Now all the SABEL’ers are back from overseas we’ve had a second to take a breath and reflect about our time in Delft at the biannual International Sports Engineering Conference – The Engineering of Sport . What a cracking conference it was! Over 300 delegates with great representation from both industry and academia from all parts of the globe. A total of 157 publications presented at the conference either as oral presentations or posters – you can access the papers here. From start to finish the conference was terrific, starting with the official welcome in the iconic Delft city hall and ending with the conference banquet at a historic old Glue & Gelatine Factory. We (and I’m sure I speak for all the attendees) had an absolutely terrific conference. I’m sure many new friendships and research collaborations came out of ISEA 2016. Below are just a few take away messages.
Tour de Delft – ISEA Delegates Get Cycling
A masterstroke from the conference organising committee was the integration of cycling. The Dutch and cycling go hand in hand, and most conference delegates grabbed life by the handlebars, taking the option of using two pedals as their main mode of transport for the week. Even though Arend Schwab’s terrific keynote on the art of cycling evidenced the bicycle was a self-stabilising system, a few of the conference delegates might be a little sceptical as the canals of Delft were lucky to not swallow a sports engineer or two.
We are all jealous of TU delft’s facilities
To the 20,000 engineering sciences students and 5000 or so staff that call TU Delft home, we are jealous! From the D:DREAM hall to the four wind tunnels, the amazing engineering labs to the remarkable library. TUDelft is world class, they are producing world-class projects, and from chatting to many of the students it looks like they are producing world-class graduate engineers.
Sports Engineering Research: Going from Strength to Strength
It was great to see the diversity of papers and different engineering solutions the authors adopted to approach and solve all types of problems pertinent to the world of sport. The standard of presentations was also great to see and this led to a real buzz in each session. Thank you to all the keynote presenters too for their excellent presentations. Personally, I took a lot out of Professor Sadayuki Ujihashi keynote, as understanding our history and where we came from as a group is really important as we progress sports engineering to the future.
Getting the tribe together: The non-scientific events.
The crux of at matter is we attend conferences to disseminate our research to a wide audience, to become informed about other people’s research and really, to feel a part of something bigger than ourselves – to gain a sense of belonging. The great thing about this conference is this was done both formally through structured sessions, but maybe more so in the informal social sessions. The social calendar included welcome drinks, a PhD student night, a sports afternoon and the conference banquet. All these events went brilliantly and it’s moments like this that separate the ISEA from other groups, it definitely feels like a big family.
There’s plenty going on down-under
ISEA also had a few surprises with two big conference unveilings. In 2017 the 8th APCST will be hosted by Swinburne University in Melbourne and we were very proud to announce the 2018 conference will be hosted by us. Yep, that’s right ISEA 2018, March 26-28th, in Brisbane. The conference website is live! We can’t wait to say G’day to you all so, start thinking about abstracts and papers and get them in!. As David Theil says, we are only two ‘short’ flights from anywhere.
Lastly, A massive thank you to the sponsors and the conference organising team at Delft for all your hard work. The conference was amazing, and we will try our very best to emulate the amazing experience everyone had in Australia in 2018.