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Field Hockey – Optimising Sport Surfaces for Play Performance

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  • Full or part time
    Dr P Fleming
    Mr B Young
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Application details

Reference number: ABCE19/PF7
Start date of studentship: 1 October 2019
Closing date of advert: 4 August 2019
Interview date: w/c 12 August 2019

Academic: Dr Paul Fleming & Dr Jon Roberts
Industry: Alastair Cox, Facilities & Quality Programme Manager FIH

Loughborough University

Loughborough University is a top-ten rated university in England for research intensity (REF2014). In choosing Loughborough for your research, you’ll work alongside academics who are leaders in their field. You will benefit from comprehensive support and guidance from our Doctoral College, including tailored careers advice, to help you succeed in your research and future career.

Find out more:

The School of Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering was ranked first for research environment in Architecture, Built Environment and Planning, with 95% of research rated ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’ for its influence on society, the economy and policy.

The Sports Technology Institute (STI) is home to the Sports Technology Research Group, one of the world’s leading research groups of its kind and the largest in the UK.

Full Project Detail

This three-year PhD studentship will address the limitations in current guidance, supported by the FIH agenda to enhance the game providing methods to evaluate the playability of different surfaces for the future. Currently the artificial turf carpets require large volumes of water to provide ‘ideal’ play conditions for elite level play.

The key outcomes anticipated, from field-based experiments, comprise: New player (and mechanical) field testing protocols to measure playability of a surface from a user’s perspective; Comparisons between attributes of different playing surfaces and their conditioning requirements (i.e. watering); and to inform the sustainable development of future surface technologies (such as dry fields) and for balls and sticks.

The successful candidate will work alongside a parallel project on ball development and join the internationally recognised Sport Surfaces Research Group working across projects in sport surface safety and performance.

The research is supported by the International Hockey Federation (FIH) through its innovation partnership with Loughborough University, collaborating with several parties regarding programme management and access to players and facilities.

Find out more:
More information about the School can be found at: and

Entry requirements

Applicants should have, or expect to achieve, at least a 2:1 honours degree (or equivalent) in a relevant scientific or engineering discipline. A relevant master’s degree and/or relevant employment experience will be an advantage. A strong interest or/and experience in measuring player perception and/or experimental testing (field and laboratory) is desirable.

Contact details

For information about the project, please contact:

Name: Dr Paul Fleming
Email address: [Email Address Removed]
Telephone number: +44 (0)1509 222 616

For information about the application process, please contact:

Name: Dr Paul Fleming
Email: [Email Address Removed]
Telephone: +44 (0)1509 222616

How to apply

All applications should be made online at Under programme name, please select Civil and Building Engineering.

Please quote reference number: ABCE19/PF7

Funding Notes

The studentship is for three years and is intended to start in October 2019. The studentship provides a tax-free stipend of £15,009 per year plus the tuition fees at the UK/EU rate. Due to funding restrictions, this studentship is only open to UK/EU applicants. The project includes a budget for training, travel and IT support.

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