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Sport science exploring athletic limits – even in outer space

20 November 2020

The Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) is even exploring outer space when it comes to seeking new heights in athletic performance.

The third annual Sports Technology and Applied Research Symposium (STARS) will bring together the brightest minds in sport and technology over the coming two weeks to share insights, research and innovation about where the next big breakthroughs in sport may emerge.

AIS Director and Americas Cup-winning engineer Ian Burns said the presentations would cover a diverse range of topics, from the latest in artificial intelligence and data capturing, to better understanding injury and illness prevention – even a presentation from NASA on physical preparation for space travel.

“There is so much we still don’t know about the human body and what we are capable of, so STARS provides a unique opportunity to showcase advancements being made across different industries, both locally and overseas,” Burns said, “We can collaborate and learn from pioneers in their field to ensure Australian sport remains at the forefront.”

“When it comes to sport technology and innovation, we are constantly pushing the limits of athletic performance and finding new and improved ways to assist our athletes to achieve their best.”

“Athletes are only getting stronger, faster and fitter. World records keep tumbling every year, and Australia needs to make sure we stay one step ahead of our competitors.”

Two sessions will be held each week-day from 23 November to 4 December, including presentations from: Triathlon Australia’s Dr Paula Charlton on preventative health; USA biomechanist Dr Peter Vint on the use of deterministic modelling; and sleep expert Professor Greg Roach.

AIS engineering duo Matt Crawford and Andy Richardson will discuss technology and equipment customised for some of Australia’s top Olympic, Paralympic and Commonwealth Games athletes, including Dylan Alcott, Madison de Rozario and Vanessa Low.

Burns said: “The Australian high performance system boasts incredible teams of sport scientists, engineers and technologists who are committed to supporting our athletes and coaches to reach their maximum potential. STARS is about helping to maintain our competitive edge and sharing knowledge and expertise to inspire us to discover the next big breakthrough in research and innovation.”

Other presentations featured during week one of the event include:

  • Evolution of a Perspective on Talent Pathways in Sport, presented by Professor Allan Hahn OAM, Queensland Academy of Sport
  • How Swimming Australia’s Project H2gr0w highlights opportunity for better strategies, presented by University of Sydney Associate Professor Stephen Cobley and Swimming Australia’s Jamie Salter OLY.
  • Measurement and prediction of cognitive and physical performance, presented by ARC Centre of

Excellence for Nanoscale BioPhotonics, Defence Science Technology Group and University of Adelaide Psychology.

  • Panel discussion on Performance Measurement and Tracking, featuringsix time Olympic Gold medal

winning coach Shannon Rollason.

Due to COVID-19, STARS will be held virtually.

To read the full STARS event program, visit

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