WEST LAFAYETTE - Purdue University says it will create a new sports engineering and research center named in honor of a record-setting Olympian and Purdue graduate. The university says the Ray Ewry Sports Engineering Center, led by Purdue’s Department of Intercollegiate Athletics and the College of Engineering, will aim to develop technology to reduce athletes’ injuries, improve performance and advance rehabilitation with support of the latest in digital execution systems.

The university says the center is intended to reflect the passion that Ray Ewry, a mechanical engineering undergraduate and graduate student, had for engineering and athletics. Ewry was a track and field athlete who won 10 gold medals in four Olympic Games from 1900 and 1908.

“Boilermakers are inspired by Ray Ewry, who, in trying to take small steps, made the winningest giant leaps in history,” said Mung Chiang, the John A. Edwardson Dean of the College of Engineering. “We are excited about this unique collaboration between Athletics and Engineering at Purdue.”

Ewry suffered from polio and was confined to a wheelchair at 7 years old. He earned his Olympic golds competing in the standing long and high jumps, and standing triple jump. His record for gold medals lasted more than a century.