A Letter from Department Head Gang Chen

Dear Alumni, Students, Faculty, and Friends,

Sports are a great equalizer. They bring people from every country and background together. Since our students and faculty come from all over the world, it’s no wonder that so many are athletes and sports enthusiasts themselves.

The love of sports extends beyond our courts, fields, and swimming pools. It drives the research done by many of our students and faculty. From squash to sailing and everything in between, research on how to improve athletic performance is being conducted across a myriad of sports here in the Department of Mechanical Engineering.

This exciting research is not done in a vacuum. Thanks to the newly minted MIT 3-Sigma Sports (formerly the STE@M Sports Technology Group), students and faculty can connect with leading industry partners. The annual Sports Technology Summit held in May connects researchers with partners like Adidas and the Milwaukee Brewers. These connections help bring sports technology research out of the lab and into the playing field.

In this issue, we hear from faculty members, students, and alumni about how they apply the knowledge they’ve gained in classrooms and labs to their favorite sports. Their personal passions have inspired them to identify ways to improve athletic performance and create solutions for problems that can plague athletes. Members of the MechE community have developed a 3-D camera to correct an athlete’s form as they lift weights, an aerodynamic bicycle built for speed, and an algorithm to make sense of the thousands of data points generated in each baseball game. If you stop to speak with any student or faculty member about their sports technology research, their passion is infectious.

We hope you enjoy this issue of MechE Connects. As always, thank you for your ongoing support and friendship.



Gang Chen, Carl Richard Soderberg Professor of Power Engineering and Department Head

This article originally appeared in the 2017 Spring/Summer Issue of MechE Connects.