Students to be stationed at Paralympic Winter Games prosthetic pit lane

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6 March 2018

Two PhD students from the University of Bristol will be travelling to South Korea this week [8 March] where they will be assisting within the Repair Service Centre at the Paralympic Winter Games.

The students, Maddy Nichols and Rafael Moreno Tortolero, will be thrust into the fast-paced world of the prosthetics ‘pit lane’ where they’ll be helping to service and repair cutting-edge prosthetics, so that they are prepped and performance-ready for the competing athletes.

Maddy and Rafael are currently studying Materials Science at the materials research centre, Bristol Centre for Functional Nanomaterials (BCFN). Through their work they strive to identify where novel materials are necessary, by identifying where they’re currently failing.

In PyeongChang the students will be working alongside world-leading prosthetic limb manufacturers Ottobock. The company is the longest serving partner of the Paralympic Games and is responsible for the repair and maintenance of the athletes’ equipment.

The students will be working with the Ottobock team, assisting with emergency repairs and maintenance work. This experience will provide invaluable insight into how and why innovative materials respond and fail under the extreme circumstances of high-level Paralympic performance.

University of Bristol PhD student, Maddy Nichols said: “This is a once in a lifetime opportunity and we are ecstatic to be travelling to one of the world’s biggest sporting events. The work that Ottobock do is crucial to the running of the competition and we are honoured to be given the chance to learn from first-hand experience.”

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