A high distinction for sport
2012 has been a golden year for sport at the University of Adelaide.
Long a staple of campus life at Adelaide, the on- and off-field accomplishments of graduates, staff and students continue to grow and are truly global in scope.
This year's notable achievements include:
The University's medal haul was led by Australia's most successful Paralympian, Matt Cowdrey OAM (see separate story), but there were many other world-class performances.
- Thirteen alumni winning a total of 12 medals at the London Olympics and Paralympics;
- Co-hosting the Australian University Games in September, at which the University's biggest ever Games team finished fifth overall and second on a per capita basis;
- The Sports Engineering discipline - the first to be established at an Australian university - going from strength to strength.
General Manager of Adelaide University Sport, Mike Daws, said it was a very successful week for the Blacks.
- Health Sciences student Annette Edmondson capped off a meteoric rise through world cycling ranks with a bronze in the women's omnium.
- Scott McPhee, a Commerce student, won gold piloting for Kieran Modra in the Paralympic cycling.
- Commerce and Computer Science graduate Chris Morgan rowed to bronze with fellow alumnus James McRae in the men's Olympic quad sculls.
- James McRae, is a Sports and Mechanical Engineering student who also competed at the University Games.
More than 380 students competed at the University Games, winning 38 medals across 14 sports: 12 gold, 15 silver and 11 bronze.
"It was our biggest ever team, and coming fifth equals our best ever result," he said. Our rowing team had a great week - we were overall champions and we won back the Oxford and Cambridge Cup in the Men's Eights. We also won team pennants in women's volleyball, men's squash and men's badminton as well as the women's individual trophy in golf."
Away from the glow of the Olympics, the University's Sports Engineering program continues to build a national and international profile.
Program coordinator, Dr Paul Grimshaw, said the new engineering area - established in 2008 - now has more than 60 undergraduate students across four year levels and has already established some very strong links with industry such as Cycling Australia, The Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra and Golf Biodynamics in the USA.
"It's a really exciting time for us, there's a lot going on," he said.
"We've got a new $250,000 sports engineering laboratory here in one of the Engineering buildings that can perform full 3D analyses and a range of other modelling, testing and research activities. We can also use the University's new wind tunnel to examine aerodynamic applications in a number of different sports, with cycling being one obvious example.
"We're working with organisations like Cycling Australia and Cricket Australia to help them improve their performance by tuning both athletes and equipment. Our graduates are already out and working in prominent roles in the sports world; we have three working with the Australian Institute of Sport.
"And I'm really pleased that the number of women undergraduates studying Sports Engineering has gone up each year - one of the things we identified at the start was that we wanted women to be involved and this is increasingly the case."
story by Ben Osborne