MSc Kinesiology: Jump-starting a career in footwear for athletes
It can take anywhere from 3 years and up to make the perfect pair of running shoes. Nick Frank is part of a dedicated research team whose goal is to create exceptional footwear for basketball players around the globe. At the Nike Sport Research Lab (NSRL), he collaborates with a variety of specialists to find out how sports equipment can be modified to help athletes perform better, whether that be turning quickly on the basketball court or running more efficiently. Working with a team of world-leading experts in engineering, design, and material science, Nick provides his expertise in biomechanics research and contributes to the future of sport.
“ It’s all about maximizing human potential… can we make you jump higher? Can we make you run faster? Change directions faster? … There’s lots of things you can change in a shoe that influence performance…”
The power of persistence
Even as a young teenager who was heavily involved in team sports, Nick had a dream to work at one of the largest footwear manufacturing companies in the world; Nike Inc. Through persistence and determination, Nick made connections with the Nike Sport Research Lab in Beaverton, Oregon. Combining his passion for sports with a strong foundation in biomechanics research he acquired during his graduate studies, he secured a Researcher position in the NSRL. While under the supervision of Professors Jack Callaghan and Stephen Prentice during his Master's degree, he performed research on how shoe cushioning can change the running mechanics in runners and non-runners. Completing the University of Waterloo’s MSc Kinesiology program has taught him modern data analysis techniques and to think outside the box when it comes to solving complex problems.
Amongst Waterloo’s best exports
Nick’s passion for Nike has extended beyond his own career success. Since graduating from UW, several classmates have joined the NSRL, where the demand for UW’s Kinesiology alumni reaches beyond Canada’s borders. The persistence that got him to his current role is what still drives him to continue to push the limits of human potential through the lens of sport.