Engineering Science in Sport and Everyday Life

Lead Research Organisation: University of Sheffield
Department Name: Chemical & Biological Engineering


Engineering and science often suffer from a poor image in the media, with images of dirty and polluting industries and scare stories about chemicals, food and the environment. However, reality is far from this preconception. Engineering Science plays a major if often silent role in society, even in the home where heating, lighting and domestic appliences would not have existed without technological input. Furthermore, rapidly advancing technologies have made the quality of life even greater in recent years. Such technological advances are all around us, in the home, the environment, in transportation and in sport. This Senior Media Fellowship will address the public's perception of Engineering Science through the medium of television sport and address the enthusiasm of children to study science-based subjects through the creation of exciting and engaging educational programmes.Peter Styring has a rapidly growing reputation in Snowsports Engineering and this has been recognised by the Senior Producer of Grandstand at the BBC. It has been agreed to that he should look at how technical analysis can be incorporated into the popular programme Ski Sunday, where Peter will relate engineering and science concepts to performance, technique and equipment design. The first objective will be to provide technical analysis for the 2007 FIS World Ski Championships in Are, Sweden, developing this during the normal World Cup seasons through to the Vancouver Olympics in February 2010. Furthermore, as experience develops in technical analysis this will be extended to include other technical sports covered by Grandstand, which will also increase the target audience. This will be enhanced by the formation of a network of Sports Scientists and Engineers who will be available to provide rapid technical responses to sporting issues, particularly at the 2012 London Olympic Games.Running parallel to the Sports theme will be the Education theme which will develop science programmes for the primary to secondary school transition. The objectives will be to make programmes that capture the imagination of children and inspire them to continue in science and engineering post-school. The programmes will put engineering science concepts covered by the national curriculum in a context that highlights Peter's research activities, but in everyday situations such as in the home, at school or at play. The objective will be to develop pilot programmes in consultation with the BBC which will then be considered for commissioning.Furthermore, Peter will use other forms of the media to promote his research and the popularisation of Engineering Science in general. This will include news and general interest features on local television and radio together with contributions to the printed media. Peter has been fortunate to be able to consult with Professor Tony Ryan, OBE who is the first recipient of an EPSRC Senior Media Fellowship. This has led to some new media opportunities and an appreciation of what is expected of a successful SMF. Tony has offered help throughout the duration of the award, acting in effect as an informal mentor.


10 25 50
Description New methods for reducing friction in snowsports equipment. Energy balances over manufacturing processes in the food industry. This led to a number of TV and radio shows and appearances, work on new media including the production of films. Written media were also produced.
Exploitation Route The work resulted in a DTA Studentship and a KTP project with Atomic Skis Austria. The results are promising and tests are on-going before a decision is made whether to IP protect.
Sectors Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Agriculture, Food and Drink,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology

Description Engineering was showcased in an everyday context. Sport was chosen as a key area as it impacts on a large number of the public. The research on ski technology led to numerous TV, radio and media appearances. New media were central to the dissemination of key findings and a number of films were produced as well as using established media companies. Food technologies were also highlighted in engineering and energy management situations.
First Year Of Impact 2007
Sector Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Leisure Activities, including Sports, Recreation and Tourism,Other
Impact Types Cultural,Societal