From advocating for the development of AUT Millennium to supporting the establishment of the global Rugby Codes Research Group, AUT Vice Chancellor Derek McCormack’s championing of sports science has been honoured by the International Society for Biomechanics in Sports with its Inaugural ISBS 2018 Conference President’s Award.
The honour was conferred at the opening of the ISBS 2018 conference where more than 570 sports researchers, athletes, technology partners and teachers gathered at AUT for one of the biggest global sports biomechanics events of the year.
ISBS President Professor Young-Hoo Kwan, a kinesiologist at Texas Woman’s University, presented the award to Derek McCormack for his leadership in bringing together research, education and community service in Applied Sport Science.
ISBS Board member and Vice Chancellor’s lecturer in biomechanics at the Loughborough University in the UK, Dr Laura-Anne Furlong cited Mr McCormack’s commitment to promoting a culture of exploratory research and mentoring for academic staff and graduate students.
She said his work had enabled the development of knowledge and international exchanges in sports biomechanics research.
“His leadership has motivated a group of people to act towards achieving the goals reflected in the objectives of the International Society of Biomechanics in Sports. He has encouraged and assisted in the development of technology that is needed to study biomechanics in sports and to carry out a wide range of non-commercial activities that will advance and promote biomechanics in sports.”
In addition, Mr McCormack was cited for his work calling for government support for the infrastructure development of AUT Millennium, which was named as one of the top three sports research, teaching and practice facilities in the world by IOC President Jacque Rogue when it was opened in 2012.
He has also provided strategic research funding for the development of the Global Rugby Codes Research Group, the findings of which have led to changes in rugby rules to help the prevention of concussion and head injury; and the AUT Vice Chancellor’s PhD scholarships, which have helped postgraduate students researching rowing, rugby, cricket and netball.
AUT is one of the top 50 universities in the world for sports science where research, education, technology and sports practice come together in support of high performance and community sports.