Postdoc/PhD in sport equipment recommendation and dynamical modeling

Université de Sherbrooke

Posted 7 months ago

Location: Canada

Job Description & Person Specification:
The CREATEK design lab ( is working on many projects involving (1) the dynamic modeling of sports equipment (i.e., skis, hockey sticks and mountain bikes), (2) the measurement of the fundamental physical properties of this equipment in the lab (e.g., geometry, rigidity, mass distribution) and their performance in use (e.g., deformation), and (3) the development of personalized recommendation algorithms based on these physical properties and on the desired in-use user feelings. Over the years, we have developed a unique expertise, tools and databases of commercially available equipment (e.g. 2500+ skis) and user preferences. However, compared to Netflix, Amazon or Tinder, recommending sport equipment involves several significant challenges and opportunities that we are excited about!

We are looking to fill two positions at the PhD or Postdoc level to:
1. Develop the knowledge and the recommendation algorithms necessary to change the way people buy their sports equipment. This involves significant sensory evaluation through user testing, exploratory data analysis, the use of statistical / machine learning techniques and the development of knowledge-based recommenders.
2. Develop representative dynamical models of the equipment that can predict the phenomena associated with in-use feels (e.g., vibration modes, impact response, deformations, interaction with the environment). This involves the identification of the required fundamental properties through measurements (e.g., bending and torsional stiffnesses, mass, inertia) or calculations (e.g., CAD, FEA), the development of the appropriate multibody dynamical models and the validation in various representative or in-use conditions with advanced instrumentation (e.g, motion capture, high speed / high res camera, DIC, IMUs, FBG).

The ideal candidate would have/be:
• MS/PhD in engineering, math, physics or a strong conviction that you can do the job
• Fun, dynamic, creative, critical, hardworking and turned toward action
• A team player with a demonstrated track record of getting things done, breaking stuff and fixing it!
• A passion for ski, hockey and/or mountain bike

The positions are fully funded with competitive scholarships (up to 4 years for PhD, one year for Posdoc with possible extension). The students will work at the Interdisciplinary Institute for Technological Innovation (3IT) of the Université de Sherbrooke, with potential internships at various partners.

To apply: send a brief statement of research interests, CV, transcripts, a short portfolio of representative work (i.e., published paper, prototype, video, photo, etc.) and the contact information for 3 references to

Work at the 3IT is mostly conducted in French, but everyone also speak English. A working knowledge of both languages is preferred, or a willingness to learn French.

Closing Deadline: Open until filled

Additional Details

CREATEK (8 profs, 50 students and 10 research professionals) is a technology development team that cultivate creativity, hard work, impact and fun. It is hosted at 3IT, a large research institute (400+ researchers) with shared resources, including electronic assembly/testing lab, high-speed and high-resolution cameras, large motion capture room, force plates, 3D printing (polymer, composite and metal), laser cutting, CNC, data acquisition, real-time control systems, wind tunnel, etc. CREATEK students have also access to a brand new 8 M$ fablab (Studio de Création). Projects within CREATEK range from energy conversion to novel robot architectures, with a world leading team dedicated to sport equipment design. The team worked with a number of industrial partners in the sporting industry, including Rossignol, Bauer, Hockey Canada, Genuine Guide Gear (G3), Own the podium, Checkerspot, 4FRNT, JSkis, Utopie MFG, Vermont Ski Museum, Blisters Gear Review, etc.

About Université de Sherbrooke:

Located in the Eastern Townships of Quebec (Canada), a beautiful bilingual (French/English) region, situated 1h30 southeast of Montreal, near the Vermont US border, and 2h30 from Quebec city, the Université de Sherbrooke is a French-speaking institution that offers an academic education that is recognized and valued around the world. The Université de Sherbrooke is the most appreciated institution in Canada according to MacLean’s, and the 13th top doctoral school. It also earned a reputation for its hard-hitting research in collaboration with major industrial partners, which has led to major discoveries and innovations in a variety of disciplines. The Université de Sherbrooke main campus is situated on the flank of “Mont-Bellevue” on 300 hectares of green space. The area offers all the advantages of the city life in a delightfully natural setting, close to numerous ski resorts, mountain biking trails and hockey rinks.

The Université de Sherbrooke host more than 31 000 students, with more than 80% of its students coming from outside the area.