Blog posts

British Wimbledon Champion 2014

No you haven’t read the title wrong, British hopes at Wimbledon did not crash out with Andy Murray. In fact British talent was very much in evidence in the Wheelchair Tennis as Jordanne Whiley become the first British woman to lift the wheelchair tennis trophy at Wimbledon as she secured the doubles title with her Japanese partner Yui Kamiji. The pairing beat the defending champions 2-6, 6-2, 7-5, taking the title away from the Netherlands for the first time in the Championships 6 year history.

Also in action over the weekend were the partnership of GB’s Gordon Reid and Tom Egberink who despite a storming first set lost out to the number one seeds Houdet and Kunieda in the semi finals (1-6, 6-4, 6-2).

Testing with GB Para-Rowing

Last week a group of 2nd Year Bio-engineering students had the opportunity to take their projects down to the National Sports Centre in Bisham (near Marlow) to demonstrate them to World Championship winning GB Para-Rowers, Pam Relph and James Fox. The trip also coincided with a visit from the Minister for Sport, Helen Grant, who was on site to open the new accommodation facilities at Bisham.

The projects were well received by the athletes, and their were constructive suggestions for improvements in their next design iteration.

We look forward to running more projects in the future with the GB Para-Rowing team and developing the current projects further in preparation for the Paralympic Games in Rio 2016.

2 Golds and a Silver for GB Para-Rowers

Team GB have had a successful weekend at the Rowing World Cup in France, winning Gold in the 100m men’s single skull and the mixed cox four along with Silver in the women’s single skull.

Pam Relph and James Fox, two of the members of the cox four competing last Saturday have been advising a team of Bioengineering 2nd year students at Imperial College as part of the Rio Tinto Sports Innovation Challenge. The team have been tasked with developing training aids to assist Pam and James with their rowing. Tomorrow will see a selection of the students present the prototypes and their project report to Pam and James and other members of GB Para Rowing.

Team Bruise and The Bike Experience

A slightly damp and overcast Monday on a stretch of windswept tarmac may not sound like the ideal way to start your week, but for one group of bikers it was a dream come true that many may have thought impossible. The Bike Experience is a charity that teaches and advises motorcyclists who have been disabled how they can ride again. Founded by Talan Skeels-Piggins in 2011 the charity is unique in its goals of assisting disabled bikers back onto two wheels.

Students from the Innovation Design Engineering course (a double masters course run in partnership between Imperial College and the RCA) were in attendance yesterday to demonstrate the Rio Tinto Sports Innovation Challenge project, the Bruise suit.

World Cup kicked off with the aid of an Exoskeleton

Yesterday the World Cup kicked off with flamboyant carnival spirit. But you may have missed at the centre of it all the first kick of the official World Cup ball being made by Juliano Pinto, a 29 year old with complete paralysis of the lower trunk. This was achieved by means of a mind-controlled Exoskeleton developed by Brazilian neuroscientist Dr Miguel Nicolelis at Duke University.

Dr Miguel Nicolelis is a leading expert in the field of brain-machine interface development working as part of the “Walk Again Project” consortium.

You can see Dr Etienne Burdet of Imperial College discussing exoskeleton development as part of a BBC article on exoskeletons and their use in rehabilitation.

Millie Knight tries out concept helmet at Imperial

Millie Knight popped into Imperial College yesterday to speak to Giulio Ammendola, one of the IDE students working on the Glimpse helmet as part of the Rio Tinto Sports Innovation Challenge. The haptic feedback system was really well received by Millie who found the experience both “surreal” and “amazing”.

It was great to catch-up with Millie again following her amazing experiences at the Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi earlier this year.

RTSIC at Imperial Festival

The Rio Tinto Sports Innovation Challenge stand received a good level of interest at last weekends Imperial Festival. Projects on show included 2nd year Bioengineering projects – the MechoHorse (rehabilitation aid for young people with spinal injuries), an instrumented bicycle and wheelchair as well as projects from the Innovation Design Engineering and Global Innovation Design courses, such as Theia, Glimpse and the interactive VI skiing game Guide Me, which proved a big hit with the visitors.

Innovation Design Engineering (IDE) & Global Innovation Design (GID) Exhibition

Last week saw the RTSIC projects from the Innovation Design Engineering (IDE) and Global Innovation Design (GID) joint masters courses exhibited at the Rio Tinto offices in Paddington. a number of projects were on display for the event which lasted from Wednesday 23rd April until Tuesday 29th April. The projects were originally shown at an exhibition at Imperial College back in February and a selection of them will also be on show as part of the Imperial Festival on the 9th and 10th of May.

Speakers at the exhibition included Mr Greg Lilleyman (Group executive of Technology & Innovation at Rio Tinto), Prof.

Para-cycling Golds and the London Marathon

It has been an action packed weekend for disability sports in general with the conclusion of the para-cycling world championships in Mexico and the London Marathon taking place.

Team GB came away from the World Championships with a tally of 7 Gold medals, 1 Silver and 2 Bronzes and 2 new world records. All this was achieved while a sickness bug worked its way through the team forcing the withdrawal of Jody Cundy, Gold medalist in the C4 kilo and also Jon-Allan Butterworth, Silver medalist in the C5 kilo. There was however delight for Sophie Thornhill and Rachel James who came away with 2 Gold medals in their first ever major championships.

World Para-Cycling Championships Underway

The World Para-Cycling Championships are underway in Mexico and Sarah Storey has won Team GB’s first medal, getting Bronze in the C5 500m time trial.  Storey only returned to the sport in December following the birth of her daughter Louisa last June. As ever there are high hopes for the Team GB cyclists, an 11 strong team which features tandem cycling pairing of Sophie Thornhill and pilot Rachel James making their major international debut and Jody Cundy who will be hoping to put behind him the false start nightmare he had in London 2012.

We are also looking forward to see Jon-Allan Butterworth perform in Mexico.