MECH ENG 3107 - Sports Engineering II

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2017

Sports equipment is an integral part of sportive activity. Sophisticated and innovative design enhances the performance of athletes and prevents injuries. Equipment customised for elite athletes may provide a competitive edge. Sports and exercise equipment sales account for approximately 35% of the global sporting goods market, whilst sports apparel comprises 50% and athletic footwear 15%. This course introduces the fundamental concepts of sports equipment design and technology for competitive purposes, including customisation and legal principles of design within the rules.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code MECH ENG 3107
    Course Sports Engineering II
    Coordinating Unit School of Mechanical Engineering
    Term Semester 2
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 4 hours per week + laboratory classes
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Assumed Knowledge MECH ENG 2102 & MECH ENG 2002
    Restrictions BE (Mechanical & Sports)
    Course Description Sports equipment is an integral part of sportive activity. Sophisticated and innovative design enhances the performance of athletes and prevents injuries. Equipment customised for elite athletes may provide a competitive edge. Sports and exercise equipment sales account for approximately 35% of the global sporting goods market, whilst sports apparel comprises 50% and athletic footwear 15%. This course introduces the fundamental concepts of sports equipment design and technology for competitive purposes, including customisation and legal principles of design within the rules.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Associate Professor Paul Medwell

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    On successful completion of this course students will be able to:

    1 Have a good understanding of the design, properties and testing of sports equipment;
    2 Understand the concepts of designing sports shoes, sports surfaces, racquets, bats and clubs;
    3 Understand the principles of equipment performance and matching;
    4 Be capable of designing sports equipment based on the rules of governing sporting bodies;
    5 Be capable of designing protective equipment;
    6 Be able to calculate mechanical properties of equipment;
    7 Understand principles of quantification of performance and optimisation of training with sports biomechanics methods;
    8 Understand the principles of holistic innovation of sports equipment;
    9 Be capable of customising sports equipment for elite athletes;
    10 Have had experience with testing of sports equipment.

    The above course learning outcomes are aligned with the Engineers Australia Stage 1 Competency Standard for the Professional Engineer.
    The course is designed to develop the following Elements of Competency: 1.1   1.2   1.3   1.4   1.5   1.6   2.1   2.2   2.3   2.4   3.1   3.2   3.3   3.4   3.5   3.6   

    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    1-5, 7-10
    Teamwork and communication skills
    • developed from, with, and via the SGDE
    • honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
    • encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
    1-4, 8-10
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    1-6, 8, 10
    Intercultural and ethical competency
    • adept at operating in other cultures
    • comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
    • able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
    • demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
    3-5, 8-10
    Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
    • a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
    • open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
    • able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
    1-3, 5, 8, 9
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources

    In addition to the resources provided by the University of Adelaide’s Library service, access to the following texts will be highly beneficial throughout this course:

    Grimshaw, P. N., Lees, A., Fowler, N., and Burden, A. (2007) Instant notes in Sport and Exercise Biomechanics. Taylor and Francis, London. ISBN – 1 8599 6284 X.

    Hong, Y., editor (2002) International Research in Sports Biomechanics. Routledge Publishers, New York. ISBN – 0415262302.

    Subic, A. J. and Haake, S. J., editors (2000) The Engineering of Sport: research, development and innovation. Blackwell Scientific, Oxford, UK. ISBN – 0-632-055634.

    Payton, C. and Bartlett, R. (2007) Biomechanical Evaluation of Movement in sport and exercise. Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-43469-0

    Kreighbaum and Smith (1996) Sports and Fitness equipment design. Human Kinetics Publishers. ISBN 0-87322-695-X

    Nørstrud H.: Sport Aerodynamics. Springer, Berlin, 2008.

    John G et al.: Stadia, a design and development guide; 4th ed., Architectural Press/Elsevier, Oxford, 2007.

    Recommended Resources
    Please see the MyUni learning area for this course
    Online Learning
    Please see the MyUni learning area for this course
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes

    This course will primarily involve combined lectures, tutorials and laboratory classes.


    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    In addition to lectures, tutorials and laboratory classes, students are expected to spend an appropriate amount of time acquiring knowledge pertinent to the course, working on assessments and tutorials, and preparing for and attending examinations.

    Learning Activities Summary
    Introduction and Overview
    • Overview of sports disciplines, equipment and rules
    • History of the development of sports equipment
    • Equipment and Energy

    Sports Equipment Technology
    • Sports Shoes, design systematic and concepts
    • Sports Surfaces (gymnastic floors, tracks, artificial and natural turf; design, properties and testing)
    • Sport Balls – design, performance, testing and consistency of manufacturing (golf, cricket, baseball, tennis, soccer, rugby, basketball, hockey balls, ten-pin bowling)
    • Racquets, Bats and Clubs - design, performance, vibrations, testing (tennis, badminton, cricket, baseball, golf, hockey)
    • Skis and snowboards (design, properties and testing)
    • Protective Equipment (mats, PPE, striking shields, ski safety barriers, buoyancy aids; impact, cushioning, energy absorption; design, properties and testing)
    • Mountaineering Equipment (ropes, rope brakes, chalk; design, properties and testing)
    • Bicycles (design, properties and testing)
    • Ice skates, Bobsleigh, and Skeleton
    • Athletics Equipment (javelin, discus and vaulting poles; design, properties and testing)
    • Archery (bow and arrows; design, properties and testing)
    • Equipment for Disability Sport (racing wheelchairs, running prostheses; design, properties and testing)
    • Holistic Innovation of sports equipment

    Sports Biomechanics
    • Introduction to Sports Biomechanics (applications, profession)
    • Sports Performance
    • Biomechanics of selected sports disciplines (weight lifting, sprinting, jumping, pole vaulting, martial arts, skiing, golf)
    • Sports Injuries (biomechanics, prevention, treatment, rehabilitation)

    Legal issues
    • Rules, standards, and technical specification of sports equipment
    • Principles of Expert Witness Reports
    • Interpretation of equipment-related rules for legal purposes
    • Legal and illegal advantage through equipment
    • Legal bending of rules for equipment design
    • Change of rules and re-design of equipment
    • Case reports (equipment and sports biomechanics)


    A detailed course programme and timetable will be provided.

    Specific Course Requirements

    To be advised.

  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Assessment Task Weighting (%) Individual/ Group Formative/ Summative
    Due (week)*
    Hurdle criteria Learning outcomes
    Assignment(s) 10 Individual Summative TBA
    Laboratory(s) 10 Individual Summative TBA
    Group Project 30 Group Summative TBA
    Exam 50 Individual Summative TBA
    Total 100
    * The specific due date for each assessment task will be available on MyUni.
    This assessment breakdown complies with the University's Assessment for Coursework Programs Policy.
    Assessment Related Requirements

    Attendance at laboratory sessions (to be advised) is mandatory.

    Assessment Detail

    Details of the assessment tasks will be provided.


    All assessable material will need to be submitted by the nominated due dates (to be advised). Late submissions will incur a penalty of 10% per day.

    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.