Adil Imam

6th Annual Sports Engineering Seminar Day

Canterbury Christ Church University (CCCU) hosted the 6th Annual Sports Engineering Seminar Day on Wednesday, 12th of April 2023 at the Verena Holmes Building on the Canterbury Campus. The event was attended by 80 attendees with varied backgrounds ranging from industry experts, academics and teachers from universities and colleges, students from different levels ranging from high school to PhD researchers and sports enthusiasts. The day started off with tours of the Verena Holmes building showcasing the Faculty of Science Engineering and Social Sciences facilities including the Sports Labs, The Engineering and Material Testing facilities, and the medical and nursing school facilities.

Overall the event involved 17 speakers from Academia and Industry talking about the different work done in the sports engineering industry. DrAnne Nortcliffe, the founding head of the School of Engineering, Technology and Design provided the welcome address highlighting the different issues with diversity in engineering and how sports engineering and industry researchers can help improve engineering standards, especially in terms of inclusivity. Emelia Funnell, of Ida Sports and Dr Katrine Kryger, from St. Mary’s University showcased work and research that is being carried out to address the inclusivity issues and what the industry is doing to raise awareness and provide better equipment for women in sports.

Other talks during the day ranged from different forms of cycling and the engineering that goes behind it to the research carried out in improving sporting and protective equipment for amateur, professional, able-bodied and paralympic athletes. There were presentations also on different events and networks such as the 15th Conference on the Engineering of Sport to be held in Loughborough in 2024, and the UK meta-materials network. There were 2-minute student presentations from research students from the University of Manchester, the University of Kent, Loughborough University, and CCCU, with Callum Barnes of the University of Kent taking the best student presentation prize, giving him a free year-long student membership of the International Sports Engineering Association which was provided as part of the grant.

The event allowed the attendees, to mingle with the different industry experts and researchers which allowed for further collaborations and the exchange of ideas which will help in outputs which would be seen in the coming months. There were members of the public for whom the event provided an eye-opener to the opportunities in sports engineering and the possibilities which they did not comprehend before attending the seminar day. Amongst the attendees were some of the career advisors at local colleges who were excited at disseminating their learnings from the day to the college students and helping provide them with an avenue to get into Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) related courses.

The ISEA funding provided for the day was used to provide hospitality during the day for the attendees on the day and award the best student presentation with a year-long student membership of the association. The funding also was used to provide hospitality during the networking session in the evening where ideas were shared and possible collaborations for further work were discussed. Overall, the event provided an insight into the world of Sports Engineering, especially to the local and the south-eastern UK community and provided the students and researchers with an opportunity to connect, learn and discuss sports engineering and its applications.