Engineering, Technology and Design

Product Design Engineering Case Study – Quiet Category Pickleball Racquet Project 


Product Design Engineering Case Study – Quiet Category Pickleball Racquet Project 

In the dynamic and ever-evolving field of Product Design Engineering (PDE), practical, real-world projects provide invaluable experience and insights to budding engineers. At CCCU, our BEng PDE module for Human Factors & Design Systems is at the forefront of such innovative education. Under the expert guidance of Stuart Lambert, our course director, students have recently embarked on an exciting and challenging project: designing a new silent category of Pickleball racquet for Karen Tefft of Karson Global USA, as part of the 2023-24 academic year curriculum. 

The Challenge 

Pickleball, a sport rapidly gaining popularity across the United States, has faced a unique challenge. While the game’s fast-paced nature and accessibility have won over many enthusiasts, the noise generated by traditional racquets has become a source of frustration for residents living near public courts. In response to these concerns, USA Pickleball, the sport’s regulating body, has called for innovative, quieter racquet designs. 

The Project 

This call to action presented an ideal opportunity for our level 5 students. Working collaboratively, they developed a range of racquet section samples and tested them on a US-specified Pickleball jig – an apparatus they constructed themselves. Through rigorous testing and iteration, each student honed their design into a full-sized working 3D printed model.  

The Results 

The project culminated in a successful presentation, impressing Karen Tefft and lead to additional accolades. Victoria Pope secured the first prize of $500 for her outstanding design, while Bethany Winson received the second prize of $250. Special commendations were also awarded to Logan Webb and Harrison Hoad for their exceptional sound reduction attributes. 

Support and Expertise 

This project was enriched by the support of several key figures. Adil Imam provided sports engineering expertise, focusing on sound quality and reduction techniques. Breeshea Robinson contributed significantly with numerous 3D print samples and full-size working prototypes, crucial for the final client presentation. The students also had the opportunity to test their products on campus at our multi-user games area, demonstrating promising characteristics for future development. 

Student Experience 

Victoria Pope, the first prize winner, shared her thoughts on the project: “I enjoyed working with Karen Tefft of Karson Global on this project. I particularly liked generating initial ideas, performing numerous iterations, and producing prototypes to test. I appreciated the independence this project allowed.” 


This project exemplifies the CDIO (Conceive, Design, Implement, Operate) approach, emphasising practical, hands-on learning and innovation. Through the CCCU and the support of EDGE Hub, our students are not only learning but also contributing to real-world solutions, preparing them to be leaders in the field of Product Design Engineering. The Quiet Category Pickleball Racquet Project is a testament to the power of collaboration, innovation, and practical education in shaping the future of engineering design. 

For more information on our programs and projects, get in touch at 

Share this page: