Optimal control of long-term feedback during periodic and continuous movements PhD

Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences
Entry requirements:
3 years
5 years
Reference number:
Start date:
UK/EU fees:
International fees:
Application deadline:
29 January 2019



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Project detail

Movement variability is inherent in human movement, which during periodic and continuous movement may accumulation over time to cause significant deviations away from the planned movement pattern. To prevent such drastic errors in movement the CNS employs a feedback mechanism which detects deviations from the planned movement and triggers the appropriate response to correct the motions. A feedback control mechanism such as this would produce further variability in the executed movement patterns, which can be mistaken for other forms of movement variability. Errors within this long-term feedback control mechanism would result in poor postural control in prolonged gait and balance tasks, increasing the chance that the individual will fall or a sports performance will be threatened.

Aims: 1) determine the changes in movement coordination due to internal feedback mechanisms, 2) create a model of the feedback processes and, 3) determine the sensitivity of these processes and parameters to control movement over time and examine implications for limitations for human performance.

The proposed project could use a combination of EMG, kinematic (motion capture) and kinetic (force plates, instrumented treadmill) data collection to examine and isolate the changes in movement coordination due to internal feedback mechanisms during continuous and periodic movement patterns (such as gait, tumbling, or high-bar giant swings). Subsequently, a computer simulation model could be used to create the predicted feedback processes and recreate the action under investigation during multiple cycles using a long-term feedback control strategy (such as a central pattern generator with PID controller).


Primary supervisor: Dr Glen Blenkinsop

Secondary supervisor: Dr Michael Hiley

Find out more

For further project details email Dr Glen Blenkinsop or register your interest and ask us a question.

To find out more about the School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences please visit our website.

Entry requirements

Applicants should have, or expect to achieve, at least a 2:1 Honours degree (or equivalent) in Sport Science, Mathematics, Engineering, or related areas.

A relevant Master's degree and / or experience in one or more of the following will be an advantage: Biomechanics, Motor Control, Mathematics, Engineering, or related areas.

All students must also meet the minimum English Language requirements.

Fees and funding


Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching, assessment and operating University facilities such as the library, IT equipment and other support services. University fees and charges can be paid in advance and there are several methods of payment, including online payments and payment by instalment. Special arrangements are made for payments by part-time students.

This is an open call for candidates who are sponsored or who have their own funding. If you do not have funding, you may still apply, however Institutional funding is not guaranteed. Outstanding candidates (UK/EU/International) without funding will be considered for funding opportunities which may become available in the School.

How to apply

All applications should be made online. Under programme name select Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences. Please quote reference number: SSEHS/GB/2