Aerodynamics innovator Richard Kelso named finalist in SA Science Excellence and Innovation Awards 2023

Researcher at the School of Electrical and Mechanical Engineering recognised for propelling world of competitive cycling forwards.

Richard Kelso

Adjunct Associate Professor Richard Kelso has been shortlisted for ‘Innovator of the Year’ at the prestigious South Australian Science and Innovation Awards for his world-renowned developments in cycling aerodynamics. Richard has been named finalist for developing a world-record-breaking bicycle drag-reduction technology and low-drag helmets used by elite cycling teams such as the Australian, British and Danish Olympic teams, Mitchelton-Scott and Ineos Grenadiers. 

Through his in-depth research in aerodynamics – based at the University of Adelaide’s state-of-the-art wind tunnels – Richard has made a major impact on competitive cycling. His bicycle frame technology, which he developed with his students, reduces bicycle drag by up to 10 per cent. The technology is now licenced internationally and was used in 2022 to set three world records. His helmet designs use a similar technology for drag reduction and are known as some of the most successful low-drag helmets ever made. Richard was also a lead designer of the Sydney and Athens Olympic torches and cauldrons.

Professor Caroline McMillen, Chief Scientist for South Australia commented, “Each of our SA Science Excellence and Innovation Award finalists is a leader in their respective sectors, a stand-out amongst a pool of highly talented applicants. This is our state’s opportunity to recognise the profound impact of our finalists on our economy, environment and communities, and to say ‘‘thank you!’.”

In this awards category the ‘RAH immuno-targeted cancer therapies’ and the ‘Chrysos PhotonAssay’ teams were also shortlisted. 

The School of Electrical and Mechanical Engineering wishes all finalists the best of luck for the Awards ceremony, which will be held on Friday 17 November 2023 at Grainger Studio, Adelaide Symphony Orchestra.

Tagged in electrical and mechanical engineering, aerodynamics, sports engineering, Alumni