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Sharing the Podium

27 July 2012

By Maisie Gibson.

BU’s Bryce Dyer was interviewed in the Times Higher Education magazine on July 19 to find out more about his recent work with Paralympic athlete Colin Lynch. The article was uncovering the roles of universities in the upcoming Olympic and Paralympic Games. A senior lecturer in product design, Bryce has been working with the athlete to produce a new prosthetic leg to help him to victory.

With the Olympics, everything is stepped up a gear, especially the technology. Dyer explained his methods to reporter Jack Grove: “We took the model of a traditional prosthetic limb and threw it away, starting with a blank canvas… We made one out of carbon fibre, thinking about aerodynamics and power transfer.”

Dyer went on to speak about the further implications of opportunities like this for the wider world of British Engineering. “When money is no object,” Dyer said, “you see big changes in technology.” As in any science, when innovations are made at a high level, the technology filters down to brilliant everyday uses: “for instance, the anti-lock braking system came from Formula One racing… Some changes [in prosthetics] might mean helping soldiers return to combat after losing a limb.”

In the article, The Times and Sheffield Hallam University, predicted that this year Team GB will bring home 56 medals in total at the Games, 27 of them Gold. With Bruce Dyer and others like him working in the dizzy heights of their fields to get that unique edge, the consensus of the report is that that target will be reached.

Maisie Gibson, 17, is a student at Budmouth College in Weymouth who is working at Bournemouth University in the Press and PR Department. She joined BU on a Sir Samuel Mico Scholarship, which provides 10 students from her college with essential work experience for four weeks over the summer. For further details about the scholarship can be seen online.

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