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Getting a Grip on Artificial Turf!

  • Full or part time
    Dr P Fleming
  • Application Deadline
    Sunday, March 08, 2020
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Application details:
Reference number: ABCE19/Labosport
Start date of studentship: by 1 July 2020
Closing date of advert: 8 March 2020

Academic supervisors: Dr Paul Fleming & Dr Steph Forrester

Industrial supervisors: Dr Kathryn Severn & Prof. David James, Labosport UK Ltd

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 aims to be the world’s leading integrated centre for built environment research and education, attending to the entire lifecycle of both buildings and infrastructure through our research, teaching and enterprise programmes.

The Sports Technology Institute 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 PhD studentship aims to develop a new approach to measuring the Traction Behaviour of Artificial/Hybrid Turf. It is supported by Labosport Ltd, the global leading commercial sport surfaces test house.

Current mechanical testing of sport surface traction relies on technology developed in the 1980s and is unrepresentative of real player movements. This project will develop novel understanding of the mechanisms of boot-surface traction via extensive experimental testing and associated mathematical modelling. It builds on studies that have instrumented and developed laboratory-based mechanical traction equipment, but to date have stopped short of measuring and modelling commercial footwear outsoles and studs across a range of artificial/hybrid turf surfaces. It will also benefit from data-mining the wealth of commercial laboratory and field-testing data held by Labosport. The outcomes will make a significant and novel scientific contribution to understanding player-surface traction for performance and safety, relevant to international governing bodies for football and rugby, as well as provide excellent employment opportunities.

The student will join the internationally recognised Sport Surfaces Research Group, with academics and researchers working across projects in sport surface safety and performance.

Find out more:

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.

Contact details

For information about the project, please contact:

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

For information about the application process, please contact:

Name: Mr Berkeley Young
Email address:
Telephone number: +44 (0)1509 222 611

How to apply

All applications should be made online at and must include a research proposal:

Under programme name, please select Civil and Building Engineering.

Please quote reference number: ABCE19/Labosport

Funding Notes

The three-year studentship is intended to start in April or July 2020 and provides a tax-free stipend of £15,009 (rising annually in line with Research Council recommendations) for the duration of the studentship plus tuition fees at the UK/EU rate. Due to funding restrictions, this studentship is only open to UK/EU applicants. The project funding includes a budget for training, travel and IT support.

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