FRANCESCA D’ANDREA

Presenting at the 14th biennial Footwear Biomechanics Symposium 2019

The ISEA Student Engagement Award helped me to present at the 14th biennial Footwear Biomechanics Symposium 2019, which was held in Kananaskis, Canada, on July 28th – July 30th, by partially funding the trip.

This was my first experience at an international conference, where I had the opportunity to deliver a presentation of my first PhD study results. This work allowed me to identify a measurement system to estimate three dimensional ground reaction forces in the field, based on inertial measurement units. The validation results showed an improvement in the ground reaction force estimation compared to current methods, particularly in the horizontal direction. This approach allows the evaluation of shoe-surface interaction on different surfaces at a wide-range of venues; thus, it will be used to undertake the next studies of my PhD, which aims to understand the effects of hybrid football surfaces on player movement and performance.

During the three days of conference, there were many interesting presentations on different topics related to footwear science, such as traction, performance, musculoskeletal loading and injury, comfort, perception, alternative and minimal footwear. In addition to academics from all over the world, the conference had also a large industry presence, with scientists and representatives from many of the top footwear companies, as well as some smaller and emerging ones, representing a great stage to learn more about both academic and industrial research in the footwear biomechanics area. Aside from the academic discussions and presentations, multiple social activities throughout the course of the conference were organised in the amazing environment of the Rocky Mountains, such as a hike, which also featured a bear and some deer.

To conclude, I would like to thank the ISEA for helping me to attend this conference, since presenting and sharing my research with a highly relevant audience was a great experience, which helped my growth as a researcher, and it also represented an amazing opportunity to network and engage with other researcher and footwear companies representatives.