Engineering Sports at MIT

Posted on April 29, 2008  Comments (0)

Making sports an exact science by Shira Springer

“It’s all about finding your passion,” said Vasquez, the group leader and a Material Science and Engineering major. “All the guys on the [project] team love sports. It’s more fun than what you typically think of with an MIT research project.

“There are very few sports companies that put value in good engineering, in terms of projects that make engineering sense rather than just marketing sense. When you get to see how your research can actually be used, it’s pretty cool.”

The MIT Sports Innovation program, though, was designed to give undergraduates hands-on research experience away from textbooks and classrooms. Working in a Building 17 laboratory cluttered with experiments, where the hum of the wind tunnel can make conversation difficult, the undergraduates brainstorm and build different components of the test setup.

Inside the laboratory and Aero/Astro hangar, the MIT baseball research project looks like a combination of shop class and horror flick: Power tools, quick-drying cement, PVC pipe, handsaws, and mannequin parts are scattered around.

Related: Baseball Pitch Designed in the LabRandomization in SportsThe Science of the Football SwerveSports Engineering at MIT (2006)

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