8 Apr 2016

MIT host Loughborough University in Trans-Atlantic sport challenge and academic exchange

Following on from the success of last year’s Women’s Lacrosse match played at the University Stadium, Loughborough Tennis retained the Challenge Trophy for the visitors with a thrilling 13-3 victory.

The two teams competed across three days in men’s, women’s, mixed doubles matches, playing in total over 10 hours of outstanding match-play tennis Current student Ryan Lambert shared his thoughts by saying:

“I think the whole experience has been brilliant. Winning the tennis and beating MIT is obviously one highlight, but then you’ve got the experience of Boston and the hospitality that we’ve enjoyed, which was brilliant.”

The focus of the Trans-Atlantic challenge was not just about sport, but also to further develop the ongoing research and academic relationship between the two Universities.

Dr Andy Harland and Dr Sean Mitchell from the University’s Sports Technology Institute presented at a Symposium, convened by MIT’s Professor Peko Hosoi as part of the exchange, under the umbrella of their Sports Technology Education initiative – STE@M.

The Symposium explored cutting edge technology in tennis and future research direction in this area.

At the same event, Gihan Amarasiriwardena, founder of performance garment company, Ministry of Supply, spoke about his time as an MIT-Loughborough exchange student.

Gihan spent two summers at Loughborough, whilst studying at MIT, and explained how his experience at both institutions had been instrumental in providing the skills to form and grow his business.

Professor David Williams, Dr Alex Lyness and PhD student Becky Grant, from the Centre for Biological Engineering within the Wolfson School met with engineers, researchers and entrepreneurs in bio-technology at the Langer Laboratory within MIT’s Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research and the Bioinstrumentation Laboratory in the Department of Mechanical Engineering.

The ‘Med Tech’ delegation represented Loughborough University’s capabilities in regenerative medicine, bio-manufacturing, drug delivery and rehabilitation. The trip sought to both maintain existing relationships and establish future opportunities to collaborate in this exciting and growing area of research.

Dr Alex Lyness from the Centre for Biological Engineering said:

“The trip was very productive with all of us actively building on our relationships across multiple points of contact with engineers at MIT.

“The exposure to the learning culture at MIT and many of the contacts made or renewed during this visit stand us in good stead and provide opportunities for future collaboration.”

Additional discussions were held with the Martin Trust Centre for Entrepreneurship - an area of mutual interest between the two institutions, particularly with respect to opportunities afforded by Loughborough University London.

Staff and student exchanges between the two institutions are now well established. The value of these exchanges was recognised by all involved and a commitment to build upon what has been achieved to date was made.

Professor Mike Caine, Dean, Loughborough University London and former Visiting Professor at MIT felt the trip had been a great success:

“The Trans-Atlantic sports challenge and academic exchange provide an opportunity for established and prospective collaborations to emerge and be sustained across Loughborough University and MIT - two ‘like-minded’ institutions with a shared commitment to research excellence and a life-shaping student experience.

“It’s also a wonderful opportunity to showcase the best of University sport and to share and discuss academic matters of mutual interest.”