Sports Technology Institute


Ieuan Phillips

Photo of  Ieuan Phillips

Doctoral Researcher


The Influence of the Football on Potential Subconcussive Brain Injuries During Heading

Key research areas

Injury prevention, soccer ball, football, football development, subconcussion, concussion, brain injuries, sport, engineering.

Summary of research

There is significant concern surrounding potential long-term development of neurodegenerative diseases such as Chronic Traumatic Enephalopathy (CTE) as a consequence of repetitively heading a football. In the context of this, the project seeks to characterise, both statically and dynamically, changes to the ball over time, and investigate the influence of the ball’s design and inbound flight parameters on the characteristics and nature of the mechanical energy transfer to the brain. The project is supported by the Football Association as part of their head and brain injury research programme and features in the ‘English Football Joint Brain Health Action Plan'.

Academic supervisors

Additional academic projects / roles

I have been involved in numerous additional projects within the Sports Technology Institute. Working with adidas I was involved in short-term projects firstly testing and validating the adidas Predator Edge football boots pre-release, and secondly testing of the adidas Al Rihla Pro football prior to the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. Working with Kipsta Decathlon, I conducted testing of prototypes for the Ligue 1 Uber Eats football. Another project involved testing prototype football boots for Concave.
Alongside my project I sit as student co-chair on the organising committee for ISEA 2024 ‘The Engineering of Sport Conference’ and have organised and been involved with multiple outreach activities including SciSport Birmingham, and events such as the Loughborough University strategy launch.


Before starting my PhD project in January 2022, I completed my undergraduate degree in Sports Technology BEng at Loughborough University. My decision to study in Loughborough was driven by the attraction of the Sports Technology programme, allowing me to combine my STEM related academic interests, with my passion for sport. The opportunity to work closely, and be inspired by, global experts within the sports engineering field continues to be hugely valuable and something I’m incredibly grateful for. Prior to Loughborough I lived and grew up in the Brecon Beacons, mid-Wales and attended Llangorse Primary and Gwernyfed High School. Sport has always been a big part of my life, whether that be watching, playing, coaching or organising. I have been lucky enough to be involved in various volunteering experiences through sport, largely through my role as Gold Young Ambassador for Sport across South Powys. Badminton is my favourite sport, having played and coached the sport for many years, but is trumped on times by my love for Wales (particularly in the rugby) and the Liverpool football team!

Awards and qualifications

  • 2021 adidas Sports Technology Project Prize, Andrew Simpson Project Prize & Innovation in Manufacturing Engineering Project Prize for Loughborough University Wolfson Engineering School.
  • Badminton World Federation Level 1 Badminton Coach
  • Sport Wales Young Ambassador of the Year 2017
  • Brecon & Radnor Sports Awards Young Sports Leader of the Year 2017
  • Gwernyfed High School Head Boy 2017/18

Non academic interests

Since 2021, I have held the position of Inaugural Chair of the Badminton Wales Youth Council, running alongside their Aspire youth leadership programme, which involves presentations to the Badminton Wales board of directors. I also sit on the committees of two badminton clubs in mid-Wales, one of which I founded in 2022.

Publications / presentations

Mears, A; Phillips, I; Sumner, J. (2019). Investigating the perceived effectiveness of digital technology for elite athlete support. icSPORTS.

World Cup football testing