16 June 2016

Fun at the Engineering Researcher Symposium

I was invited to give the keynote address at the Engineering Researcher Symposium here at the University of Sheffield.  The logo for the event appears below (click on the image for a larger view).
A conference organiser asked me to speak on my Tour de France work, my World Cup football work, and give a physics preview of the upcoming Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.  That's a lot of material!  But I embraced the challenge and condensed what I normally talk about on those research areas.  I hope it was successful.  One of my office mates, PhD student Zing Siang Lee, took the photo below (click on the image for a larger view).
As you can see from the slide I'm looking at, I was discussing the profile of Stage 17 of last year's Tour de France.  My research students and I have taken stage profiles and converted them into series of inclined planes.  When modelling reality, start simple and only add complexities as needed.

I thoroughly enjoyed giving the keynote address.  Even more fun for me was watching the other presentations, seeing the various posters set up for the poster session, and meeting and talking to so many people excited about research.  There is nothing quite like being in a room with people who have learned something new and are dying to share the news.  I was the sponge in the room, going from person to person and absorbing as much as I could.  When I got into academia many years ago, I knew that I could not be an effective teacher if I wasn't passionate about research.  After yesterday's symposium, I'm full of new ideas for what I'll be teaching at Lynchburg College during the upcoming academic year.

After all the talks were completed and the poster session had finished, awards were given out.  I was thrilled when another of my office mates, postdoc Raman Maiti, won the engineering researcher of the year award.  He certainly deserved it!

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