The sport of rowing presents the engineer with a complex multi-physics challenge where marginal performance gains can make the difference between success and failure. The Performance Sports Engineering laboratory has worked closely with the English Institute of Sport (Research & Innovation) and various sports for over a decade, contributing to Olympic successes in London and Rio. The majority of this work has been through focussed PhD programmes examining in detail the physical mechanisms of resistance and propulsion and athlete/equipment interactions.
The cyclic nature of rowing propulsion makes it very difficult to accurately determine how changes in rowing technique and equipment selection affect the overall performance of a rower. This project aims to evaluate the component efficiencies associated with transferring athlete power into boat velocity using controlled lab experiments and on-the-water measurements. This will involve working closely with British Rowing in order to experimentally measure the internal forces between an athlete and their equipment. Controlled experiments will also be conducted in the University of Southampton’s new 138m towing tank to measure the individual components of efficiency. These different components will be used to develop a systems modelling approach to understand overall rowing performance and help quantify changes in rowing technique in the future.
We are looking for a highly motivated individual, who is prepared to work across disciplines and grow their skills. You should have an active interest in sport, be able to work well within a team environment, be excited about answering fundamental research questions alongside delivering research that has a real impact. We are looking for first class candidates with a background in mechanical engineering, ship science, aerospace, physics or mathematics. You should be confident with fluid dynamics, coding and experimentation whilst being happy to spend extended periods of time embedded within the sport conducting your research.
Provisional interview dates for this position are 7-9 August.