Agricultural Engineers explore natural turf for sport surfaces at Annual Conference
Published Date: 01/04/2010
Sports injuries to professionals or valuable racehorses can cost millions and are often caused by imperfect turf surfaces.
This year’s Institution of Agricultural Engineers (IAgrE) Conference will tackle the topic and will hear from leading figures from the medical and equine world about the effects that inconsistent grass surfaces can have on both humans and horses. Entitled ‘Natural Turf for Sport – Engineering Safe and Sustainable Surfaces’ it will be held at Cranfield University on May 11th 2010.
“The theme will be of interest to anyone with responsibility for establishing and maintaining sports turf. With the huge costs associated to sporting injuries both to humans and horses getting the sports surface right is of paramount importance,” said Chris Whetnall IAgrE’s Chief Executive.
The conference includes speakers who are specialist in all aspects of turf business and also specialists in human and equine musculo-skeletal biomechanics. Mr James Calder – Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon and Honorary Clinical Senior Lecturer at Imperial College London heads the morning session and will talk about the effects of sports surfaces on the human foot and ankle.
Leading the afternoon session will be Dr Sian Lawson (William Leech Senior Lecturer in Bio-Medical Engineering at Newcastle University). Dr Lawson is a Principal Investigator in musculo-skeletal biomechanics and will present on equine gait analysis in relation to racing surfaces.
Also speaking will be Dr Iain James of Cranfield University who will examine how sports surfaces work. Dr James will look at the mechanical behaviour of sports surfaces using various studies from the field and labs including both human sports performance and machinery-surface interactions.
Dr Richard Earl of TGMS Ld will deliver a paper on pitch design and construction and Mike Maher of TurfTrax Course Services Ltd will talk about the development of the ‘going stick’ for monitoring sports surfaces. “There is a direct link between the health and safety of sports participants and the surfaces on which they play and this conference will be vital for those who want to understand more about the cause and effect of injuries in the sporting area,” Chris added.
The conference is being staged in partnership with the IOG and Cranfield University and is being sponsored by Ransomes Jacobsen and Autoguide Equipment.