A collaboration has been formed between Team GB Short Track Speed Skating and the University of Nottingham in order to improve the performance of the skate, particularly the blade of the skate, and hence to improve the performance of the skaters in competition.
It is envisioned that the successful candidate for this PhD position will work with the team in order to understand the current design of the skates/blades and the way in which they perform under race conditions. Part of this will be the assessment of the forces being applied through the blade of the skate and the resulting strain/deformation during race conditions. Work will then be carried out in order to convert the data produced to force/stress on the blade as well as ‘through the ice’. This information will then inform Finite Element Analysis which will be used to further understand the material behaviour of the blade and to provide design improvements/recommendations for a new generation of skate components. Depending on the outcome of these activities, subsequent work may also be done, with Team GB Speed Skaters in order to help in training them to get the most out of the skates and maximise performance, via changes in technique.
It is hoped that this collaboration will result in an improved performance of the speed skaters and hence lead to an increase in the medals won in competitions such as the Winter Olympics.