Design Engineering

The science and engineering behind the Winter Games

NSF videos investigate how engineers craft high-tech, medal-winning equipment for Olympic contenders.

February 12, 2014   Mike McLeod

14-Feb-NSF-NBC-engineering-Olympics-625As millions of Canadians follow the Winter Games this year to see if the country’s Olympians can maintain their top medal standing, the design engineers among them may be curious how the concepts they deal with on a daily basis, like momentum, friction and drag, play into the outcomes.

For those who like to mix a little physics with their sports fanaticism, the U.S. National Science Foundation, in cooperation with NBC Learn, has produced a series of videos explaining the physics involved in the Winter Olympics. The video below, for example, profiles how designers at BMW DesignWorks USA, and mechanical engineer Mont Hubbard, professor emeritus at the University of California, Davis, deal with the engineering challenges of crafting faster bobsleds while making the tracks safer.

For more, check out the whole “Science and engineering of the Olympic Winter Games 2014” series on the NSF web site.


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