Scientific Challenge 2024

High fidelity modelling of the complete boat-oar-rower system

Head: Alban Leroyer
Sports Research Contact: Sophie Barré (CREPS, Pays de la Loire)
Sports Partner: Fédération Française d'Aviron (French Rowing Federation)


With the upcoming 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Paris and the relationship forged between Centrale Nantes, CREPS des Pays de la Loire and the French Rowing Federation through various research projects linked to performance support over the past twenty years, there is a willingness to expand the links between scientific research and the sports community.

The opportunity is therefore offered to students to take part in these scientific challenges in order to develop tools capable of providing concrete answers in the field, and to acquire scientific skills and knowledge through an ambitious engineering and research project.


The objective is to train engineers capable of undertaking large-scale projects, providing relevant solutions to issues in the field, within efficiently organized project teams. 


In the first year of the project, a prototype simulator of the boat-oar-rower(s) system was finalized. The challenge now lies in the industrialization phase, so that the simulator is operational from the start of the 2020-2024 Olympiad, specifically:

  • Make digital simulation an operational tool for rowing for the 2024 Olympic Games
  • Improve reliability and facilitate simulator implementation to ensure professional quality
  • Undertake the essential validation phase using existing field measurements, but also by developing measurement methods
  • for missing data
  • Conduct parametric studies of the determinants of sports performance in rowing from simulations
  • Make the research results accessible for sports experts
  • Use the simulation results to propose training tools for coaches

A customized training programme

This innovative project-based teaching method will allow students to acquire competences in a different way thanks to:

  • A customised training programme
  • Agile and autonomous organisation
  • Tailored support
  • Scientific challenges linked to industrial issues (naval hydrodynamics, MRE, simulations, etc.)
  • A database of experimental measures carried out within the French teams
  • An opportunity to take concrete action on an ambitious performance support project in preparation for the 2024 Paris Olympics



  • A programme to process field measurements performed by the French team, which will also serve to train the whole team on the key project tools
  • A module to generate all the data input (biometric measurements of rowers, body movements, equipment parameters, etc), with a measurement protocol (scan, dedicated bench, etc.) for each part
  • A realistic display model as a vehicle for communication to enhance performance and discussion with the sports community
  • An experimental validation database
  • Analysis and optimization of the SPRing simulator’s performance
  • Regular project monitoring deliverables (minutes, reports and progress indicators, planning, set up of a bug/improvement tracking tool)

A schedule will be associated with these deliverables.

A project-based specialisation

Thoughout the project students will be involved in the following:

  • Research and development
  • Instrumentation
  • Modelling
  • Scientific computing
  • Sports performance analysis
  • Company organisation
  • Communication

Project-based learning is another way to acquire engineering skills:

  • Project engineering
  • Numerical simulation
  • Software development
  • Experimental methods
  • Managing complexity
  • Teamwork
  • Knowledge transfer
Published on February 1, 2018 Updated on January 24, 2020