Alumnus Charles Way

These UVA Engineering alumni and faculty have one thing in common: professional football. 

Alumni Charles Way and Leland Melvin both spent time with the NFL. Way, who played with the New York Giants for five seasons, later went on to become an NFL executive before branching out into financial management. Although Melvin’s time as a professional football player was cut short due to an injury, he beat the odds to become a NASA astronaut. 

Silvia Blemker, professor of biomedical engineering, co-founded a company that has helped an NFL player use targeted training to better repair his muscles and avoid future injury. Similarly, associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering Baoxing Xu and his team developed a new form of nanofoam, which can help better protect players from head injuries.

Richard Kent, professor and chair of the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, and former deputy director of UVA's Center for Applied Biomechanics, appeared in a TV spot for the 2017 Super Bowl where he discussed his research on cleats. And recently, ESPN's Stephania Bell and her camera crew visited the center to understand more about turf and the center's turf research.

Read more about UVA’s Engineering ties to football below. 

UVA and Professional Football

Alumni: Spotlight: Charles Way

UVA Engineering alumnus Charles Way graduated with a degree in civil engineering, but life had other plans.

Space for Us All: UVA Alumnus and Astronaut Leland Melvin Empowers Youth through STEM and Stories

Before he flew in space, Melvin had another life as a professional football player.

ESPN Wants to Know More About Turf

ESPN favorite Stephania Bell, senior writer and injury analyst, visited UVA to learn about the turf research being done at the UVA Center for Applied Biomechanics.

UVA Faculty's Precision Medicine for NFL Player

One case study helped an NFL player with a grade 3 hamstring tear understand how to use targeted training to better repair his muscles and avoid future injury. 

UVA Engineer Innovates a Liquid Safety Cushioning Technology

Mechanical engineering and materials science advancements could revolutionize athletic protective equipment and more.

UVA Faculty Super Bowl Spot

Professor Richard Kent views shoe research as an important part of the future of football. During Super Bowl LI, he explained that since cleats are an important piece of protective equipment, his team looks at every cleat pattern that comes into the league and shares the data with the players.

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