military and making sure that during the design, they’re keeping in mind our population size ranges, essentially.

So, we’re not only designing for the majority of men, for example. What we want to make sure, is that we are getting them clothing that will fit them in operation. Because it’s important that they are able to do their job.

So, what we have is actually a profile of what each area, generally, like the population is. In Quebec, for example, we have a smaller population because there is more diverse population out east. In the Navy, we have larger population.

So, there, we wouldn’t send all the smaller sizes where as in Quebec, we might stock up with more smaller sizes. We’ll still have all the medium and larges, be we’re not wasting our money purchasing extra-larges if no one’s ever going to wear them, right?

The best part of my job is the variety of projects I get to work on. Once again, it goes back to being able to see the research that we do directly to application and seeing the impact on the soldiers.

So, I think it’s really great that we get so much work. We’ve got to work with land, Navy and air and it’s a great variety.