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The Dartmouth
June 20, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

Thayer research engineer John Currier ’79 Th’81 dies at 64

Currier died Monday “after a battle with cancer,” Thayer School of Engineering Dean Alexis Abramson announced in an email.

Thayer floater Kate Herrington
Currier pioneered research on the Mobile Virtual Player robotic tackling dummy and on various types of artificial joints.

Thayer School of Engineering research engineer John Currier ’79 Th’81 died on Monday, College President Phil Hanlon announced in an email to the community on Tuesday evening. He was 64, according to an article about him on Thayer’s website. 

The email included a tribute from Thayer Dean Alexis Abramson sent to the Thayer community earlier in the afternoon. In it, Abramson wrote that Currier passed away early on Monday “after a battle with cancer.” 

Currier was associated with the College for more than 40 years, including his time as a student — he earned his AB from Dartmouth in engineering sciences in 1979 and BE and MS in engineering from Thayer in 1981. 

He is survived by his wife, Thayer research engineer Barbara Currier, as well as his children, Zachary Currier Th’12 and Katie Currier, Abramson wrote. 

Among his accomplishments, Currier pioneered the Mobile Virtual Player, a revolutionary robotic tackling dummy that made practice safer for football players; after the invention, Currier co-founded the company “MVP Robotics” in 2016 with Dartmouth football coach and former classmate Buddy Teevens ’79. The MVP is now widely used by the NFL, college football, youth leagues and the military, Abramson wrote. 

Additionally, Currier contributed to research on a number of different types of artificial joints, including “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,” according to Abramson’s tribute. 

“It is an understatement to say that John’s laboratory work has helped improve the lives of millions of artificial joint patients,” Abramson wrote.

For students, counseling services are available at (603) 646-9442 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and at (603) 646-9440 outside of regular hours. The Student Wellness Center and Undergraduate Deans Office remain available resources for undergraduate students. 

Abramson wrote that faculty and staff can contact the Faculty/Employee Assistance Program at (844) 216-8308.

This article will be updated as more details become available, and a full obituary will be published in the near future. If you would like to share a memory, please contact