Cutting Edge 2012 event to explore the research behind triathlon.

Cutting Edge 2012 will be looking at the sport we love

In an initiative by Research Councils UK in partnership with the Royal Institution, triathlon fans and participants are being invited to explore the research behind the sport at a free event in the run up to the Olympic Games. The Cutting Edge: Behind Triathlon event on Tuesday 27 March at the Carriageworks in Leeds will feature a range of speakers and top sports scientists in an interactive session, and is free to all who register.

Professor Steve Haake, one of the UK’s top sports scientists, will host an evening of debate and demonstrations featuring:

  • Dr Rob Harle, a lead researcher in the development of innovative video and body sensor technologies to aid the training of both novice and elite athletes, will be discussing triathlon bike design
  • Dr Steph Forrester, a sports scientist and triathlete for Team GB in Sydney 2000 who will explain how the right equipment, from shoes to bras, can enhance athletic performance
  • Dr David James who will lead discussions on how far research and new technologies should be used in the quest to win gold.

The event will give attendees the chance to question both the scientists who develop the cutting-edge technology behind sport, and the high-achieving athletes who use it.

For more information on the Cutting Edge 2012 series, and to register for tickets, those interested should go to

Professor Steve Haake, Head of Sports Engineering Research at Sheffield Hallam University and Chair of the event commented:

“Cutting Edge is a chance for the general public to look behinds the scenes at what it takes to win Gold at the Olympics.  Elite sport needs elite support and the Cutting Edge 2012 series showcases some of the key expertise provided by the UK’s academics and practitioners helping our athletes get the competitive edge needed to come first.  These skills include engineering, technology, physiology and psychology as well as elite athletes themselves.  Our audiences will be encouraged to ask questions and we will not shy away from the difficult ones – in return we may just ask some searching questions of the audience themselves.”

The Cutting Edge 2012 event series consists of six sessions in total, all themed around a different sport, and will feature a range of sports stars and top scientists in an interactive session with demonstrations.

The evening events are an initiative by Research Councils UK (RCUK), and are an opportunity to question both cutting-edge researchers and high-achieving athletes.

Comments from people attending the events will inform new research about the public’s attitudes to research and technology use in sport, which will be presented at the International Convention on Science, Education and Medicine in Sport (ICSEMIS) in July.

Cutting Edge 2012 has been granted the prestigious  London 2012 Inspire mark, the badge of the London 2012 Inspire programme which recognises exceptional and innovative projects inspired by the 2012 Games.


Professor John Womersley, RCUK Champion for Public Engagement with Research commented: “The Research Councils are committed to engaging the public with the research and researchers we support. As well as offering an exciting look at some of the UK’s best sporting achievements, Cutting Edge 2012 will allow the public to learn more about the science and research behind sport, express their own views and inform new research.”

Dr Gail Cardew, Director of Science and Education at the Royal Institution commented: “Following on from the recent success of the Royal Institution’s Christmas Lectures, we are delighted to be delivering the Cutting Edge 2012 series in a year that will go down in history for British sport. The series promises to provide fascinating insights into the sport and the importance of science and human performance interacting to achieve results.”

For more information on the Cutting Edge 2012 series, and to register for tickets, please go to

Information on the events can also be found on Twitter at @ri_science and on the hashtag #cuttingedge2012. is the online home of Triathlon Plus. Save time and money by having every issue delivered to your door or digital device by subscribing to the print edition or buying digitally through Zinio or Apple Newsstand.