Athletics and academics coming together.
Bulldogs running back Sony Michel getting help from the Georgia College of Engineering to fabricate a shield for his forearm is the kind of story that makes the NCAA swoon.
In a video released by UGA Engineering, the partnership is detailed:
Michel suffered a broken forearm in an ATV accident in the offseason.
The engineering students created a 3-D model of his forearm and then built a carbon-fiber arm guard to protect Michel, though, ensuring the tailback would not miss action because of the injury.
“You gotta trust the process,” Michel says in the video. “You know, they were taking different pictures of my arm, and it was kind of looking weird at the beginning because they only had one part of my arm, not the other. But when it came together, it was kind of cool that you could kind of rotate it around.”
Michel rushed for a team-high 1,161 yards and eight touchdowns as a sophomore last fall. This year, the junior has 542 yards and two touchdowns in nine games.
Kevin Wu, a graduate research student in the college of engineering, said the process took about a week.
“Normally, with research, we’re kind of out on the edge of the field, so the thing we do may not have such an obvious impact so immediately,” Wu said. “So it was nice to be able to work on a project where we’ll make something, someone gets to use it and we’ll get immediate feedback instead of us fabricating something, going to test it out multiple times and try to interpret the results.”
Added Ron Courson, senior associate athletic director of sports medicine: “One of the unique things about being on a college campus is many times you have so many resources and you want to take advantage of them. I think this was the first one, but I think there’s many things to come from it.”