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Enhancing skin-based interactions with synthetic Rugby playing surfaces

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Monday, February 25, 2019
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

The latest generation of synthetic surfaces include innovative design features that ensures player and ball behaviour closely replicates that observed on natural turf. This success has led to an increased up-take in synthetic surfaces across elite-level rugby and soccer providing high-quality, season-long playing conditions.

This PhD, sponsored by World Rugby, now seeks to advance the frictional characteristics of synthetic turf design. This project will first focus on characterising player-surface interactions that have caused skin abrasions, forming the most comprehensive knowledge and understanding of this complex, multi-parameter environment. The PhD student will then spend 6 months working at Sports Labs - a world-leader in pitch testing, to design and develop a new apparatus that will quantify synthetic turf friction. This new test device will then be used to investigate existing and emerging synthetic turfs, to identify those that exhibit the most favourable frictional characteristics, whilst retaining compliance with the Regulation 22 performance criteria.

This PhD will provide a stimulating, dynamic and industrially-focused environment, with extensive support provided from academic, industrial and governing body partners.

Candidates should hold or expect to gain a first class degree or a good 2.1 (or their equivalent). Applicants are encouraged from backgrounds that encompass: Medical/Biomechanical Engineering; Mechanical Engineering; Sports Science-based technologies; Product Design. It is anticipated that the successful candidate will be interested in sport.

Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to demonstrate proficiency in the English language (IELTS 6.5 or equivalent)

Please contact Dr Pete Theobald to informally discuss this opportunity

Funding Notes

This studentship is open to Home or EU candidates, and provides tuition fees (home/EU rate) and an annual stipend equivalent to current Research Council rates (approx. £14,771 stipend for academic year 2018/19)

Overseas candidates may apply but must confirm that they are able pay the difference between home and overseas fees (approx. £16K pa) themselves.


Applicants should submit an application for postgraduate study via the Cardiff University webpages ( ) including;
• an upload of your CV
• a personal statement/covering letter
• two references (applicants are recommended to have a third academic referee, if the two academic referees are within the same department/school)
• Current academic transcripts
Applicants should select Doctor of Philosophy (Engineering), with a start date of January, April or July 2019.
In the research proposal section of your application, please specify the project title and supervisors of this project and copy the project description in the text box provided. In the funding section, please select "I will be applying for a scholarship / grant" and specify that you are applying for advertised funding, reference PT-PSE-2019.

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