Selena Cho, a Commonwealth Honors senior, was recently awarded a summer fellowship by the Women in Sports Tech, Inc. (WiST). WiST supports college and grad students to begin their careers in the sports tech industry, encouraging creative fellowship proposals that combine the themes of sports and technology. Cho, a double-major studying mechanical engineering and math, will use the $5,000 grant to intern at Stryd, a power-training company based in Boulder, Colorado.
At Stryd, Selena will work on a project collecting and analyzing female running data in order to provide useful feedback for long-term running health and performance, using biomechanical and physiological variables. Although 2018 was marked as the first time in history where there were more female than male runners, according to the International Association of Athletics Federation, most running feedback is based solely on male data, which can create long-term health issues for women who run.
“Despite their increased participation, most feedback for female runners is based on male data,” said Cho. “Females often train similarly to males despite having different body structure—most notably wider hips. This difference leads to a greater q-angle (the angle between the thigh and shank) which increases the risks of chronic knee issues.”
Cho credits her knowledge of running biomechanics and testing techniques to her role as a research assistant in the Integrative Locomotion Lab at UMass. She is one of 15 WiST Fellowship recipients, including fellow UMass master’s student Sara Moores. After completing her undergraduate studies, Cho plans on applying for graduate school to pursue a PhD in biomechanics.