Motion is fundamental to the human condition, and to the environment in which humans operate.

It extends well beyond individual movement (i.e. running, walking, dancing) to encompass forms of transportation (cycling, rail travel, vehicles of the future), assisted living (wheelchair use, prosthetic limb desgn), personal comfort (thermal comfort in buildings, in clothing and textiles ), lifecourse changes and developments in personal qualities (transitions from youth to adulthood, from one career to the next), performance (e.g. drama, storytelling) and precision engineering (laser vibrometry, optics, robotics).

Our focus on the theme of motion has three main rationales.

First, it begins at an opportune moment, as motion is undergoing critical structural, cultural and technological transformations, for example in the cultural politics of sedentary lifestyles, environmental impacts of mass travel, autonomous vehicles, new robotics and advanced instrumentation to capture transient behaviours.

Second, the theme is multidimensional, engaging the social, cultural, political, economic, physical, technological and virtual realms, and many substantive areas of study such as the body, physical activity, sport, transport, communication, design, identity, community, inequality, business, livelihoods and labour.

Third, it has strong interdisciplinarity, engaging for example sport, sociology, communication studies, economics, education, psychology, science and technology studies, and engineering.

Theme lead: Professor Chris Harwood, School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences.


1. Athlete in Motion

Drawing on Loughborough’s world leading expertise in sport, this topic considers the fundamental, concepts of motion amongst the elite athletic performers across both the Olympic and Paralympic domains. Leads: Prof Vicky TolfreyDr Stephen BaileyDr Richard Ferguson.

2. Motion and Human Comfort

Ensuring the body is both well-nourished and comfortable when on the move, this sub-theme builds on Loughborough’s expertise in textiles and building design and construction. Lead: Prof George Havenith.

3. Personal Development in Motion

Investigating aspects of personal development, including societal perceptions of youth, transitional ageing effects of sport on marginal populations and the psychosocial attributes necessary for successful progression across life and career stages e.g. child to adolescent, adolescent to adult, adult to old age. Leads: Prof Chris HarwoodDr Holly CollisonDr Lauren Sherar.

5. Dynamics of Motion

Motion in precision engineering including modelling the dynamics of motion to accurately predict oscillating behaviour and experimental measurement of motion, including advanced techniques and instrumentation, to capture transient behaviours (e.g. optics and post-processing techniques, such as wavelets). Lead: Prof Stephanos Theodossiades.

6. Intelligent Mobility

New forms of mobility, in particular, connected and autonomous vehicles. Lead: Prof Wen-Hua Chen.

We are also looking at inviting scholars within the area of motion and the performing arts.

Visiting fellows