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).

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.

Jake Popperwell

Use of inertial sensors and their placement on the body to detect boxing performance

The funds provided to me by the ISEA helped me with travel and accommodation costs whilst living in Australia. This enabled me to fully focus my time on the role as a Sports Engineering research intern at Griffith University. I focused my research on looking into the use of inertial sensors to detect boxing performance. By the end of the internship we had completed an extensive research project that has the potential to be published into the Journal of Sports Engineering.
The paper reported a quantitative assessment of sensor placement to detect magnitudes in boxing using IMU data. Our hypothesis stated the 3rd thoracic vertebrae sensor would be able to:

  1. Be used instead of wrist sensors to detect acceleration, gyration and magnetometer outputs of punches.
  2. Distinguish between a left and a right punch using sensor data.
  3. Detect fatigue in an athlete.
  4. Identify when a punch lands and its attenuation throughout the body.

The funds provided to me by the ISEA helped me with travel and accommodation costs whilst living in Australia. This enabled me to fully focus my time on the role as a Sports Engineering research intern at Griffith University. I focused my research on looking into the use of inertial sensors to detect boxing performance. By the end of the internship we had completed an extensive research project that has the potential to be published into the Journal of Sports Engineering.

The paper reported a quantitative assessment of sensor placement to detect magnitudes in boxing using IMU data. Our hypothesis stated the 3rd thoracic vertebrae sensor would be able to:

  • Be used instead of wrist sensors to detect acceleration, gyration and magnetometer outputs of punches.
  • Distinguish between a left and a right punch using sensor data.
  • Detect fatigue in an athlete.
  • Identify when a punch lands and its attenuation throughout the body.

It was determined that an IMU sensor placed at T3 is suitable to monitor boxing performance in some scenarios. It is possible to determine both left and right punches along with their magnitudes when observing punch profiles and taking into consideration their time delay. Overall the use of a sensor located at the T3 is more favourable than located at the wrist due to being less invasive, smaller acceleration peaks and reduced chance of being damaged during testing. When testing fatigue the results were inconclusive with the peak acceleration increasing over the seven sets where it was hypothesised to decrease. Both the pad work and sparring trials were again able to identify left and right hand punches with a varying degree of accuracy however there was evidence that the sensors do have the capacity to be used in a dynamic environment.

Further research is needed in order to determine whether the T3 is as optimal as the wrist for detecting fatigue and whether the increased acceleration is being caused by an over acceleration at the shoulders. A more in depth analysis of each type of punch would allow a clearer understanding of if (and how) individual punch characteristics differ from one another in their punch profiles. Finally, research into the development of a machine learning model would provide a better understanding in how possible it is to use an automatic points scoring system in a competitive scenario.

As an undergraduate student I will be returning to Leeds to finish my BSc degree in Sport and Exercise Science (Industrial). However colleagues at Griffith University will continue the work with these sesnors to further analyse boxing performance.

P.Abishek Jerome, Francis Samruth

Additive manufacturing of Auxetic Materials for Sport Equipments

Through our senior colleagues we came in contact with Dr. Tom Allen and the Manchester Metropolitan University. Due to our immense interest in Material Science and Additive manfacturing we were delighted to get the opportunity to work with the advanced equipment in MMU to synthesize Auxetic structures for Sport safety equipment. The duration of our project was between 18th January and 18th March 2018.

The main objective of our project was to successfully manufacture re-entrant auxetic structures using a Lulzbot 3D printer, which is capable of exhibiting negative poisson ratio and high Impact resistance.

The result we were able to learn was the methodology to successfully control the structure of the auxetic using various settings and document it. This can be further used to build complex auxetic structures useful for the sports Industry.

We had the opportunity to meet people from various departments and cultures and were able to share ideas for the betterment of our project. Since we were given the full wheel on the project we were able to fully understand the nuances of our work which helped us to improve our project management skills tremendously.

We being International students, the funding helped us in and out of the project and made sure that we were able to complete our project successfully. The funding covered our material costs, travel costs, etc.

Finally we were able to explore a new range of possibilites in Material science through this project. We learnt about the future of materials in sports industries and also on how materials play a pivotal role in safety and protection.

After this we will be pursuing our Masters and hopefully land a job in the sporting industry. We wish to thank ISEA for being making this tremendous opportunity a succesful journey.

Chloe Newton-Mann

2nd Sports Engineering Seminar Day – 2nd May 2018 – Manchester Metropolitan University

On Wednesday 2nd May 2018, Manchester Metropolitan University held a Sports Engineering Seminar Day, which was organised and run by PhD students from the university. The ISEA and IET sponsored the event. Our aim was to promote Sports Engineering in an academic environment, raise awareness of the subject and disseminate work in this field within the UK.

The day began with a tour of facilities including the Manchester Fashion Institute, Print City (Additive Manufacturing), engineering workshops and human movement lab. There were four key themed sessions throughout the day including ‘Sports Apparel and Biomechanics’, ‘Health and Injury Prevention’, ‘Simulation in Sports’ and ‘Materials and Equipment Mechanics’. We had industry speakers from Pentland Brands (Speedo & Canterbury), Defence Science and Technology Laboratories and ANSYS, as well as academics and PhD students from UK universities – Manchester Metropolitan, Loughborough, Sheffield Hallam, Chichester and Strathclyde.

Over 110 people from 12 universities, 11 companies and students from a local college joined us for the day, attracting new audiences to Sports Engineering. There were prizes awarded for best student presentation (including Speedo prize), best poster, two student engagement awards and best tweet. Our twitter feed for the day can be found @SportsEngUK or using the #SESday. Feedback forms (and discussions) indicated the event was again very well received, although some people would have liked fewer talks to allow more time for discussion. There was clear interest to continue making this an annual event in the Sports Engineering calendar, and Loughborough University will take on the role of host in 2019. We would like different institutes to host the event on a rotational basis, facilitating travel from different areas of the UK while helping to keep the event fresh, encouraging new industry partners, and university students and staff to attend. Continued interest in the event will help to build up a UK hub of sports engineers, inspiring a new generation to come through and join the ISEA. We would also like to set up a community for all Sports Engineering PhD students to communicate and share ideas, with possible funding going towards further networking.

Finally, we would like to thank the ISEA for sponsoring the event, without the sponsorship it wouldn’t be possible. I believe many people made new contacts and explored new collaborative projects in turn growing the sports engineering community in the UK.

Some quotes from the day:

“#SESday @sportsengUK. It is obvious that the importance of Engineering will always help improve sports in general and help to strengthen unity & love all over world, ethnic groups, professionals & educational backgrounds. Thus, kudos to the organisers of Sports Engineering seminar. Great event. Looking forward to the next one soon.” – Student

“Thanks to everyone for all the hard work making the event a success, I thought it was great. Hopefully if there is another seminar next year I’ll finally be able to stay for the drinks afterwards!” – Industry representative

“Thanks again for inviting me to present at the seminar. I thoroughly enjoyed the event and I’ve benefited from gaining a number of new contacts and research insights.” – Industry representative

“Thank you and well done for ensuring the presentations and day ran smoothly yesterday, not an easy task. We look forward to welcoming you to Loughborough next year.” – Academic Lecturer

William Dawber

Characterisation of tennis racket parameters – Wimbledon AELTC.

The grant allowed me to assist Dr. Luca Taraborelli with the research for his paper on the historical development of tennis rackets from codification in the 1870s until present day.

Myself and Dr. Taraborelli visited the All England Lawn Tennis Club where we had the privilege of working in the Wimbledon Tennis Museum, here we had access to around 1000 tennis rackets dating back to the 1870s. During the week-long trip we were able to evaluate around 100 of these rackets on several parameters including geometric, inertial, dynamic and manufacturing properties. My role was to take measurements on racket swing speed and calculate values of transverse and polar moment of inertia for each of the rackets. All of this data is now being documented alongside a further 300 other rackets already tested in order to investigate the effects these changes in design have had on performance. Going forward I plan to continue my work with Dr. Taraborelli to further aid in the production of his paper by helping with research and testing.

I am a BEng Sport Technology undergraduate at Sheffield Hallam University with an ambition to further research in Sports Engineering. This trip provided me with valuable hands-on experience testing sports equipment, furthered my understanding of correct research procedures and boosted my knowledge of design development and the effects it has on performance.

The first outcomes of this project were presented at the ISEA 2018 conference in Brisbane and were appreciated by the audience. Since our trip, Dr. Taraborelli presented his updated results at the ISEA sponsored Sport Engineering Seminar Day at Manchester Metropolitan University on the 2nd May 2018 where I was in attendance. It was great to see the reception he received for his hard work and how the Sport Engineering community is continuously growing and demonstrating its impact on industry.
Thank you to the ISEA for their generous funding. Without this, the trip would not have been possible for me. The funding paid for return travel from Manchester to London, accommodation near to the club, food and drink for the week and transport in London. The experience I have gained has been priceless and I hope to use this as a building block to one day make impact on the Sport Engineering community.

Sebastian Walton-Adams

An insight into how the use of Inertial Measurement Unit sensors can play a role in shot classification in cricket batting

My research work at Griffith university gave an insight into how inertial sensors can be used in the game of cricket. Trialling these sensors firstly with bowling but completing my final report on batting. As researchers we looked at placing an inertial sensor on the thoracic vertebra to see what data could be recorded. This was the most practical and viable place to put a sensor as it can be used in a real game scenario. After using two elite batsman in manipulated and real game trials we recorded data onto a bought software to interpret it (Matlab). Our findings showed that when batsman’s recorded data in manipulated trials patterns emerged which could be identified and quantified. A sensor seemed to be able to detect when a ball was hit and trends on graphs could indicate what type of shot was played (shot classification). However, data recorded in a real game scenario was more problematic. Due to the numerous degrees of freedom in cricket batting it was problematic to interpret output graphs, especially when compared to the initial trials. In the future we hope that the sensors improve in order to record accurate and higher ranged data.

Overall, a big step was taken in this specific field and the idea holds huge viability in the game of cricket. Hopefully the next step is for my written up paper to be published and cricket teams become aware of the potential these sensors have in the future to record quick information elite players need when batting. Work on the IMU sensors at Griffith is ever increasing and improving to produce a exceptional IMU sensor.

Matteo Aita

Kinematics and feature negotiating feedback system in a ski cross start and run: a methodological study

As a Msc student in Sport technology at Aalborg University, for my Master thesis project I investigated a method to develop a performance feedback system for ski cross skiers and coaches. My supervisor was Professor Uwe Kersting and the project was in collaboration with the Swedish Ski Cross Team. I want to say thank you to the ISEA for funding this project. The funds were used to cover the travel and living expenses for one month in Are, Sweden.

Three elite skiers of the Swedish Ski Cross Team participated to this study. The equipment was composed by a wearable IMU-based motion capture system to collect the skiers’ kinematic data, and two GNSS sensors to collect the skier’spositioning data along the full ski cross course. The test course included all the features typical of a ski cross run, such as turns, jumps, rollers, banks and negative turns. The mobile sensor was integrated in the back protector and worn by the subjects, and the base sensor was placed at the start. The positioning data from the two sensors were post-processed together to increase the data accuracy by applying the relative positioning technique. The files containing the kinematic data were then converted into c3d files and fused with the files containing the positioning data into a new c3d file in MATLAB. The new c3d file was successively imported in Visual3D, where the kinematic data of interest, i.e. the pelvis-feet distance along the three anatomical axes, and the pelvis and feet trajectory along the whole run were analysed.

Thomas McGuckian

Using inertial measurement units to investigate visual exploration in a novel football passing task

After presenting at the European College of Sport Science congress in Dublin, I travelled to Germany to collaborate with Adam Beavan (Saarland University/UTS PhD candidate) on a research project. I would like to thank the ISEA Student Engagement Award for funding this component of my trip. The funding helped cover the costs of transport and accommodation, allowing this project to go ahead.

The data collection involved the quantification of exploratory head movement using inertial measurement units while football players completed a novel football passing task. With this data, we will investigate how the exploratory action before players receive a pass influences their ability to perform a subsequent pass. Data analysis will involve the synchronisation of the IMU data with video footage, coding of video footage and processing of the IMU data with a custom designed algorithm. The output will give an understanding of various qualities of exploratory action and how these influence subsequent actions with the ball. This is a relatively new area of research, so the findings will go a long way to informating our understanding of visual exploration in football.

The collaboration with Adam allowed access to high level players for data collection, which will give an excellent insight into how highly skilled athletes use visual information to guide passing actions in football. This investigation is the first of many potential collaborations, even after both Adam and I complete our PhD studies, and the ISEA has played a significant role in making this possible.

Adam (left) and Tom (right) enjoying a drink after the ECSS congress
The facilities used for data collection in Germany

Sam Stagg

Application of inertial sensors as a method of monitoring fatigue in boxing

The ISEA Student Engagement Award was used in order to help me subsidise my transport and accommodation costs while participating in a Sports Engineering internship based at Griffith University, Nathan Campus. Having access to the ISEA grant was extremely beneficial for me as it allowed me more financial stability when settling into my role as a sports engineering intern in Australia.

Upon completion of the placement a full report on the analysis on the placement of inertial sensors on the body and their application for monitoring fatigue in boxing was submitted to Griffith University. Our initial hypothesis for the use of the inertial sensor located at thoracic vertebrae 3 (T3) was as follows: 1) The sensor data obtained would be suitable to replace the wrist sensors used in prior studies to measure acceleration, gyration and magnetometer readings 2) Distinguish between a right and left punch being thrown 3) detect fatigue occurring in an athlete and 4) identify when a punch has landed and its attenuation throughout the body. The two participants used were elite level athletes competing at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games and tests were performed in training involving a fixed wall bag, a trainer using focus pads and sparring sessions

From the study we were able to determine the IMU sensor placed at T3 was indeed suitable for monitoring boxing performance in various scenarios and determining left/right punches was possible along with their corresponding magnitudes. It was deemed the use of the T3 sensor was favourable due to it being place in a less invasive position. However there was less success when monitoring fatigue levels during these trials and the results from the study were inconclusive.

I would like to thank Griffith University and the ISEA for their support throughout my placement the opportunity to study and complete a research project in another country has been a valuable experience for me as I look towards completing my degree.