June 8, 2017

For athletes in certain sports, access to real, practical training can very much depend on the season. Take beach volleyball, for example. Or alpine racing. For the first, you'll need summer. For the second, typically winter is best.

Training in competitive alpine racing traditionally requires cold weather, challenging courses, and, of course, snow. Athletes who don’t live near these conditions year-round can maintain fitness in the off-season, but most consider the downtime to be an unfortunate, yet unavoidable, setback.

As a former alpine racer, recent grad Matthew Fleck was all too familiar with this problem, so he set out to solve it. Instead of waiting for winter to come around again, why not make it available all year?

Fleck's idea, which he developed for his final project in the Systems Engineering program, is called the Alpine Racing Training System. When operational, it could provide alpine racers with year-round access to various courses, hill designs, and performance tracking. Using this system, athletes could train throughout the year regardless of their location, and also track their progress over time.

You can learn more about Fleck’s Alpine Racing Training System by reading his final presentation.

Originally from Wisconsin, Fleck now works for the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division where he focuses on shipboard IFF systems development. He earned his master's degree from Johns Hopkins Engineering in 2016.

The Systems Engineering program at Johns Hopkins Engineering for Professionals regularly highlights the applied systems design projects and in-depth thesis research of its students. We will continue to make these presentations available so that they can benefit the entire systems engineering community.