Mike Vasquez, 2008, M.Eng. 2009, and his colleagues have authored “Materials and Technology in Sports,” a study of materials innovations’ impact on sports; the paper’s publication in Nature Materials (doi:10.1038/nmat3382).
In their article, they examine the role materials technology has played in generating world records in track and field (the pole vault, for example) and champion swimming. They also present a case for some sports that do not welcome new materials—the sound of a ball hitting the bat's sweet spot is distinctive with wood or aluminum bats, but composite bats thud.
Mike recently completed the Ph.D. in Sports Technology from Loughborough University, U.K. He was based at the Sports Technology Institute, the world’s largest academic research facility focused on athlete performance and safety. His research involved working with the company Burton Snowboards to develop cutting edge materials for their products.