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STUDENT ENGAGEMENT AWARDS


Below is a summary of student engagement awards, funded by the ISEA.

Kristina Brubacher

The 8th Asia-Pacific Congress on Sports Technology 2017

The ISEA Student Engagement Award was used to cover my transportation cost to attend The 8th Asia-Pacific Congress on Sports Technology (APCST) 2017. The conference was held on 15th to 19th October 2017 in Tel Aviv, Israel. The APCST is a major international event in the field of sports technology, organised biennially.

I had the opportunity to present my conference paper titled ‘Design of sports compression garments: exploring the relationship between pressure distribution and body dimensions’. The paper forms part of my PhD research on the design of sports compression garments for female athletes. I presented the results of an online survey that I conducted with sports compression garment users as well as key findings from my wearer trial study with commercial compression sportswear. My research is very interdisciplinary in nature and with a background in clothing and textile technology, it was imperative for me to strengthen my international connections in the sporting field. I really enjoyed that the conference featured presentations from both academia and industry. I learnt a lot from the academic presentations from a wide range of fields related to sports technology, such as sensors, wearable technologies, materials and sports equipment. These presentations were complemented by great keynote presentations from industry experts. Yonatan Gorfung (Deloitte’s Innovation Tech Terminal) gave a very interesting presentation about future trends in sports technology, whilst Dr Matthew Nurse (VP / Nike Explore Team Sport Research Lab) and Dr Randy Wilber (US Olympic Committee) gave insights into the development and application of new technologies. The common thread amongst these presentations was not to forget the end users in new developments – a principle that has always guided my research.

Thanks to the support from the ISEA Student Engagement Award I fulfilled my aims of disseminating my research at an international level and broadening my network within the sporting sector. My focus is now on working towards the submission of my PhD thesis in early 2018. I look forward to meeting colleagues from the APCST again at future conferences to further strengthen relationships and potentially grow future collaborations.


University: Manchester Metropolitan University
Award Value: £500

Oliver Duncan

Effect of time and temperature on auxetic foam fabrications (oral) and Comparisson of Digital Image Correltaion and marker tracking methods for strain measurement in open cell foam

ISEA’s contribution allowed me to attend the 9th International Conference “Auxetics and other materials and models with “negative” characteristics” and 14th Workshop “Auxetics and related systems”, September, 2017, Crete.

Two objectives from my PhD (auxetic foams for sporting protective equipment) were presented. These included an assesment of a strain measurement method and an auxetic foam fabrication study. My overall aim is to set up a test to quantify the effect of foam’s negative Poisson’s ratio on indentation resistance. Auxetic foam is closer in modulus and density to materials used in sports protection than other auxetic materials. Open cell foam used in comparisons is ~3 times less dense and has a very different compressive stress strain relationship (buckling beyond ~10% compressive strain, when the auxetic sample is relatively linear to 80% compression). These extra variables have prevented clear relationships from being demonstrated between Poisson’s ratio, indentation resistance and peak force under impact.

The first (poster) presentation compared digital image correlation (DIC) and marker tracking for strain measurement in open cell foams. DIC has not been widely used for foams. Presented work shows it to be comparable to marker tracking and it has already managed to identify the effect of flaws in foam cell structure. Further work will measure material flow under an indenter. Most attendees had not used DIC in this way, but those fabricating auxetic foams and fabrics were keen to try, with possible applications in smart garments for apparel.

The second (oral) presentation suggested methods to reduce variables (density and modulus) in comparisons between auxetic and non-auxetic foams. Previous comparative auxetic/non auxetic foam impact and indentation studies don’t control changes to density and compressive modulus. A clear link between indentation resistance and Poisson’s ratio cannot be made in scenarios close to those seen in sporting collisions, or required for certification by sporting standards. Discussion around the specifics of the test set up and a request to test for shear modulus will help clarify the reason for any differences in the indentation resistance of positive/negative Poisson’s ratio samples.

Outputs include collaborative work with researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology and a chance to discuss a collaborative study with the University of Malta (submitted as a full paper for ‘The Engineering of Sport’ in Brisbane). I was also lucky enough to meet a PhD student from the Liverpool John Moores University, modelling indentation of auxetic materials for heel protection in basketball shoes. The conference was an excellent event and I received useful advice. I hope that members of the ISEA can attend next year’s Auxetics conference (here at Sheffield Hallam).




University: Sheffield Hallam University
Award Value: £500

Megan Kenny

Research Project – Using IMUs to predict ground reaction force when sprinting

I used the award to help fund a trip to Griffith University, Australia to complete a research project. The project involved using inertial measurement units (IMUs) to collect acceleration data to then predict the ground reaction forces involved in a sprint start.

As part of the project myself and another intern travelled to Australia via Japan. In Japan we had the opportunity to conduct some trials using the facilities there to collect data for the project. We both visited the National Institute of fitness and Sport (NIFS), Kanoya and we able to make use of the instrumented running track and athletes there. Three sprinters completed 10m and 50m sprints over an instrumented running track that collected three dimensional force. The sprinters were also were also wearing IMUs developed by Griffith University on each shank and the T3 vertbrae, which would collect accelerometer, gyroscope and magnetometer data. Me and the other intern were also kindly given a tour of the facilities and the local area by Professor Tomohtito Wada from NIFS.

The project was then continued in Australia where all the data analysis took place. I was working as a part of a group of people wit the aim to to develop a method or algorithm to be able to predict the ground reaction force from the acceleration data from the IMUs. We then had to think about ways of using the acceleration data to get the force. A couple of different methods were tried by various members of the group. The method I worked on was to use a linear combination of the accelerations to create a model that would give an estimation of the force. The result showed potential, for one of the participants a model was created that could reasonably accurately predict the ground reaction force generated.

Completing the project was a really great experience, I really enjoyed working on the project and am happy to have contributed to research in this area, as the project resulted in a paper that is going to be presented at the ISEA 2018 conference.


University: Imperial College London
Award Value: £500

Todd Shepherd

Presenting ‘Finite Element Modelling of Auxetic Materials for Sports Applications’

Thanks to the generous funding from the ISEA, I was able to travel to Tel Aviv, Israel, and attend my first international conference – the 8th Asia Pacific Congress for Sports Technology. The money I received went towards my registration and attendance fees, as well as contributing to my stay at a conveniently located Airbnb, close to the conference venue.

I presented my work to date on ‘Finite Element Modelling of Auxetic Materials for Sports Applications’, showcasing my latest finite models as well as physical prototypes of structures created using additive manufacturing techniques. The conference allowed me to disseminate my work to other experts in the field of sports engineering and also provided the opportunity of networking and potentially collaborating with some of the attendees. I was also able to attend talks on other interesting and related topics within sports engineering.

The whole experience was enjoyable and has given me the thirst to experience more international conferences in the future. The conference should provide me with a solid foundation that I can build on with my next two years of PhD studies.

As part of the conference, I was lucky enough to be taken on two organised tours to see some historical sites of Israel. The first tour was around the old town of Jaffa, also known as the gate to Jerusalem; a beautiful ancient port steeped in history and tradition. To finish my trip in Israel, a visit to the town of Caesarea was arranged. Here I saw an archaeological park that was aiming to restore some of the former ancient ruins, as well as a hippodrome that doubled up as a concert venue and a former seafront palace.

Without this generous funding, my trip would not have been possible – so again thanks to the ISEA for supporting me.

University: Manchester Metropolitan University
Award Value: £500

Katrien Fischer

The transistion from a stationary crouch on running-blocks to an erect running position is critical to success in sprint running. This is why we try to find out if we can make a difference in this part. For that, we need to do some measurements on a running track with using IMUs. The fund helped me to do measurements in Japan. I flew to The National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Kanoya, Japan, to do sprinting measurements on a 50m Force plate track. We also used IMUs during this sprints for the project. The three IMUs were on the medial sides of both shank and also one on the T3 upper spine. The purpose was to predict the ground reaction force during a 10m sprint with using IMUs. The measurement were done by three elite sprinters. They repeated five sprints starts on a 50m-long instrumented running track. After the measurements in Japan, we flew to Australia to work with all the collected data. We made lots of graphs to see if the data was consistent enough. We used linear regression analysis to find the coefficients and uses them to predict the ground reaction force.

We found that all the graphs were very consistent and clear. They were also reproducible for all the trails. Because the reproducibility it was possible to make a working model for one of the participants. If we want to make more models, we need more 50m trials from more participants or we can put the sensors on a different part from the body. We made a ISEA paper from all this information. The next thing for me is to see if the paper is getting published and try to think about my next internship. Next year I need to do another internship and that might be also something to do with sport science.

I added an example from the collected raw data from the IMU on the right shank. It’s plotted in a figure by using Matlab.


University: The Hague University
Award Value: £500

Ehsin Farooq

ISEA Placement Funding

With the financial support from the ISEA I was able to successfully complete my voluntary work placement at the ITF. This funding provided the financial assistance required to allow me to make the most out of a valued opportunity. The high financial pressures entailed with travel and accommodation within London were greatly eased and therefore allowed me to work to best of my ability in all work carried out. In addition, it provided me with the confidence and means to prepare as effectively as possible beforehand knowing that finances were in place prior to my placement, this relived much pressure and again allowed me to focus on being ready for the work carried out while at the ITF.

From this experience I was therefore able to gain an invaluable insight into the technical theory and testing procedures involved in tennis, from surfaces and balls to software. I was able to learn how to use the advanced machinery responsible for evaluating all these technical aspects of the sport, whilst gaining a better understanding in the process. Alongside many industry professionals I was also able to observe and take part in many different tasks gaining expert advice and training, which i look to consolidate on in the future. This would not have been achievable without the financial support from the ISEA.

In the immediate future I believe that this funding and completion of my placement will enable me now to implement this newfound experience and skills into my third year of university whilst also challenging me to approach tasks with a new perspective. Fundamentally I will now look to apply and draw upon this knowledge and experience in all future university projects. I believe this again will prove invaluable towards the duration of my course.

On reflection I was able to gain an amazing insight into my area of study beyond a university environment and crucially understand how the theory i have learned is translated into a practical working environment. The result is that I could take my first big step within the sports engineering industry, gaining invaluable first-hand knowledge in the processes. It has also hopefully set me on the right path to becoming an accomplished sports engineer and provide the early foundations towards the future, where i hope to make positive impact and contribute towards the wider field.


The International Federation Association, Roehampton, London.

University: University of Strathclyde
Award Value: £500

Bodil Oudshoorn

Visiting Griffith University, Brisbane and Gold Coast, Australia

Purpose of the visit To visit Professor David Thiel (Griffith University, Engineering department) and Jonathan Shepherd (SABEL labs & Griffith University) to learn more about the use of inertial sensors for measuring gait and posture, and attend the 13th biennial Footwear Biomechanics Symposium held by the Gold Coast campus of Griffith University.

Summary of visit At the start of my trip I visited the engineering department of Griffith University (Nathan Campus). David Thiel and Jonathan Shepherd had organised a seminar for my visit. In this seminar I presented a new strand of research that CSER (Centre for Sports Engineering Research) is currently undertaking, on the development of test methods to assess the safety of sports equipment. Afterwards Jonathan had organised a lab-tour of the campus and showed how their in-house developed IMU (inertial measurement units) worked and what they were currently used for.



Professor David Thiel introducing me as a speaker during the seminar

Professor David Thiel introducing me as a speaker during the seminar The second part of my visit was located an hour South of Brisbane, in the Gold Coast. The three-day conference on Footwear Biomechanics research was very applicable to my own PhD research project, where I am using biomechanical data to inform a new test method to assess the laceration injury risk of studded footwear. Prior to the conference we had submitted a research paper and research proposal to be considered for the Nike Award for Footwear Research. Our project had previously been selected as a runner-up for this award. After an extended presentation session our project was chosen as the winner of the 2017 Nike Award. Altogether, it was a fantastic trip where I have met some great people who I hope to work together with in the future. It further has helped me understand the possibilities and current use of IMU’s and I believe this trip has raised attention to the research that is needed to develop test methods for assessing the safety of sports equipment.

Dr Matthew Nurse (Nike Inc) handing me the 2017 Nike Award.

University: Sheffield Hallam University
Award Value: £500

Jonathan Shepherd

As I am now embarking on my final year of my PhD program disseminating my sports engineering research internationally is imperative to both strengthen my final dissertation and foster relationships. Furthermore, as the ISEA student member on the executive committee it is important for me to liaise with other students to ensure the ISEA is meeting their specific needs. The ISEA funds partially contributed to my airfares and expenses (e.g. conference registration fees and accommodation) to assist me visiting Europe to present at three conferences (Manchester, London and Delft).

On this trip I spoke at three conferences and spent two days at the Centre for Sports Engineering Research (CSER) at Sheffield Hallam university.

– Shepherd, J. Theil, D. Espinosa, H.(2017) Using Inertial Magnetic Sensors to approximate fatigue performance metrics in boxing. Science and Engineering Conference on Sports Innovation. Delft, Netherlands.

– Shepherd, J. (2017) Engineering Sport through Virtual Reality: Can we enhance performance and heighten fan engagement. UK Sports Engineering Summit. Manchester, United Kingdom.

– Shepherd, J. James, D (2017) Data, data, data…but what about feedback? Sports Analytics Summit, Innovation Enterprise. London, United Kingdom.

I achieved both my intended goals, in firstly engaging with other academics and industry end-users which will help shape my thesis and with diversifying my professional networks. This resulted in many new connections, with potential research collaborations emanating from this when I complete my PhD at the end of this year. Furthermore, as a direct result of this trip, one student now undertaking a internship with us at Griffith University from the Netherlands.

At each of these conferences I actively promoted the next ISEA conference (which I am on the organising committee for) and chatted to students in particular about the ISEA, what they want out of their membership, and how they can be involved.

University: Griffith University
Award Value: £500

Chloe Newton-Mann

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.



Charlotte Moroney, Chloe Newton-Mann, Kristina Brubacher and Todd Shepherd (Raya Karaganeva was absent from this picture but was also part of the team)

University: Manchester Metropolitan University
Award Value: £735

Mohamed Mufid Basha & Rohit Nagarajan

Pressure Mapping of Auxetic Foam and its Characterization

As a part of our final year project in Mechanical Engineering, I Mufid Basha and my acquaintance Rohit Nagarajan from India were really interested in doing a project on sports technology. Fortunately we got in touch with Dr. Thomas Allen from Manchester Metropolitan University through the ISEA winter school. Our project in the United Kingdom was for a time period of 6 weeks starting from the last week of January 2017 to the first week of March 2017.

The project was based on Auxetic Foam, and was supported and funded by the International Sports Engineering Association (ISEA).

Our objective in this study project was to perform pressure mapping on Auxetic foams and compare it with conventional polyurethane foams used in sports safety equipment’s. It also involved optimization by using the foam with different composites procured from the Textiles department. Since pressure mapping on Auxetic foam was an undiscovered topic, we had to initially learn a lot about how the pressure mapping equipment actually would function.

The results which were achieved through this study proved that auxetic foams have better pressure distribution properties which could eventually be used in sports protective equipments if futher study is carried on.

Our experience in the UK was very intense and helped us develop different skills. Since this project involved close co-ordination with other departments like the Textile, it also helped us gain some insight into other departmental works.

The ISEA funding was something which helped us in a big way. Being students, affording an international trip succumbed us initially. However after the formal confirmation of our funding, we were very delighted and obliged. The funding from ISEA was used for different aspects like travel, accommodation, project expenses which involved purchase of consumables, sheets etc.

Most importantly this project helped us understand what Sports Engineering is actually like and develop in us an interest to pursue this course in future. It helped us to demonstrate our analytical skills, planning and organizing the project frame work and bolstering in us the desire to learn more about sports technology. Since this project was completely left at our discretion, we were autonomous in making and executing decisions which improved our project management skills as well.

Our next plan is to take forward this project and possibly join Msc in Sports Engineering at SHU to continue futher reseach in this and diversify our study. Positvely we hope to implement this research project In something that would prove benefical for the sports community.

Certainly this was a great and different experience we were exposed and it created interest in sports engineering to a large extent.


University: Manchester Metropolitan University
Award Value: £1000