The University of Ballarat has recognised research strengths in environmental management, food technology, e-commerce, behavioural sciences, remote imaging, rural and regional health, mining and geology. The University's Technology Park is also the home of the important Southern Region Data Centre, symbolising the University's links with key developments in information technology and telecommunications, particularly in relation to rural Australia. |
Whilst it has been recognised over its long history as a primarily teaching institution - with this role being strengthened by its recent merger with local TAFE institutions - the University has increased its research performance and commitment markedly in recent years. From 1992 to 1998 its funding through Commonwealth competitive research grants increased by 76%, compared to the Australia-wide university average of 48%, while the University's total (unweighted) research publication output between 1995 and 1998 nearly doubled, compared to the average increase of 15%.
The University of Ballarat has committed significantly increased resources to the development of infrastructure and a research environment to encourage new researchers in particular to participate in both improving the University's international research standing and developing research areas which will benefit the local region and community.
The School of Human Movement and Sport Sciences is involved in a large number of research areas and consultancy programs within the sport and recreation industry. Many of the programs have been multidisciplinary in nature. As such the research has involved teams comprised of experts in areas such as biomechanics, exercise physiology, sport and exercise psychology, health promotion, pedagogy and sociology. Major research programs that have been undertaken, often in collaboration with the sport and recreation industry, include:
- Sports Injuries - The work in this area is focused upon the prevention and treatment of sporting injuries. Sports Injury prevention has involved the development of risk management strategies for sport, improving the design of sports shoes, decreasing the risk of knee and ankle injuries, designing strategies to reduce the incidence of neck injuries sustained from diving into water and determining the incidence of sporting injuries in sports such as basketball and netball. Research has also been conducted to determine the most appropriate strategies to avoid heat injuries and to avoid illness through reducing body weight in order to meet the weight limits imposed by various sports (eg. rowing).
- Sports Performance - Work in this area has largely focused upon determining improved methods of strength development and improving swimming performance; particularly performance in starts and turns. Research has also been undertaken to assist in the development of effective lane ropes. Social science work in this area has examined
- Health Promotion - Much of the work in this area has concentrated upon the development of programs and organisational structures that promote the uptake of a healthy lifestyle. These programs have focused on a number of settings including schools, recreational clubs and workplaces.
- Ergonomics - Members of the School have completed a large number of research projects aimed at reducing the risk of injury in the workplace. Much of the work has focused on rural industries such as the wool industry and sheep shearing.
- Sports Marketing - A large range of work has been undertaken in the area of sports marketing. Much of this work has involved direct liaison with the sport and recreation industry.
- Professional Preparation - Research has been conducted into the area of education and training in the sport and recreation industry. Much of this work has focused upon the preparation of the Physical Education teacher.
Office of Research and Enterprise
University of Ballarat