Tom Creber

Use of auxetic foams for low bulk, high mobility, protective equipment for mountain biking

The funding provided by the ISEA allowed me to attend the 2018 International Auxetics Conference in Sheffield, to present a poster as part of the AuxetNet Young Reaserchers Forum. The funding was used to cover my registration fee for the event, and without it it would not have been possible for me to attend.

My poster presentation was on the “use of auxetic foams for low bulk, high mobility, protective equipment for mountain biking”, and was a summary of the work carried out for my Undergraduate Dissertation at Sheffield Hallam in Sport Technology. Presenting this work allowed me to receive feedback from a broad range of other delegates from around the world, feedback that shall be invaluable as I continue my research and studies in my Sports Engineering masters degree.
The conference also opened my eyes to just how broad a subject area auxetics is. Having only worked with auxetic foams to date, it was extremely interesting to gain some knowledge of other auxetic structures, and begin to think about how they may also be applicable to sports equipment design, in particular sports PPE. There were a number of presentations made on the possible use of auxetic materials in sports equipment, proving to me that this is very much an area for continued research as a sports engineer.

The breaks throughout the day, and evening meals, gave the perfect opportunity to discuss with other researchers about their work, and think about how it could be useful for my future studies, and to discuss my findings to potentially help them. On the penultimate night we were treated to a gala dinner in the cutlers hall in Sheffield city centre. Having lived in Sheffield for the past 4 years now it was interesting to experience a building that I have never had the opportunity to visit properly in my time here. The dinner, and pub later, provided the opportunity to get to know the other delegates on a more personal level, rather than purely academic, and as a result strengthen my relationship with these contacts who I am sure I shall have contact with when conducting future work.

I would like to thank the ISEA for the Student Engagement award, as it provided me with this experience that has set me up well for my continued study in Sports Engineering. It has also prepared me well for future conferences that I shall be required to present at, as I progress through my intended career of research and development of sport protective equipment.