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

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.

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

Caroline Adams

19/05/17 International Society for Skiing Safety Congress (ISSS)

Funds were used to cover the costs of transportation, conferences fees and a portion of accommodation costs.

The ISSS is a multidisciplinary conference bringing together international experts in the fields of: medicine; engineering; sports science; and ski tourism, to enhance the safety of winter sports through scientific research. In April experts from all around the globe gathered at the sport science faculty at the University of Innsbruck. The main themes of the conference were epidemiology of winter sports injuries; ski racing; avalanches; health aspects of skiing; head injuries, knee injuries; equipment; biomechanics and ski bindings. Whilst the conference is multidisciplinary at least a third if not more of the presentations constituted sports engineering.

I presented a study I have completed during my PhD on the design of surrogates to mechanically test snowboarding wrist protectors. It was interesting to see the complementary approaches being taken by different research institutions and have the opportunity to receive feedback on my work. Positive discussions were had with other researchers both concerning mechanical testing and the potential to influence behavioural practice and track the impact of a prevention once an ISO standard has been established. Chloe Newton Mann who is supporting the wrist protection work through FEA simiulation also had the opportunity to present her early work and proposed approach.

The use of equipment as a means of injury prevention was discussed throughout the conference. A change in ski binding design has resulted in a drop in tibia fractures but the number of ACL injuries has increased. This highlighted the importance of taking into consideration the full chain of the human body when implementing changes. Another intervention discussed at length was despite the increase in helmet use across resorts up to 97% in some countries the rate of head injuries doesn’t reflect this change in behaviour. Given the prevalence of these injuries it appears that sports engineers in collaboration with resorts, clinicians and manufacturers have a responsibility to better understand the mechanism of injury and aid the design, development and testing of improved products. This could in time lead to changes in policy and a revision to the helmet standard. A number of innovative approaches are being taken to better understand these injury scenarios and develop representative tests.

University: Sheffield Hallam University
Award Value: £500

Caroline Adams

International Standards Working Group Meeting ISO/TC 94/SC 13/WG 11 – Body & hand protection for snowboarding : April 28-29 2016, Switzerland

Funds were used to cover the costs of transport and a portion of accomadtion. The remainder of the costs were covered by the British Standards Institute.

Injuries to the upper extremities are the most frequently reported injured body region in snowboarding and contribute to 35-45% of all snowboarding injuries. Wrist protectors have been shown to reduce injury risk, yet there is no minimum performance standard these products should conform to. This can leave consumers confused and mislead about their safety. The International Standards Organisation has established a working group with the aim of developing a new standard – ISO/TC 94/SC 13/WG 11- Body & hand protection for snowboarding. As my PhD project is focused on the testing and design of wrist protectors I have become the nominated UK expert on this committee. This means I participate in technical working group meetings 2-3 times per year and provide the committee with advice based on the body of work completed during my PhD.

This particular meeting was held at the BFU headquarters (Swiss Council for Accident Prevention) in Bern Switzerland. The meeting started with discussions around the time frame of the project and key dates in the ISO & CEN process were outlined by Ruth Schnieder – Secretariat SNV Swiss Association for Standardization. The draft standard should be completed by September. This will then be circulated to all relevant national bodies for review (typically over a period of 6 months). If the review is successful the process for implementing an ISO standard will commence if not then it will be transformed into a European Standard. The next meeting to finalise the draft will be held in August 2016 at Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) hosted by Tom Allen & Caroline Adams. As the EU PPE directive will be held in Leeds March 20-24th 2017 and both Peter Gyger and Ruth Schnieder will be there anyway it was agreed informally that there will likely be a follow up meeting during that week.

I presented an overview of the work I’ve completed within my PhD titled “Development of a new method to characterise snowboard wrist protectors”. This includes a critique of EN 14120 inline skating protectors, which has been identified as the starting point for the new standard. Key weaknesses include: (1) inappropriate test setup which can’t be conducted based on the schematic; (2) poorly designed prosthesis/surrogate shape; (3) threshold values not based on published injury mechanism data; (4) ambiguous test protocol with no consideration given for strapping tightness. During a study (to be presented at ISEA conference July 2016) we have demonstrated that strapping tightness affects whether products pass or fail. Given that products will be tested by different operators globally it’s important this is addressed to ensure repeatability.

Given that gloves with integrated protection are on the market there is the need for a new surrogate with fingers and a method which the load can be applied at a set distance. At Sheffield Hallam we are currently developing a new surrogate design based on geometry obtained using 3d body scanning technology. As standard needs to include 2D schematic and associated dimensions for a range of sizes this couldn’t be used directly, but could help in advancing the shape of the surrogate. In addition to this we are developing a clamping mechanism which can be mounted externally onto the surrogate wearing the glove at a fixed distance so a bending moment can be applied without cutting the glove. Future work will include the development of a dynamic impact test and FEA work performed by Chloe Mann (MMU PhD student). Which we hope can support a later revision of this standard further down the line.

The remainder of the two days were spent going through the latest version of the standard and addressing comments and concerns from members of the committee on the themes of:
• Impact performance requirements and testing
• Stiffness performance requirements and testing
• Splint dimensions
• Conditioning samples

Next Steps: Prior to the next meeting in Manchester Bfu & SNV will update the standard to reflect corrections and discussion during the meeting. This will then be circulated to the rest of the ISO committee. Bfu will coordinate the design of new surrogate including dimensions and cad drawings (potentially delegating this to Sheffield Hallam but yet to be confirmed). I will test a wider range of products providing plots for angle vs torque for the current state of the market. Based on this at the next meeting we can collectively make an informed decision on performance parameters for the bending tests.

University: Sheffield Hallam University
Award Value: £290