Engineering boost for sports performance
Thursday, 6 October 2011
A new University of Adelaide laboratory for Australia's first sports engineering students is being opened today by Member for Adelaide the Hon. Kate Ellis.
The state-of-the-art Sports Engineering Laboratory has specialised facilities for study and research into the techniques and technologies for boosting sports performance, injury prevention and rehabilitation.
Ms Ellis will join elite athletes, sports industry representatives and engineering professionals to view some of the latest equipment used in the laboratory, and honours student projects.
The Sports Engineering Laboratory, within the School of Mechanical Engineering, is home to students on the Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical and Sports), Australia's first sports engineering undergraduate degree. The first graduates will complete their degree this year.
Head of the School of Mechanical Engineering Associate Professor Bassam Dally said sport was a huge and growing global industry worth more than US$600 billion a year. He said there was great demand for research and development in new sports technology, equipment design and performance.
"Sports Engineering combines the core principles of mechanical engineering with studies in biomechanics, anatomy, exercise physiology and sports materials," he said.
"Our degree was designed to promote a broader interest in engineering and is attracting a wider range of student, including females, and particularly those with keen interest in sport.
"The Sports Engineering Laboratory is giving our students hands-on practical application of sports engineering and providing our researchers with the facilities and equipment needed to best meet the needs of the sports industry."
Facilities in the University's Sports Engineering Laboratory include:
- a 3D analysis system for modelling and simulating human movement;
- an oxygen analysis system for measuring uptake and output during exercise;
- electromyography (EMG) analysis to measure muscle activity; and
- a force platform for measuring ground reaction forces (useful for assessing running shoes); and much more.
Student projects on display will include: assessment of lower-back pain through 3D analysis; cycling mechanics to improve performance; and a mechanical cricket bowling machine.
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