Here at Bournemouth University, we’re proud to have a number of our staff making contributions to the Paralympics, from supporting athletes out in Rio to designing equipment to influencing the way disabled athletes are portrayed in the news.
Dr Bryce Dyer, Head of BU’s Design & Engineering Research Centre, is an expert in the design and analysis of elite sporting equipment. His research into prosthesis has led him to design prosthetic limbs for Irish Paralympic cyclist, Colin Lynch.
“The research project stemmed from my curiosity about how important a prosthetic limb might or might not be when cycling competitively,” explains Dr Dyer, “I really enjoy doing research that has tangible real world applications – particularly in elite sport, which is a major passion of mine both inside and outside of the university.I worked with Pace Rehabilitation to really see if we could optimise the aerodynamics, weight, construction and general biomechanics of the Colin’s prosthesis. This led to a prosthetic leg being designed specifically for him that met his needs and was tailored to the kind of events he participates in.”
In addition to his practice-based research, Dr Dyer has also explored the controversies surrounding the use of technology in sport and whether these bring athletes an unfair advantage. Whether it is the use of prosthetic limbs, a highly developed bicycle or the latest in cutting edge materials, he has shown that any debate can produce solutions that can be positive, damaging or incredibly exciting to competitive sport as we push the boundaries of human performance.