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Loss of John Currier

It is with great sadness that we share the news that our colleague and friend John H. Currier ’79 Th’81, a longtime research engineer at Thayer, passed away early Monday after a battle with cancer.

For all of us who knew him, John was more than a colleague — he was a beloved friend. Throughout his decades-long career at Thayer, John’s warmth, compassion, and generosity touched many lives, including the hundreds of engineering students he advised and mentored.

To the broader world, John was known for his role in pioneering the Mobile Virtual Player (MVP), the revolutionary robotic tackling dummy that has made football practices safer for athletes. During the fall of 2013, Currier served as an advisor to the ENGS 89/90 student team that developed the first MVP prototype, and in 2016, he co-founded the company now known as MVP Robotics along with his former classmate and Dartmouth Football Coach Buddy Teevens ’79 and two former engineering students. The MVP, memorably featured on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, is now used widely by teams across the NFL, college football, youth leagues, and in the military.

John was a devoted member of the Dartmouth community for more than 40 years, starting from his time as a student studying ice properties under the guidance of Professor Erland Schulson. He earned his AB in engineering sciences from Dartmouth in 1979 and his BE and MS in engineering from Thayer in 1981. After graduation, he worked for 12 years in research and project planning for a petroleum company in Texas and Alaska,​​ using the expertise he developed in his Master’s research, before returning to Dartmouth in 1995 to work for the Dartmouth Biomedical Engineering Center for Orthopaedics.

At Dartmouth, John contributed to the study of polyethylene bearings in hip and knee prostheses, investigating wear and damage in knee bearings, the shelf and in vivo oxidation processes in ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene components, and the performance of ceramic hip bearings. It is an understatement to say that John’s laboratory work has helped improve the lives of millions of artificial joint patients.

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