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Dr. Leon Foster MEng. PhD.

Researcher


Summary

Dr Leon Foster is a researcher at the Centre for Sports Engineering Research, specialising in performance analysis systems. Leon has developed software and hardware for performance analysis tools for elite athletes. He has also become involved in the development of these technologies for use by the general public through a jointly funded European Union Interreg project called ProFit. Leon has a keen interest in testing sports equipment and has developed testing protocols to evaluate the safety of protective sporting equipment within the Centre for Sports Engineering Research laboratory. In addition to his research Leon lecturers within the MSc Sports Engineering course, and supervises several PhD students. 

About

Dr Leon Foster is a researcher at the Centre for Sports Engineering Research. Prior to joining the group at Sheffield Hallam University, Leon graduated from the University of Bath with a MEng in Sports Engineering. Leon then completed his PhD at Sheffield Hallam University in 2012, modelling the influence of technology on athletic performance in a range of different sports. Taking key elements from his PhD, Leon embarked on the 2012 Institute of Physics schools lecture tour titled " Physics and the Games: a Winning Formula". He was part of a team of three who were responsible for delivering and organising a series of lectures at schools and universities throughout the UK, including at the Royal Institution. 

Leon's research specialises in performance analysis systems. He has developed software and hardware for performance analysis tools for elite athletes. He has recently become involved in the development of these technologies for use by the general public on a jointly funded European Union Interreg project called ProFit. Leon also has a keen interest in testing sports equipment and has developed testing protocols to evaluate the safety of protective sporting equipment within the Centre for Sports Engineering Research laboratory. In addition to his research Leon coordinates and manages the departments laboratory equipment, lecturers within the MSc Sports Engineering course, is part of the team developing the new BSc Sports and Exercise Technology course, and supervises several PhD students. 

Areas of interest:

  • Sports engineering
  • Performance analysis
  • Materials testing
  • Systems development

Teaching

BSc Sports and Exercise Science:

  • Technology and Innovation – Applications to Sport and Exercise. 

MSc Sports Engineering:

  • Mechanics of Sports Equipment

BSc Sports Technology (2018-19 start date):

  • Technology and Innovation – Applications to Sport and Exercise. 
  • Sports Equipment Design
  • Sports Mechanics (module leader)

Research

Research centre:

  • Centre for Sports Engineering Research (CSER)

Research theme groups:

Current research projects:

  • EIS Innovation Partnership – developing athlete performance monitoring tools
  • Auxetics for sports safety equipment – development of novel materials to improve the characteristics of sports safety equipment
  • SETA - Modelling of Non-motorised mobility – Horizon 2020 research project 

Collaborators and sponsors:

  • Manchester Metropolitan Univeristy 
  • TU Delft
  • National Centre for Sports Exercise Medicine (NCSEM)
  • English Institute of Sport Innovation and Technology Partnership

Publications

Journal articles

Duncan, O., Allen, T., Birch, A., Foster, L., Hart, J., & Alderson, A. (2020). Effect of steam conversion on the cellular structure, Young's modulus and negative Poisson's ratio of closed-cell foam. Smart Materials and Structures, 30 (1), 015031. http://doi.org/10.1088/1361-665X/abc300

Duncan, O., Naylor, G., M, J.G., Allen, T., Foster, L., Hart, J., & Alderson, A. (2020). Plantar Pressure Distribution under Uniform and Gradient Foam during Running and Jumping. Proceedings, 49 (1), e116. http://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2020049116

Allen, T., Foster, L., Strangwood, M., & Webster, J. (2019). Sports materials special issue editorial. Applied Sciences, 9 (24), e5272. http://doi.org/10.3390/app9245272

Duncan, O., Clegg, F., Essa, A., Bell, A., Foster, L., Allen, T., & Alderson, A. (2019). Effects of heat exposure and volumetric compression on Poisson's ratios, Young's moduli and polymeric composition during thermo-mechanical conversion of auxetic open cell polyurethane foam. physica status solidi (b), 256 (1). http://doi.org/10.1002/pssb.201800393

Duncan, O., Shepherd, T., Moroney, C., Foster, L., Venkatramam, P., Winwood, K., ... Alderson, A. (2018). Review of auxetic materials for sports applications: expanding options in comfort and protection. Applied Sciences, 8 (6), 941. http://doi.org/10.3390/app8060941

Foster, L., Peketi, P., Allen, T., Senior, T., Duncan, O., & Alderson, A. (2018). Application of auxetic foam in sports helmets. Applied Sciences, 8 (3), 354. http://doi.org/10.3390/app8030354

Duncan, O., Allen, T., Foster, L., Gatt, R., Grima, J.N., & Alderson, A. (2018). Controlling density and modulus in auxetic foam fabrications—-implications for impact and indentation testing. Proceedings, 2 (6), 250. http://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2060250

Duncan, O., Allen, T., Foster, L., Senior, T., & Alderson, A. (2017). Fabrication, characterisation and modelling of uniform and gradient auxetic foam sheets. Acta Materialia, 126, 426-437. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.actamat.2017.01.004

Duncan, O., Foster, L., Senior, T., Alderson, A., & Allen, T. (2016). Quasi-static characterisation and impact testing of auxeticfoam for sports safety applications. Smart Materials and Structures, 25 (5). http://doi.org/10.1088/0964-1726/25/5/054014

Allen, T., Shepherd, J., Hewage, T.M., Senior, T., Foster, L., & Alderson, A. (2015). Low-kinetic energy impact response of auxetic and conventional open-cell polyurethane foams. physica status solidi b, 252 (7), 1631-1639. http://doi.org/10.1002/pssb.201451715

Foster, L., Gielen, M., Beattie, M., & Goodwill, S.R. (2014). Real-time monitoring of user physical activity and position in an outdoor public space. Ubiquitous Computing and Ambient Intelligence, 8867 (8867), 100-107. http://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-13102-3_19

Foster, L.I., Haake, S., James, D.M., & Nevill, A.M. (2014). Modelling effects of drug testing procedures on performance trends in the shot put. Journal of Sports Medicine & Doping Studies, 4 (5). http://doi.org/10.4172/2161-0673.1000151

Haake, S., James, D., & Foster, L. (2014). An improvement index to quantify the evolution of performance in field events. Journal of Sports Sciences, 33 (3), 255-267. http://doi.org/10.1080/02640414.2014.938099

Haake, S., Foster, L., & James, D. (2014). An improvement index to quantify the evolution of performance in running. Journal of Sports Sciences, 32 (7), 610-622. http://doi.org/10.1080/02640414.2013.841974

Allen, T., Foster, L., Carré, M., & Choppin, S. (2012). Characterising the impact performance of field hockey sticks. Sports Engineering, 15 (4), 221-226. http://doi.org/10.1007/s12283-012-0099-2

Conference papers

Allen, T., Duncan, O., Foster, L., Senior, T., Zampieri, D., Edeh, V., & Alderson, A. (2017). Auxetic foam for snowsport safety devices. In Snow sports trauma and safety: proceedings of the International Society of Skiing Safety. International Society for Skiing Safety: http://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-52755-0_12

Foster, L., Heller, B., Williams, A., Dunn, M., Curtis, D., & Goodwill, S. (2016). Development of smart inner city recreational facilities to encourage active living. In Garcia, C.R., Caballero-Gil, P., Burmester, M., & Quesada-Arencibia, A. (Eds.) Ubiquitous computing and ambient intelligence : 10th International Conference, UCAmI 2016, San Bartolomé de Tirajana, Gran Canaria, Spain, November 29 – December 2, 2016, (pp. 458-468). Springer: http://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-48799-1_50

Duncan, O., Foster, L., Senior, T., Allen, T., & Alderson, A. (2016). A comparison of novel and conventional fabrication methods for auxetic foams for sports safety applications. Procedia Engineering, 147, 384-389. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.proeng.2016.06.323

McInerney, C., Foster, L., Choppin, S., Stone, J., & Goodwill, S. (2016). A review of spatio-temporal metrics in invasion game sports. In World Congress of Performance Analysis of Sport XI.

Mcinerney, C., Goodwill, S., Foster, L., & Choppin, S. (2016). Spatio-temporal metrics that distinguish plays in field hockey : a pilot study. In ISPAS 2016 International Workshop, Institute of Technology, Carlow, 22 March 2016 - 23 March 2016.

Allen, T., Martinello, N., Zampieri, D., Hewage, T., Senior, T., Foster, L., & Alderson, A. (2015). Auxetic Foams for Sport Safety Applications. Procedia Engineering, 112, 104-109. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.proeng.2015.07.183

Foster, L., Heller, B., Goodwill, S., & Curtis, D. (2014). Visual tracking of a GPS target within a FieldLab. Procedia Engineering, 72 (72), 168-173. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.proeng.2014.06.044

Foster, L.I., Haake, S.J., James, D.M., & Nevill, A.M. (2014). A Method To Objectively Gauge The Influence Of Drug Testing Procedures On Athletic Performance. MEDICINE AND SCIENCE IN SPORTS AND EXERCISE, 46 (5), 893. http://doi.org/10.1249/01.mss.0000496180.59745.ea

Foster, L., James, D., & Haake, S. (2012). Influence of full body swimsuits on competitive performance. Procedia engineering, 34, 712-717. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.proeng.2012.04.121

Foster, L., James, D., & Haake, S. (2010). Understanding the influence of population size on athletic performance. Procedia engineering, 2 (2), 3183-3189. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.proeng.2010.04.130

Presentations

Mcinerney, C., Foster, L., Choppin, S., Stone, J., & Goodwill, S. (2016). Spatio-temporal metrics that distinguish outcomes of field hockey plays. Presented at: XI World Congress of Performance Analysis of Sport, University of Alicante, Alicante, Spain, 2016

Mcinerney, C., Foster, L., Choppin, S., Stone, J., & Goodwill, S. (2016). A review of spatio-temporal metrics in invasion game sports. Presented at: XI World Congress of Performance Analysis of Sport, University of Alicante, Alicante, Spain, 2016

Postgraduate supervision

Current supervised PhD student:

  • Duncan, O., Auxetics Sport Safety Applications

Completed supervised PhD students:

  • McInerney, C., Modelling successful plays in hockey, July 2017

Media

Dr Leon Foster is a researcher at the Centre for Sports Engineering Research, specialising in performance analysis systems. Leon has developed software and hardware for performance analysis tools for elite athletes. He has also become involved in the development of these technologies for use by the general public through a jointly funded European Union Interreg project called ProFit. Leon has a keen interest in testing sports equipment and has developed testing protocols to evaluate the safety of protective sporting equipment within the Centre for Sports Engineering Research laboratory. In addition to his research Leon lecturers within the MSc Sports Engineering course, and supervises several PhD students. 

The Centre for Sports Engineering Research (CSER) is led by Dr David James. It is the world's largest academic group in sports engineering and an internationally renowned centre of excellence for research and knowledge transfer. The centre's work is based on four research disciplines; applied computing, biomechanics, design engineering, and skill acquisition. In each area, researchers develop fundamental knowledge and deliver applied solutions to enhance athletic performance, reduce injury and promote physical activity. 

CSER works in partnership with many sport, health and commercial organisations. We are immensely proud of our work with Team GB Olympic, and Paralympic athletes, and we enjoy research partnerships with global organisations such as the International Tennis Federation, FIFA, and Adidas. 

Areas of interest:

  • Sports engineering
  • Performance analysis
  • Materials testing
  • Systems development

Notable media coverage:

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