AE grad student wins triathlon

8/16/2022

Debra Levey Larson

Jean-Baptiste Bouvier won the Illinois State Championship of Triathlon with a time of 2 hours, 6 minutes, and 42 seconds.
Jean-Baptiste Bouvier won the Illinois State Championship of Triathlon with a time of 2 hours, 6 minutes, and 42 seconds.

If you’ve ever wondered how an aerospace engineering student spends their free time, here’s one example of the drive and commitment they bring to extracurricular activities.

Jean-Baptiste Bouvier won the Illinois State Championship of Triathlon. With a time of 2 hours, 6 minutes, and 42 seconds, Bouvier was the best of 68 athletes in Abe’s Olympic Triathlon.

Bouvier is a member of the Fighting Illini Triathlon club at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. As such, this isn’t his first rodeo.

“I started triathlon in 2018 and I have since completed a dozen triathlons of all lengths from sprint distance to Ironman distance,” Bouvier said.

What did he have to do for the competition?

  • Swimming .9 miles in Lake Springfield at the Lindsay Bridge Boat Ramp
  • Biking 24.8 miles
  • Running 6.2 miles
Bouvier cycling during the triathlon
Bouvier cycling during the triathlon

Although Central Illinois is known for its endlessly flat landscape, making conditions ideal for runners and cyclists, the weather can be extreme.

“Weather provided my most grueling challenges during training,” Bouvier said. “Whether it was hot and humid during summer or cold and snowy during winter.”

Bouvier to the right of "Abe Lincoln" in the winners circle.
Bouvier to the right of "Abe Lincoln" in the winners circle.

Bouvier is a Ph.D. student with Assistant Professor Melkior Ornik as his adviser. His research is in verification and quantification of the resilience of control systems to partial loss of authority over their actuators.  Here’s one example of Bouvier’s research with Ornik.

You may also wonder how he fits training for a triathlon into his study schedule.

“I usually workout in the evening after work on weekdays and do longer workouts during the weekend,” Bouvier said. “Physical activity is important to me. It provides a nice break from work and from the screens.”