Design School

School staff

Maria Varela

Photo of  Maria Varela

PhD Student

Maria holds a Biomedical Engineering degree (BSc, MSc) from Universidade do Minho (Portugal). Her Master Thesis was partly developed at Università degli Studi di Cassino e del Lazio Meridionale (Italy) and consisted in a biomechanical gait analysis research work. Under a European Leonardo da Vinci grant, she did an internship at SIMI® (Germany), motion analysis systems company. Her education and employment background provided her fundamental tools for the understanding of multidisciplinary fields, from the clinical to the biomechanical areas and others, as well as experience on different software. 

Maria is currently undertaking a PhD at Loughborough University in collaboration with Nissan Motor Manufacturing (UK) Limited. The proposed research aims to explore driver musculoskeletal fatigue - determining the onset of fatigue, levels of fatigue and fatigue tolerance - and the concept of engineering ‘movement’ into automotive seating. These findings will contribute to the development of techniques to predict driver musculoskeletal fatigue leading to an improved driving experience.

Diane Gyi

Neil Mansfield

Designing a fatigueless driving seat

Maria’s professional interests lie in both innovative products/technologies and programming/modelling projects.