Andrew obtained first class honours in Sports Science and Engineering at Swansea University. Having spent time as an undergraduate gaining experience working within the prestigious Welsh Centre for Printing and Coating (WCPC), performance testing printed silver heaters, he came up with a concept for a printed wearable heater using functionalised graphene nano-platelet inks. Following his third year project in which he successfully developed a low power, flexible, wearable printed heater, which was subsequently patented, he was offered the opportunity to further develop this device for his EngD in Materials engineering at the Materials to Manufacture Academy, Swansea University, funded by Haydale. Working within the world leading print research group at WCPC will give Andrew access to their fantastic research facilities at Swansea University's new Innovation Bay Campus, as well as the facilities of their worldwide partners, allowing not only for ink and process optimisation through analytical techniques but also analysis of the heater's thermal and electrical performance. Working in collaboration with the A-STEM sports research group at Swansea University, Andrew will utilise his background in sports science to perform physiological experiments to help him optimise the heater design to maximise the sporting performance benefits.
In elite sport where the difference between success and failure can be down to the smallest of margins, the ability to control muscle and body temperature could give the athlete a decisive advantage. (Sargeant, 1987) showed that for every 1°C increase in leg muscle temperature there is a 4% increase in leg peak power output (PPO) and that for every 1°C decrease there is a 3% decrease in leg PPO. The ability to maintain muscle temperature both after a warm up, during periods of inactivity or in cold environments is therefore crucial. By working with the world renowned sports scientist Professor L. Kilduff and the world leading print research centre the Welsh Centre for Printing and Coating (WCPC), this project aims to develop a flexible, low power, wearable printed heater using functionalised graphene (Haydale Ltd) and to prove that by optimising the positioning and temperatures of these heaters we can design and produce a product that can improve sporting performance better than any existing technologies.