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.

MATTEO MARANI

Development of test methods for palm impact of wrist protectors at MMU

The ISEA Student Engagement Award was used in order to help me subside my MD thesis, titled “Development of test methods for palm impact of wrist protectors” which was developed through a collaboration between the Manchester Metropolitan University and University of Padova. The award helped me cover the living costs and accommodation during my work at MMU and the costs of instrumentation and materials.

This experience was very important both for my personal and professional improvement, and for the results that were achieved.

The collaboration between my university and MMU gave me the chance to come to live in Manchester for a few months, visit the city, meet new people, experience a different lifestyle and taste new food.
During my work I was able to develop new skills: I learned how to use the instrumentation that was needed for the test, I learned how to use new softwares, and to improve my teamwork skills and my communication skills. Most importantly it gave me the opportunity to start a new collaboration between the two universities and to see how teams from different universities and countries work to develop their projects.

The aim of this project was to help the team of sports engineering at MMU to develop new tests and methods to assess the quality of wrist protectors for snowboarding. To do that I worked at MMU to test and compare different impact surfaces, I worked to develop new instrumentation to help measure the pressure distribution over the impact surface and finally, at UNIPD, I developed a new palm surrogate with a biofidelic surface and material.

In order to create the new surrogate, we first tested the hardness of human hands with a durometer and scanned them with a 3D scanner, then we 3D printed the molds and the rigid parts of the surrogate with a 3D printer, the soft parts of the surrogate were made out of a silicone rubber.

Before testing we built a new drop rig (Figure 1), it was instrumented with a load cell, an accelerometer and an high-speed camera.

We tested two different surrogate designs (Figures 2 – 3) both with and without a wrist protector, the results from the test were consistent and quite promising, especially for one of the two designs.

Future work should focus on more tests on the surrogates we developed and to compare the results with low energy in-vivo impact test in order to validate or improve the surrogates. These new surrogates should also be integrated with the new instrumentation that we were developing at MMU in order to have more precise results.

FLORIAN KLODZINSKI

An assessment of the knee and the ankle instability when running on uneven surfaces

First of all, as a french student doing an internship in Australia, the funds were directly used as a support help for the flight tickets.

Due to the unknown movements of the ankle and the knee when a person is running on uneven surface like soft and hard sand which cause injuries during beach sport in Australia. This project has the objective to propose some hypotheses and an assessment of the dynamism of ankle and knee.
By sand stiffness study, we were expected to know better the mechanical characteristics of sand and then could explain difference of movement of ankle and knee. At least, we know that hard sand’s stiffness is sixteen times higher than on soft sand. This difference is mainly due to the fact that soft sand is an uncompacted surface.

Then the assessment of dynamism of the ankle and the knee lead to the first conclusion that on impact accelerations are much higher on hard sand than on soft sand with mean acceleration 13% higher in average. This concurs with the sand stiffness research. The second analysis of running data was to study, with statistical parameters, the difference of movement of the ankle and the knee. This lead to the conclusion that movement on x-axis and z-axis are lower on the knee than the ankle. This has been shown by a rise by 64% to 153% of the mean acceleration on x-axis of the knee compare to the ankle but also a more balanced dispersion of accelerations values due to skewness generally closer to 0. On z-axis it’s a decrease of mean accelerations by 35% to 127% and also of variance which indicated less dispersion of accelerations values. This leads to underline that impact accelerations during the running are absorbed by leg’s muscles. However for y-axis, statistical parameters show on the contrary more movement of the knee than the ankle. The last analyse was mitigate due to mixed interpretation which jeopardized no sportiest runners on some axis; as on x-axis. But sometimes jeopardized sportiest runner due to important quick movement of his ankle and knee, as on z-axis. However one analyse could be more important and need to be underline, runner 5 is the runner how risk ore for his ankle and knee due to the fact that he is striking more his heel during impact which increase impact acceleration on every axis.

GEMMA LESLIE

International Congress of Snow Sports Trauma and Safety

The ISEA student engagement award enabled me to attend and present at the 23rd International Congress on Snow Sports Trauma and Safety (ISSS) in Squaw Valley, California on 7-13th April 2019. The funds contributed towards travel, accommodation and conference fees.

The conference consisted of a week of talks and discussions from experts in the area of snow sports safety from all over the world, including physicians, orthopaedic surgeons, biomechanics, engineers, epidemiologists, ski patrollers and snow sports manufacturers. This was my first international conference where I had the opportunity to present my work titled ‘Development of a Tissue Simulant to Improve Assessment of Snowboarding Wrist Protectors’. As I am only at the beginning of the second year of my PhD, I delivered my work so far, enabling me to gain valuable feedback from experts in the area, as well as discuss ideas and suggestions of further work, helping me progress with my PhD. It was a great opportunity to discover the different research currently being conducted within snow sports safety, as well as network with researchers who have previously been involved in the work on snowboarding wrist protection.

I look forward to attending a future conference once I am towards the end of my PhD and will be able to deliver some key and final findings; developing a full wrist surrogate, and contributing to knowledge of the protective capabilities of snowboarding wrist protectors.

I am very grateful to the ISEA for helping me fund this trip to my first international conference, it has been a very valuable experience.

Saša Čigoja

Research exchange with Dr. Andrew Cresswell at University of Queensland

The financial support from the ISEA in form of the ISEA Student Engagement Award allowed me to partially fund a research exchange with Dr. Andrew Cresswell’s research group at the School of Human Movement & Nutrition Sciences, University of Queenland, Brisbance, Australia.

Dr. Cresswell’s laboratory is the leading research facility in assessing the mechanics of the human foot arch, intrinsic foot muscles, and in-vivo ultrasound imaging. My personal goals for this research exchange were to gain insight on the advantages and limitations of indwelling electromyography (EMG), and the assessment of foot arch mechanics in different footwear conditions. While visiting the lab, I had the pleasure to observe and participate in multiple studies, where, for example, the activity of intrinsic foot muscles and their influence on foot and lower limb mechanics were measured. For this, ultrasound-guided fine-wire electrodes were inserted into the foot (Figure 1) while 3D kinematic and kinetics were assessed during various jumping tasks (Figure 2) by a motion capture system and force plates, respectively. Further, a nerve block was used to inhibit the contracting abilities of the intrinsic foot muscles. Additionally, I was able to significantly extend my own analyses on the role of the arch and how its mechanics are affected by increased midsole bending stiffness of sport shoes. With great assistance from Drs. Luke Kelly and Ryan Riddick, I modelled the plantar muscle-tendon unit (plantar aponeurosis + intrinsic foot muscles) and its mechanics in different footwear conditions during running and jumping using previously collected data. This in-depth analysis of the interaction between multiple (in-series/in-parallel) compliances of the foot-shoe interface will be included in two poster presentations at the upcoming Footwear Biomechanics Symposium and the International Society of Biomechanics conference in Kananaskis and Calgary.

I would like to thank the ISEA for awarding me the Student Engagement Award, which helped me fund visiting one of the leading biomechanics research laboratories in the world, and therefore allowed me to improve my research skills tremendously.


CHLOE NEWTON-MANN

23rd International Congress of Snow Sports Trauma and Safety

The 23rd International Congress on Snow Sports Trauma and Safety (ISSS) was held in Squaw Valley, California on 7-13th April 2019. Thanks to the ISEA student engagement award I was able to present the findings of my PhD, through a presentation titled ‘Comparison of a Finite Element (FE) model for snowboard wrist protectors against an impact test’. As the student member of the executive committee I was also able to present on ‘How the ISEA supports snow sport safety’, providing more information to the ISSS about the ISEA, and enhancing links between the two communities.

The week was full of exciting talks and discussions on how we can make snow sports safer, from physicians, orthopaedic surgeons, experts in biomechanics and engineering, epidemiologists, ski patrollers and snow sports equipment manufacturers from all over the world. Attending this conference provided me with a chance to gain relevant and specific feedback from experts within snow sport safety on my project. As well as to share my research with members of the ISO 20320 working group, developing a standard for snowboard wrist protectors, which is on track for publication in the near future. The conference was also a great networking platform to meet people for potential job prospects as I come to the end of my PhD.

Being able to visit an Olympic ski resort, meet new people and experts in my field of research was a fantastic experience. The week got even better when at the conference banquet I was awarded the Sachiko Yahashi Award for the best young researcher at the conference. I am very grateful to the ISEA for helping to fund my trip to this great conference, it has given me great feedback on my research at a crucial time, aiding me to finalise my thesis and prepare for my viva defence.

FRANZISKA HOELL

Special Topic Course in Delft 2018

The Sports Engineering Institute of the TU Delft invited students from Delft, Shefflied, Chemnitz, Amsterdam and Vienna for a two-week Special Topic Course. In this annually course, students are having the unique chance to collaborate with students of Sports Science, Mechanical Engineering and Sports Engineering from different universities.
With the help of the great funds of the ISEA, I could take part on this unique course. The funds covered almost all of my accommodation and travel costs.

The main topic of the Special Topic Course was about all relevant sciences of the bikesport like Aerodynamics and Dynamics. During the lectures have always been room for interesting discussions. As a special bonus, some lectures were hold by specialist of famous dutch bike companies and bike team members. This was really interesting for me, because my plan for the future is to work in the bicycle industry as a R&D engineer.

Apart of this theoretical part of the course, we worked together in groups of max. four students on two practical projects, an innovation challenge and a simulation task. We had to meet ourself in our spare time and worked together on both projects. By being a well mixed group with students from Amsterdam, Sheffield, Delft and Vienna with different study backgrounds, each group member could benefits of the collaboration. As a highlight, we went on the last day to a velodrome for the final presentations of the innovation task and also for the simulation test. It was interesting to hear about the ideas of all other groups and how they solved the problems and tasks.

To come to an conclusion, I am very thankful for the funds of the ISEA because without them I couldn’t take part on this amazing course in Delft where I learned a lot in many aspects.

IYSA KIDD

Thesis / Professional practice in Japan

I would like to extend my gratitude to ISEA for awarding me the student engagement award. As I conducted an unpaid research project for my honours thesis in Tokyo, Japan for three months, the award most definitely helped me to cover Tokyo’s expensive living costs and allowed me to focus on my research.

I was accepted to do my thesis project in Sophia University, Japan at Dr. Takehara’s laboratory. The project was designed to determine wrist acceleration during a forehand overhead smash in badminton using a wrist mounted accelerometer and motion capture cameras. The results were used to determine which type of badminton racket best suited individual elite and novice players based on the consistency of the racket velocity. Through conducting trials, I calculated peak acceleration during smash shots and examined the consistency of the acceleration. Among other things, results indicated that experienced and novice players performed the fastest and most consistent smashes with rackets that had an evenly balanced distribution of mass. As this was a short-term project, further research was suggested to investigate the outcomes employing a larger number of trials and subjects.

The experience working as a research engineer in Japan gave me insight into the world of engineering outside of the context of coursework at university. Working at Dr. Takehara’s laboratory, I was given the opportunity to recognise how exciting and broad the field of engineering is. I believe research/engineering is a field that brings individuals as well as nations together, as we all seek for one thing – a better future through education and knowledge.

The experience of conducting research in Japan has inspired me to pursue engineering opportunities in different countries. After graduating I hope to gain employment abroad and to use the skills I have obtained through studying and research to contribute to the field of engineering as a professional engineer.

LOUISE BURNIE

Presenting ‘Comparison of biomechanical data of a sprint cyclist in the velodrome and the laboratory’.

I am a final year sports biomechanics PhD student and ISEA granted me a £500 student engagement award which helped me to travel to Auckland, New Zealand to present at the International Society of Biomechanics in Sports Conference 2018. I was shortlisted for the New Investigator Award and as such had to present in the main lecture hall to a panel of judges. This was a great experience for me to showcase my research and get feedback from other sports biomechanics researchers.
There were some very thought provoking and engaging keynote presentations, in particular Sophia Nymphius from Edith Cowan University who presented ‘re-evaluating what the know about female athletes in biomechanics research: across the continuum from capacity to skill.’ The main idea of her talk was that most of the mechanical gender differences found by numerous studies can be traced back to strength or training experience, and in papers where these have been normalised or matched, often there are no mechanical differences between men and women. There were some interesting presentations on Artificial Intelligence and machine learning and their applications to biomechanics. These methods have the potential to allow collection of more and detailed biomechanical data in-situ and in a much larger capture volume than with traditional marker-based systems. This is particularly relevant to my research as we try to move to more field-based measurement of biomechanical variables, and my presentation highlighted that we need to measure biomechanics of sporting movement in a representative environment.
While attending the conference I was able me to network with biomechanics researchers from around the world. We had a visit to AUT Millennium which is a high-performance centre and where sports science research and applied support to the NZ team is undertaken. We had some practical demonstrations of the equipment at the centre.
I would like to thank the ISEA for awarding me this grant, as the experience was very valuable in my progression as a researcher and to my PhD.

TOM CREBER

Use of auxetic foams for low bulk, high mobility, protective equipment for mountain biking

The funding provided by the ISEA allowed me to attend the 2018 International Auxetics Conference in Sheffield, to present a poster as part of the AuxetNet Young Reaserchers Forum. The funding was used to cover my registration fee for the event, and without it it would not have been possible for me to attend.

My poster presentation was on the “use of auxetic foams for low bulk, high mobility, protective equipment for mountain biking”, and was a summary of the work carried out for my Undergraduate Dissertation at Sheffield Hallam in Sport Technology. Presenting this work allowed me to receive feedback from a broad range of other delegates from around the world, feedback that shall be invaluable as I continue my research and studies in my Sports Engineering masters degree.
The conference also opened my eyes to just how broad a subject area auxetics is. Having only worked with auxetic foams to date, it was extremely interesting to gain some knowledge of other auxetic structures, and begin to think about how they may also be applicable to sports equipment design, in particular sports PPE. There were a number of presentations made on the possible use of auxetic materials in sports equipment, proving to me that this is very much an area for continued research as a sports engineer.

The breaks throughout the day, and evening meals, gave the perfect opportunity to discuss with other researchers about their work, and think about how it could be useful for my future studies, and to discuss my findings to potentially help them. On the penultimate night we were treated to a gala dinner in the cutlers hall in Sheffield city centre. Having lived in Sheffield for the past 4 years now it was interesting to experience a building that I have never had the opportunity to visit properly in my time here. The dinner, and pub later, provided the opportunity to get to know the other delegates on a more personal level, rather than purely academic, and as a result strengthen my relationship with these contacts who I am sure I shall have contact with when conducting future work.

I would like to thank the ISEA for the Student Engagement award, as it provided me with this experience that has set me up well for my continued study in Sports Engineering. It has also prepared me well for future conferences that I shall be required to present at, as I progress through my intended career of research and development of sport protective equipment.