Sports Engineering Seminar Day
On Wednesday 29th March 2017, Manchester Metropolitan University held a sports engineering seminar day. The ISEA, MMU School of Engineering and the IET sponsored the event. Our aim of the day was to promote sports engineering in an academic environment, raise awareness of the subject and disseminate the work being conducted in this field of research.
The day started with a tour of the university facilities including the Manchester Fashion Institute, Engineering Workshop and the Movement Lab. Following a networking lunch, which included posters and equipment being displayed, a series of themed sessions of presentations were held. The four key themes were ‘equipment mechanics’, ‘healthcare and injury prevention’, ‘biomechanics’ and ‘sports apparel’. We had speakers from industry including Evotech CAE Ltd, Ansys, Cantebury and our keynote speaker Paul Barratt from the Great Britain Cycling Team/English Institute of Sport. We also had talks from leading academics such as Carl Payton, Matt Carré and Steph Forrester as well as PhD students from Manchester Metropolitan University, Loughborough, Sheffield Hallam and Griffith University. Each presenter gave a short overview of the path taken to becoming involved in the sports engineering sector followed by information on current research/projects being conducted.
Eighty-four people joined us for the day, plus some late arrivals, making approximately one hundred attendees from MMU (20), Sheffield Hallam (15), Strathclyde (12), Loughborough (10), as well as Salford, Anglia Ruskin, Leeds and even a student from a college still picking her university degree. There were prizes awarded for best student presentation (sponsored by ANSYS), best poster (sponsored by Mitre), three student engagement awards and a best tweet (sponsored by the IET). We had banners and flyers promoting the ISEA. Jonathan Shepherd also gave a short presentation promoting the next ISEA conference.
After the event, we asked for feedback, all of which was very positive. We asked whether they enjoyed their day as well as whether they would attend an event like this again along with specific things they enjoyed/would improve. The diversity of speakers was received positively and the timing and organisation was praised. Some key quotes include:
“It was interesting to see what kind of projects people already in the Sports Engineering field are working on. It has broadened my knowledge of possible routes to take from uni.”
“Was really interesting to find out about the different disciplines within Sports Eng. Studying MEng Sports Engineering as undergrad we focus more on product design engineering and development and biomechanics is taught from another faculty. It was good to hear how it all fitted together in industry.”
“Opportunity to mix with so many interested sports engineers and listen to so many experts presenting their research.”
We hope this event could be the start of an annual UK based sports engineering day where everybody can get together, share research and inspire the next generation. Through collaborating on research and projects, we can potentially build a UK Sports Engineering hub of excellence. If the event was held at different institutes each time, on a rotational basis, we think this would ensure a range of facilities available in the UK are showcased, encourage different people to attend and have a mix of industry partners presenting.
Lastly we would like to thank the ISEA for sponsoring the event, the funding allowed us to advertise efficiently as well as provide catering on the day which was very well received.