The Ray Ewry Sports Engineering Center (RESEC) is named in honor of a record-setting Olympian and College of Engineering graduate, Ray Ewry. As a joint effort between the College of Engineering and Purdue Intercollegiate Athletics, the center reflects Ewry's passion for both sports and engineering and advances research and learning opportunities to athletes and students alike. The center benefits athletes in all levels of competition from local and regional to national and international.

What is Sports Engineering?

Sports Engineering is a multidisciplinary field that uses engineering principles to create solutions to the greatest challenges and opportunities facing sports today.

The field of sports engineering involves utilizing scientific theory, practical application, and technical knowledge to address sports-related challenges through data-driven insights and a results-oriented approach. RESEC strives to advance research, education, and industry engagement in sports engineering for students, faculty, and athletes.

Our Mission

At RESEC, we believe in the unifying, instructive, and transformative power of sports. Our primary objectives are to unite, teach, challenge, and drive change. With a profound understanding of sports' societal influence and a passion for the game, we seek to harness today’s advanced technology to reimagine how to train athletes, organize events, and engage with fans.

The three priorities of RESEC are: the integrity of competition, the health and safety of participants, and the engagement of the audience. Technology bridges the gap between each priority and engineering and data science lie at the center of all three. With innovative approaches to these priorities, we can meet the growing demand for a richer sports experience for all. To learn more about what we’re working on, visit our Research Focus Areas section.

Sports engineering unites various engineering disciplines, welcoming participants from diverse backgrounds. Besides offering a comprehensive Professional Master's Concentration in Sports Engineering, RESEC fosters collaboration between our internal affiliates and industry partners, effectively connecting Purdue's academic expertise with the industry's needs. Through these efforts, we strive to drive innovation, shape the future of sports, and create a positive impact on the sporting community.

Research Priorities

At RESEC, we've identified Excitement, Integrity, and Health as our most important priorities within sports and sports engineering. Through the application of engineering principles and the optimization of data science, RESEC facilitates innovative and ground-breaking research across Purdue relating to these concepts. Focus areas and associated projects can be explored in our Research Focus Areas section

Excitement - Smart Performance & Fan Experience

Sensor-based technology is a rapidly expanding opportunity to make athletes more competitive while simultaneously enhancing the fan experience. The Ray Ewry Sports Engineering Center is developing novel sensor-integrated versions of sports equipment to help athletes and coaches improve performance and training. Smart stadium technology offers extensive opportunities for enhancing fan engagement. The RESEC team is developing low-risk, high-return methods for optimizing athletes’ performance, increasing fan engagement, and enhancing overall viewer excitement.

Integrity - Fairness, Accessibility & Social Integration

As every athlete knows, sports are far more than just physical activity— they build self-esteem, stimulate mental and emotional growth, relieve stress, and enhance a person’s sense of accomplishment and social well-being. But in order to reap these benefits, it’s critical that a level playing field is maintained. Significant new research addresses issues in the merging interfaces of sports integrity, fairness, and social integration.

Health - Injury Reduction & Rehabilitation, Lifestyle Integration

Purdue is uniquely positioned to engineer solutions to keep players on the field, consistently playing injury-free. The center’s commitment to injury reduction and advanced rehabilitation serves as a valuable recruitment tool as Purdue continues to draw the most competitive student-athletes in the nation. By working in areas such as the advancement of non-invasive lactate level testing, the evaluation of protective equipment, and the design of safer playing surfaces, the RESEC is pioneering the next generation of sport. Helping players return to the field as safely and successfully as possible is a priority, and with the ability to both design new types of load-bearing braces and use non-invasive methods to quantify the strength of healing tendons, ligaments, and bones, athletes can be confident when they step back onto the field.

3-way venn diagram demonstrating that Excitement, Integrity, and Health in sports can all be influenced by technology. The Ray Ewry Sports Engineering Center positions itself at the intersection of all 3 concepts to use technology to advance our goals
Engineering at the Center
When examining the relationship between our priorities, we can find technology at the intersection of each and engineering and innovation at the center of them all

Research Focus Areas


The Ray Ewry Sports Engineering Center recognizes that big ideas and innovative thinking are what will bring sports technology into the future. With Purdue's recognized academic status both in the United States and worldwide, we can offer opportunities for both graduate and undergraduate students to get involved in sports engineering. See below for ways to begin your journey with RESEC.

Professional Master's Concentration in Sports Engineering

The Professional Master's Concentration in Sports Engineering in the Graduate Program of Interdisciplinary Engineering (IDE) provides students with an opportunity to specialize their studies in the area of sports engineering. As one of the few educational programs specific to sports engineering in the United States, participation in this program is advantageous for those with aspirations to work in the sports industry. With the launch of the Ray Ewry Sports Engineering Center at Purdue, we have the opportunity to equip the next leaders in this field with the skills and tools needed to be successful in industry.

Learn more about the Professional Master's Concentration in Sports Engineering

Graduate Research Opportunities

In collaboration with our network of affiliated faculty, RESEC can facilitate thesis-based master's and PhD programs with applications in sports engineering. Interested students should review Purdue's graduate program requirements and inquire with us about potential opportunities.

Undergraduate Research Opportunities

RESEC offers engaging, undergraduate-led projects in a diverse range of topics within sports engineering. We are looking for undergraduate engineering students with a passion for sports and sports technology to join our research efforts and further our contributions to the field of sports engineering. Depending on project scope, students can work independently or be placed on teams and may be given the opportunity to publish work in relevant journals.

Interested in getting involved? Contact Patrick Cavanaugh for more information and current openings

Education and Outreach Goals

  • Demonstrate the close interplay between the development of emerging technologies and their rapid implementation in competition sports
  • Emphasize the impact of equipment, apparel, and facilities on performance, safety, physiology, and biomechanics
  • Manage the technology and principles relating to the ruling and approval of equipment and facilities
  • Trigger innovative ideas for next-generation sports technology and entrepreneurship
Ray Ewry

Who Was Ray Ewry?

A Boilermaker track and field athlete, Ewry (1873-1937) was a Lafayette native who won eight gold medals in three Olympic Games from 1900 to 1908, plus an additional two golds at the 1906 Olympic Intercalated Games in Athens. Even as one of the most successful Olympic athletes, his story is relatively unknown. At the age of five he became an orphan, and at the age of seven he contracted polio and was confined to a wheelchair. Doctors had little hope he would be able to walk, but Ewry, a determined and driven individual even at a young age, refused to believe that was his fate. As part of his rehabilitation, he would force himself to stand and walk until he was eventually able to jump.

In 1890, Ewry enrolled as a Purdue Mechanical Engineering undergraduate and matriculated as a graduate student before teaching at Purdue. It was during Purdue’s first Field Day in 1891 that Ewry discovered a passion for track and field. He dedicated himself to the sport, eventually becoming a team captain, and in 1900, Ewry became the first Big Ten athlete in history to win an Olympic gold medal.

Nicknamed “The Human Frog,” Ewry won gold in the standing long and high jumps and standing triple jump. By the end of the 1908 Games, Ewry had won eight gold medals, setting a medal count record that would last more than 100 years.

While in Athens for the 1906 Intercalated Games, Ewry collected some soil and brought it back to the US, where it was untouched until 1928 when he sprinkled it onto the turf at the inauguration of the Ross-Ade Football Stadium. This meaningful gesture exemplified Ewry’s dedication to both Purdue and the Olympic spirit.

Purdue University's Olympic Athletes


  • Mike Duursma (2008) Netherlands Flag


  • Howie Williams (1952) USA Flag 1 gold medal
  • Terry Dischinger (1960) USA Flag 1 gold medal


  • David Boudia (2008, 2012, 2016) USA Flag 1 gold medal, 1 silver medal, 2 bronze medals
  • Steele Johnson (2016) USA Flag 1 silver medal
  • Mary Beth Dunnichay (2008) USA Flag
  • Tyler Downs (2020) USA Flag
  • Brandon Loschiavo (2020) USA Flag

Four-man Bobsled

  • Douglas Sharp (2002) USA Flag 1 bronze medal


  • Carol “Coke” Lindsey (1984) USA Flag


  • Amanda Elmore (2016) USA Flag 1 gold medal


  • Lauren Sesselmann (2012) Canada Flag - 1 bronze medal


  • Nicola Aćin (2020) Serbia Flag
  • Betty Brey (1956) USA Flag
  • Keith Carter (1948) USA Flag 1 silver medal
  • Javier Diaz (2004) Mexico Flag
  • Jinq En Phee (2016, 2020) Malaysia Flag
  • Gerald Koh (1996) Singapore Flag
  • Gyongyver Lakos (2000) Hungary Flag
  • Coralie O’Conner (1952) USA Flag 1 silver medal
  • Joan Rosazza (1956) USA Flag
  • Beth Whittal (1956) Canada Flag

Track & Field

  • Larry Burton (1972) USA Flag
  • Camille Buscomb (2020) New Zealand Flag
  • Devynne Charlton (2020) Bahamas flag
  • Samson Colebrooke (2020) Bahamas flag
  • Chukwuebuka Enekwechi (2020) Nigeria Flag
  • Cliff Furnas (1920-22) USA Flag 1 bronze medal
  • Ray Ewry (1900, 1904, 1906, 1908) USA Flag 8 gold medals
  • Ed Glover (1906) USA Flag 1 bronze medal
  • Lacy Hearn (1904) USA Flag 1 silver medal; 1 bronze medal
  • Chris Huffins (2000) USA Flag 1 bronze medal
  • Nedzad Mulabegovic (2004, 2008, 2012) Croatia Flag
  • Bill Verner (1903-1906) USA Flag
  • Kara (Patterson) Winger (2008, 2012, 2016, 2020) USA Flag


  • Annie Drews (2020) USA Flag - 1 gold medal


  • Joe Corso (1976) USA Flag

Purdue University's Paralympic Athletes

Para Rowing

  • Emma Preuschl (2008, 2012) USA Flag - 1 silver medal


  • Evan Austin (2012, 2016, 2020) USA Flag - 1 gold medal; 1 bronze medal
  • Makayla Nietzel (2020) USA Flag

Track and Field

  • Joel Gomez (2020) USA Flag

Contact Us

Executive Director

Jan-Anders Mansson
Purdue University
Distinguished Professor of Materials and Chemical Engineering

Indiana Manufacturing Institute
1105 Challenger Ave., Suite 200
West Lafayette, IN 47906

Technical Inquiries

Patrick Cavanaugh
Technical Outreach Coordinator

Indiana Manufacturing Institute
1105 Challenger Ave., Suite 200
West Lafayette, IN 47906

Media contact