Husker Football’s famed kicker and engineering alumnus, Alex Henery ’11 CM, returned to Nebraska this winter after a successful rookie season with the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles. He took time to add his leg power to research by Mechanical & Materials Engineering graduate student Chase Pfeifer.
Pfeifer got the idea for his thesis from his experiences as a kicker at Florida State University during his undergraduate studies. At Nebraska Engineering, he works with Research Assistant Professor Jeff Hawks to make field goal kicking more efficient and effective.
“Alex’s participation in this work has been amazing,” Pfeifer said. “It’s a big step for our research, taking it from 2D to 3D.” Pfeifer also appreciated using the Nebraska Biomechanics Core Facility at UNO, which has markers for joint angles and equipment to measure velocity and foot plant force.
Pfeifer hopes his research may lead to commercial use by coaches and schools, to help kickers improve. He said he’s also interested in working on prosthetics; learning how the body moves through the torso, hips and legs serves him in designing devices for amputees, particularly veterans.
MME football kicking research. Above:
Jeff Hawks, Alex Henery, Chase Pfeifer
Go online to watch a video about Pfeifer’s kicking research at http://go.unl.edu/kick
– Carole Wilbeck