WATERLOO, Ont. (Tuesday, July 19, 2011) - University of Waterloo engineering students will display product designs this week that offer innovative solutions to challenges occurring in such diverse sports activities as bike racing, judo and tennis.

On Friday, 12 student groups in a third-year systems design engineering course will present a product design exhibition on sports engineering. The event runs from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. in room 1301 of the William G. Davis Computer Research Centre.

"We want to improve the quality of sports engineering and make life better for athletes," said John Zelek, professor of systems design engineering and event organizer. "The students were asked to select a challenge in a sports activity and come up with an effective solution."

The design prototypes address a variety of challenges:

• improving synchronization for dragon boating

• harnessing spectator energy in stadiums to power electronic devices

• providing self-performance monitoring tools for swim training

• improving communications for ice hockey practices

• reducing skidding in bicycle racing

• detecting a basketball refereeʼs gestures automatically

• finding a low-cost method to detect if a ball is in or out for tennis

• designing karate floor maps that minimize injury

• designing a weight-lifting bench press that does not require a spotter

• designing a mechanical judo training mechanism

• re-designing a rock climbing glove to combat weather conditions

The students groups were each required to select a problem area, identify a design problem objective and solicit needs from stakeholders. This laid the groundwork for the innovative concepts that were prototyped for display at this week's exhibit.

The course and theme meet several engineering design learning objectives. They expose students to relevant world issues which may lead to cost-effective solutions. They also show that engineering plays a key role in society, improving the quality of life for all.

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Waterloo News


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