Dynamic Stress Analysis for the Optimisation of Push Scooters

Lead Research Organisation: University of Oxford
Department Name: Engineering Science


Summary of the project:

The project aims to develop a technique to accurately measure the loading that scooters face in real-world use and consequently suggest design improvements. This will be done by measuring the strain in the scooter at various locations as a function of time in real-world use. Various analytical models (likely using an eigenstrain approach) will be used to derive the loading from the measured strain. The derived results will be compared to both computational (finite element) models and measurements in controlled loading conditions to validate the model. Data will be collected from a range of scooter riders and statistical analysis will be performed on the variation of loading before deciding on suitable design criterion to optimise scooter design. Computational techniques such as topology optimisation will likely be used in this stage to help find the ideal geometry. The novel approaches developed in this project will likely be applicable to other sporting equipment such as bicycles, skateboards, skis and snowboards.


Scooters are ubiquitous to urban life, used to exercise children, for stunt use by teenagers and young adults, and as a mode of inner-city commuting. The multi-million-dollar freestyle (stunt) scooter industry totals over 40 companies (e.g. Lucky Scooter Parts LLC who had a turnover of $4 million in 2019). This is surpassed in size by the electric scooter industry which totalled $18.6 billion in value in 2019 [1] and is expected to reach $41.98 billion by 2030 with a 7.7% CAGR [2]. Electric scooters are also seen to be a partial answer to concerns regarding climate change. Scientific investigation into the loading of scooters has not been published. Such research paves the way for the optimisation of scooter component geometry and design.

Alignment to EPSRC's strategies and research areas

This research project falls within the EPSRC continuum mechanics research area; using principles of engineering to further knowledge in solid mechanics. The research should also pave the way for research into dynamic stress analysis of other sports equipment. As freestyle scooter components have significant appeal, research can be used as an example of engineering science to engage and excite a younger generation to study engineering. As electric scooters are seen to be a potential solution to concerns over climate change, improving their design aligns well within the scope of EPSRC's aims in this area. Improving scooter design should also reduce waste as the longevity of high-quality scooter components should increase.

1. Grand View Research. Electric Scooters Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report By Product (Standing, Retro, Folding), By Battery (Sealed Lead Acid, NiMH, Li-Ion), By Voltage (24V, 36V, 48V, >48V), By Region, And Segment Forecasts, 2019 - 2030 (last accessed 23/10/2020 https://www.grandviewresearch.com/industry-analysis/electric-scooters-market)
2. Grand View Research. Electric Scooters Market Size Worth $41.98 Billion By 2030 | CAGR 8.5%. (last accessed 23/10/2020 https://www.grandviewresearch.com/press-release/global-electric-scooters-market)


10 25 50

Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/R513295/1 01/10/2018 30/09/2023
2441780 Studentship EP/R513295/1 01/10/2020 31/03/2024 Sebastian Joel Pearson