New professional master's concentration focuses on sports engineering

Purdue University will be one of a few universities in country to offer formalized sports engineering education, starting in fall 2022.

The Professional Master’s Concentration in Sports Engineering is housed in the Graduate Program of Interdisciplinary Engineering (IDE) and provides students with an opportunity to specialize their studies in the area of sports engineering. There are very few programs in the United States that offer formalized sports engineering education, and Purdue’s combination of top engineering programs and top NCAA athletics makes it a natural home for a sports engineering program.

With the launch in 2019 of the Ray Ewry Sports Engineering Center at Purdue, there is a tangible opportunity to be able to equip the next leaders in this field with the tools they need to be successful in industry through a professional master’s concentration. Through curated courses in engineering fundamentals, data analytics and computer science, and entrepreneurship and management, students will engage in a multidisciplinary approach to learning and applying sports engineering principles.

“At the time of this writing, Purdue and Stanford are the only two universities with a top 5 basketball and top 5 engineering college in the country," said Mung Chiang, Purdue’s executive vice president for strategic initiatives and the John A. Edwardson Dean of the College of Engineering. “We hope students interested in learning how technology works with athletics will come to this new program, and study how engineering can advance sports safety, performance, immersive experience and more.”

This one-year program on Purdue’s West Lafayette, Indiana, campus is targeted toward students who desire to learn skills that are in high demand in practical sports engineering, such as sports entrepreneurship, biomechanics, data analytics and management. Housed in IDE, students will have the opportunity to pursue the broader engineering track that interests them to supplement the courses that fulfill this concentration. More specifically, the target audience includes former collegiate, Olympic, and professional athletes; current undergraduates and recent graduates; domestic and international students; and practicing professionals wishing to return for additional technical or specialized expertise.

“This program is inspired by how the new technologies coming from digitalization and Internet of Things are merging with traditional sports engineering,” said Jan-Anders Mansson, executive director of the Ray Ewry Sports Engineering Center and a board member of the Athlete Learning Gateway at the International Olympic Committee. “This influences how we design new equipment and apparel, how we can experience sport in a new dimension and how we can engage more people in sport as a lifestyle and a business opportunity. We are excited to be launching this interdisciplinary program at Purdue this fall.”