Competitive Cycling Focus of next talk in Sports Technology Series

Nov 15 2011 Posted: 11:32 GMT

The next talk in the NUI Galway public talk series on ‘Sports Technology’ will take place on Tuesday, 22 November, at 6pm. The talk is entitled ‘Competitive Cycling – Pushing the Boundaries of Engineering’.

Cycling is a sport which pushes not only athletes but also engineers to the limit. From accommodating increasingly complex, lightweight yet strong gearing systems to the development of new battery technology to enable electronic gear shifters; from leading developments in human power measurement and engineering smart responsive clothing materials, to developing methods for monitoring human performance in real-time and with wireless data transfer.

The talk will be delivered by Dr Eoghan Clifford, a lecturer in Civil Engineering at NUI Galway. His main areas of research are sustainable technology development in environmental engineering, water and wastewater treatment, sustainable transport and sustainability in the built environment.

According to Dr Clifford: “When describing new and exciting developments in engineering, the term ‘Space Age Engineering’ is often used. However, it can be argued that in some ways Space Age Engineering takes its lead from engineering in bicycling. The modern professional cyclist rides a carbon fibre bicycle frame often weighing less than 1kg, attached to a pair of wheels weighing as little as 1.3kg. These aerodynamic, lightweight frames and wheels slip through the air, minimising resistance, yet are capable of supporting cyclists weighing up to 90kg travelling at 60kph over cobblestones. Meanwhile, helmets weighing 200g can save a cyclists life, be aerodynamic and also allow adequate air flow for cooling.”

In addition to his academic career and achievements, Dr Clifford has a distinguished record in competitive cycling and for a number of years has been racing as an A1 level cyclist, (the top category in Ireland when not a full time professional). His first competitive cycling results came with a second placing in the intervarsity’s road race in 2001 and since then he has competed extensively in Ireland and internationally. He has successfully competed in most of the major stage and one day races in Ireland. He was Connacht Road Race Champion in 2008 and 2009 and has competed in countries including France, Italy, Germany, Austria and Norway.
The series of Sports Technology talks are organised by Professor Gearóid Ó Laighin, Course Director of NUI Galway’s degree programme in Sports & Exercise Engineering. This degree programme enables students with the skills and expertise to design innovative sports systems and devices.

This talk will take place in ENG-2003 in the Engineering Building at NUI Galway and is open to the public. For more information on the Sports Technology talks, which are supported by the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, visit or call 091 492728.



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