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.