Sports engineers share a love for sports as they research and develop a range of technologies and products for the industry. Sports engineering programs are often concentrations within other college engineering programs, such as mechanical engineering, and are occasionally separate programs. Schools offering top programs in sports engineering demonstrate academic rigor in combination with a sports-loving faculty and offer students the flexibility to design their own concentrations.
Carnegie Mellon University
The engineering college at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh offers program flexibility and sports technology coursework attractive to students who want a concentration in sports engineering. The interdisciplinary master's program in Engineering Technology and Innovation Management allows sports-minded engineers to concentrate on a wide array of interests, from nanotechnology to biomedical engineering and information technology. In addition, the college offers coursework on sports technology through the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, taught by faculty with research achievements in sports engineering.
University of California at Davis
The University of California at Davis has a strong focus on sports biomechanics, as evidenced by its Sports Biomechanics Laboratory. Many of the students involved in research work at the laboratory are from the biomedical engineering group, where students pursue a master's or a Ph.D. Students with an interest in sports engineering engage in a program designed to prepare them with a solid foundation, such as tracks in musculoskeletal biomechanics or the study of loads, motion, stress and strain on biological systems. Within the musculoskeletal biomechanics track are faculty from a wide range of fields, such as mechanical and aerospace engineering and orthopedic surgery, allowing students broad preparation in such areas as exercise science for clinical, industry or academic careers. Students also have research opportunities to study sports issues, such as luge ice track safety, bicycle dynamics or optimal pacing.
Washington State University
The School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering at Washington State University in Pullman hosts the Sports Science Laboratory, which focuses on things such as the dynamics of collisions between a bat and ball. The master's and doctoral programs in mechanical and materials engineering are taught by national and internationally acclaimed faculty. Within the Sports Science Laboratory, students have the opportunity to study and apply their innovative interests. Students also have research opportunities at other laboratories, such as the virtual reality laboratory, where they can focus on areas like biomedical modeling and visualization with sports implications.
Worchester Polytechnic Institute
The Mechanical Engineering Department at Worchester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts offers students the flexibility to pursue sports engineering within master's- and doctoral-level mechanical engineering programs. In the department's Surface Metrology Laboratory, studies conducted have included the surface metrology of ski base textures to improve speed in skiing competitions and the design of ski bindings to reduce knee ligament injuries. Within the department, program concentrations applicable to sports engineering include biomechanical engineering, structures and materials engineering or manufacturing and design, depending on the student's area of sports interest. Students also are exposed to the multidisciplinary nature of mechanical engineering.