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  Elphinstone Scholarship - The biomechanics of fatigue during swimming through machine learning

   School of Medicine, Medical Sciences & Nutrition

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  Dr Derek Ball, Prof Marco Thiel, Prof G Fairhurst  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Applications are invited for an exciting tuition-fee funded PhD project on computational modelling of swimming biomechanics to develop a model predicting fatigue, supervised by Dr Derek Ball (Head of Sport Science, School of Medicine, Medical Sciences and Nutrition), Professor Marco Thiel (School of Engineering) and Professor Godred Fairhurst (School of Engineering).

Aberdeen University has open access to Europe's leading kinematic system located at the 50 m aquatic centre based in the Aberdeen Sports Village. The kinematic system comprises of 28 cameras located along the pool length at pool deck, subsurface and vertical orientation, as well as 2 Kistler force plates (start block and turn). The employment of machine learning is generating interest in sport settings with a focus on swimming but more recently has been employed as a tool to predict injury risk. The current PhD opportunity is a biomechanics based analysis of swimming mechanics that will employ machine learning to understand the onset of fatigue during events of different distances and strokes. The kinematic system provides an opportunity to conduct stroke analysis that generates data to be used as a machine learning tool. From these data modelling, using the computer derived algorithm will predict potential swimming performance and identify deviation from the model by the athlete.

Informal enquiries are encouraged, please contact the lead supervisor Dr Derek Ball ([Email Address Removed]) for further information.

Essential background of student:

Applicants should have, or expect to obtain, a strong Master’s degree in a quantitative STEM discipline, e.g., a 1st class degree in Biomechanics, Engineering, Computing or any other relevant STEM subjects. A high 2:1 degree is acceptable if the applicant can demonstrate significant industrial or research experience and output. We also expect the applicants to have a demonstrable interest in research, innovation and inter-disciplinary research. It is desirable for the successful applicant to demonstrate experience, knowledge, and/or interest of relevance to the project, e.g., swimming mechanics, biomechanics, computational modelling, data science, programming, etc.



Please note: The funding for this project covers tuition fees and research costs only, no stipend or living costs are provided.

  • Formal applications can be completed online:
  • You should apply for Medical Sciences (PhD) to ensure your application is passed to the correct team.
  • Please clearly note the name of the lead supervisor and project title on the application form. If you do not mention the project title and the supervisor on your application it will not be considered for the studentship.
  • Please include a personal statement, an up-to-date copy of your academic CV, and relevant educational certificates and transcripts (Undergraduate and postgraduate (if applicable)).
  • Please note: you DO NOT need to provide a research proposal with this application
  • CV's submitted directly through a FindAPhD enquiry WILL NOT be considered.
  • General application enquiries can be made to [Email Address Removed] 
Biological Sciences (4) Engineering (12) Medicine (26) Sport & Exercise Science (33)

Funding Notes

This 36 Month project is funded by a prestigious University of Aberdeen Elphinstone Scholarship. This opportunity is open to UK and International students and includes funding to cover tuition fees and research costs only. No stipend or living costs are provided.
Funding for international students does not cover visa costs (either for yourself or for accompanying family members), immigration health surcharge or any other additional costs associated with relocation to the UK.
The expected start date is February 2023.

Where will I study?