Staff of the Protective Clothing and Equipment Research Facility (PCERF) at the University of Alberta have dedicated themselves to the research, product development and new test protocols and equipment in the area of protective, functional and high performance textiles and clothing.
PCERF was officially established in 2002, when new facilities and equipment were acquired which broadened the scope of the research capabilities, especially in the area of thermal protective clothing. However, Human Ecology staff and students have conducted protective clothing research since the early 1980s. This research was initially focused on chemical protective clothing for agricultural and military personnel, as well as thermal protective clothing for workers in the oil and gas sector, firefighting, military and others. Mechanical Engineering staff and students have been important partners at PCERF since the mid-1980s. They have contributed significantly to the development of specialized equipment and testing protocols, especially the instrumented mannequin and flash-fire testing system used to evaluate flame-resistant, thermal protective clothing.