EPSRC PhD studentship: Identification of optimal shoe sole characteristics for synthetic sports surfaces

Supervisors: Dr Sharon Dixon (University of Exeter) and Dr Matt Carré (University of Sheffield)

We are inviting applications for this EPSRC funded PhD studentship to commence as soon as possible. For eligible students the award will cover UK/EU tuition fees and an annual stipend (in 2013/14 this will be £13,726 for full-time students, pro rata for part-time students) for three years. This project is one of a number that are in competition for funding. Studentships will be awarded on the basis of merit.

Successful applicants will be based within Sport and Health Sciences (St Luke’s campus, Exeter) at the College of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Exeter.

This PhD project provides an exciting opportunity to be part of ongoing research collaboration between the Universities of Exeter and Sheffield regarding biomechanical and mechanical optimisation of sports shoe and surface design. Recent EPSRC funding (EP/G038295/1) has supported a project jointly managed by Drs Dixon and Carré to investigate factors influential on shoe-surface interaction in sports, and the development of appropriate shoe-surface biomechanical test procedures and mechanical test equipment. This previous project focused on surface design. The successful PhD candidate will utilise and further develop biomechanical and mechanical testing to investigate shoe soles for non-turf based synthetic sports surfaces (e.g. tennis, basketball, netball, indoor and outdoor). New shoe sole designs will be developed as part of the project, informed by the biomechanical and mechanical test results. The project will run alongside a PhD project based at Sheffield which focuses on mechanical characterisation of tennis surfaces and footwear, allowing integration of biomechanical approaches at Exeter and engineering expertise at Sheffield.

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The successful candidate will be based within the Exeter Biomechanics Research Team, part of the Bioenergetics and Human Performance Research Group at Exeter (www.sshs/exeter.ac.uk). Objectives will include: (1) provision of benchmark data regarding existing shoe sole designs; (2) identification of design characteristics most influential on shoe-surface friction; (3) development of shoe sole designs aiming to provide optimal friction with synthetic surfaces; (4) quantification of the biomechanical response of players to new shoe sole designs; (5) provision of recommendations for shoe-sole design characteristics for particular synthetic surfaces.

You must have obtained, or be about to obtain, a First or Upper Second Class UK Honours degree, or the equivalent qualifications gained outside the UK, in a relevant subject (Sports Biomechanics, Sports Engineering, Sports Science, or similar).

The studentship will cover a stipend at the standard Research Council rate (£13,726 per annum for 2013-2014), research costs and tuition fees at the UK/EU rate for students who meet the eligibility requirements outlined by EPSRC (see http://www.epsrc.ac.uk/skills/students/help/Pages/eligibility.aspx). Students from EU countries who do not meet the residency requirements may still be eligible for a fees-only award. Students from outside of the EU would not be eligible for this award.

The closing date for applications is midnight on 8th September 2013.

For full project details, instructions on how to apply and a link to the application form, go to the apply button below

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