Nike Scientist Mario Lafortune to Present Distinguished Alumni Speaker Series Lecture

September 25, 2009

Dr. Mario Lafortune, director of the Nike Sport Research Laboratory and Penn State alumnus, will present a lecture on Thursday, October 15, at 7:00 p.m. in the Bennett Pierce Living Center, 110 Henderson Building, on the University Park campus. The lecture is the third in the Distinguished Alumni Speaker Series sponsored by the College of Health and Human Development Alumni Society.

Lafortune’s lecture is titled “Creating Innovative Athletic Products Through Research.” The lecture is free and open to the public.

As director of the Nike Sport Research Laboratory (NSRL), Lafortune provides leadership for one of the world’s foremost research facilities in creating and developing new athletic products. By working with athletes and utilizing cutting-edge technology, NSRL adapts shoes, equipment, and other athletic products to fit the needs of athletes. In this role, Lafortune helped establish the Nike Award for Athletic Footwear Research, which recognizes scientific achievements related to the biomechanics of the foot.

A devoted educator, Lafortune is currently a member of the Faculty of Sport at the University of Porto, Portugal. He has held various other professorial roles in the past in disciplines that include biology, biomechanics, and human kinetics, working in several countries: France, Portugal, Canada, and the United States. He has spoken at professional conferences on a variety of topics, including diabetic footwear, soccer injuries, and sport surfaces. He has published numerous articles in peer-reviewed journals, and is currently on the editorial board of two journals: Journal of Sports Engineering and Technology and Footwear Science.

Lafortune received a B.S. in Kinanthropology from the University of Ottawa (Canada) and both M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Biomechanics from Penn State.

The Distinguished Alumni Speaker Series was established by the Board of Directors of the College of Health and Human Development Alumni Society in order to feature prominent graduates of the college who are leaders in their field. The Board’s mission is to facilitate and promote the participation of alumni in activities that support the College’s pursuit of excellence.

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Editors: For additional information, please contact the College of Health and Human Development Office of College Relations at 814-865-3831 or healthhd@psu.edu.