Friday 14 March: 6:00pm - 7:00pm

Room 3 Mill Lane Lecture Rooms, 8 Mill Lane, Cambridge, CB2 1RW

Today's sports are very professional and no stone is unturned in the quest to go faster, higher, further. Cycling leads most Olympic sports in its approach to technology intervention, simply because the speeds involved make attention to the pointers that simple engineering analysis reveal as important pay dividends, especially when the margins for victory can be so very small. Professor Tony Purnell of the University's Engineering Department is the Head of Technology for British Cycling and will provide an overview of how science and technology have contributed to the raw speed of all Olympic cycling disciplines. He will show that it's not just about incremental gains, but also about avoiding increment losses. Materials technology, sports science, aerodynamics, friction engineering, physiology and nutrition all contribute, although these have to been seen in context with the bigger picture that there are no silver bullets. Determination, hard work and a clear mind still dominate, not to mention a good deal of talent.