Understanding the Traction Forces generated during Boot - Surface Interactions on Third Generation Artificial Turf PhD

Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering
Entry requirements:
3 years
6 years
Reference number:
Start date:
01 July 2018, 01 October 2018, 01 January 2019 or April 2019
UK/EU fees:
International fees:
Application deadline:
09 March 2018



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Project detail

The use of third generation artificial turf pitches for sports such as football and rugby is growing rapidly at both the recreational and elite level. Many stimulating research questions exist for these surfaces regarding their play performance, safety / injury risk and design / construction / maintenance optimisation. Traction behaviour is one of the key performance variables closely linking to play performance and injury risk. Despite the importance of this variable, our current understanding of how traction forces are generated at the boot – surface interface remains poor. This is largely due to the highly dynamic nature of the interaction in combination with the complex behaviours of materials that comprise third generation artificial turf pitches.

This project aims to advance our understanding of how traction forces are generated during boot – surface interactions of third generation artificial turf. Depending on the specific background and interests of the student this may include: player studies involving the development of novel methodologies to provide objective insights to the kinematics and kinetics of boot – surface interactions; mechanical testing to conduct controlled investigations into the traction forces during boot – surface interactions to, for example, assess the relative contributions of the component mechanisms; or developing a mechanical model of the traction forces generated during boot – surface interactions.

The student would join an active Sport Surfaces Research Group at Loughborough University with strong industrial links and currently involved in projects ranging from the modelling of artificial turf through to optimising maintenance practices.


Primary supervisor: Dr Steph Forrester

Secondary supervisor: Dr Paul Flemming

Find out more

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

To find out more about the School of Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering, please visit our website.

For further details on Sports Technology research at Loughborough see online.

Entry requirements

Applicants should have, or expect to achieve, at least a 2:1 Honours degree (or equivalent) in Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, Maths, Physics or a related subject. 

A relevant Master’s degree and/or experience in one or more of the following will be an advantage: Biomechanics.

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 Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering. Please quote reference number: SFUF2018