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 Games in Paris and the relationship forged between Centrale Nantes 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. 


This project aims to develop and validate a digital simulator of the complete boat-oar-rower system in order to:

  • Make digital simulation in rowing a scientific challenge for the 2024 Olympic Games
  • Take part in improving knowledge about how the complete boat-oar-rower system works
  • 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 new project-based teaching method will allow students to acquire competences in a different way thanks to:

  • Agile and autonomous organisation 

  • Tailored support
  • Full immersion in performance sports engineering
  • 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 complete simulator prototype
  • a realistic display model as a vehicle for communication to enhance performance and exchanges with the sports community
  • comparative analysis of the measurements carried out in the tanks (skiff motion resistance) and the simulations
  • a measurement protocol (dedicated bench) and modelling of oar deformation
  • a parametric model of the kinematics during the propulsive phase
  • regular project monitoring deliverables (minutes, progress reports and indicators, planning, etc)
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
  • Managing complexity
  • Teamwork
  • Knowledge transfer
Published on February 1, 2018 Updated on November 9, 2018