Cranfield University student Liza Brooks has used the knowledge gained on her Engineering Doctorate to launch a novel new range of snowboards.
The budding entrepreneur created start-up company True Snowboards with Simon Edmonds and Dr David Chang after undertaking research on the University’s EngD programme. Brooks, 23, combined her love for winter sports with the Cranfield course to conduct research into advanced snowboard design, focussing on board structures and vibration isolation.
She has already used her research findings to develop two board structures for mountain piste and freestyle events. Her latest creations are for downhill jumps, rails and one specifically for children.
Brooks defines the products as “designed by engineers that snowboard”. Although only a year old, True Snowboards has grown into a successful business supplying quality boards direct to snowboarders across the UK and abroad.
‘Through my research at Cranfield I’m making strides to design practical structures using high-end materials that are usually only found in more expensive boards,’ Brooks said, following the first year of her four-year course.
True Snowboards sponsors a number of riders from the McNab Junior Team, and earlier this year two of its riders won gold medals at the British Snowboard Championships in Laax, Switzerland using boards that it had designed.
Over the next three years of study, Brooks will continue to test and analyse the strengths and mechanics of more boards whilst learning about the management side of running a business.
The data she collects in the labs, combined with feedback from real-life tests, will be used to improve existing products, as well as produce bespoke boards for riders which she hopes will get them to the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.
Board prices start at £175 and can be ordered from www.truesnowboards.com