Sports Technology Institute


PhD Vacancies

Any PhD vacancies within the Research Group will appear here. PhD degrees usually commence in October and March, but there may be vacancies throughout the year.

Engineering the next generation of artificial turf sports surfaces

Deadline for applications: 20th February 2022
Start date: 1st October 2022

The successful student will join the world-leading Sport Surfaces Research Group at Loughborough University led by Professor Paul Fleming and Dr Steph Forrester. The group has strong external links with major organisations such as Tencate, Labosport, FIFA and FIH. The primary focus is to provide engineering solutions to current challenges within the sports surfaces domain. Many PhD past students have progressed into successful careers within the industry.

The use of artificial turf pitches is widespread and growing at both the recreational and elite levels in sports such as football, hockey and rugby. A combination of performance and environmental challenges are driving ongoing innovations in constituent materials and system designs. Recent developments have included specialist hybrid turfs (natural-synthetic mix), artificial turfs with novel non-polymeric infills and artificial turfs with no infill. The environmentally driven transition away from polymeric infills has raised many stimulating and topical research questions around pitch play performance, design, testing, maintenance and durability as well as footwear design.

The aim of this PhD is to build new knowledge and understanding on the performance of these novel artificial turf systems. This is a critical step in the development of sustainable solutions that meet the requirements of pitch users, and in optimising test methods that evaluate pitch play performance. It is expected to include laboratory-based mechanical characterisation and field-based performance assessment to inform theoretical consideration of how these surfaces achieve their play performance characteristics. The project will benefit from existing industry support within the group, including access to state-of-the-art surfaces and training/employment/networking opportunities.

For further details on how to apply please see:


Investigating the Experiences and Fundamental Changes (i.e. Biomechanical, Physiological, Psychological) of Women Exercising during Pregnancy and Postpartum  

During pregnancy and postpartum, exercise has been shown to have multiple benefits for women and is actively encouraged in health guidelines worldwide (Mills et al. 2020).  However, there can be several barriers for women which prevent them or limit their exercising habits during these periods (Makama et al. 2020).  Some of the identified barriers could be related to the significant anatomical, physiological, psychological and biomechanical changes that women experience, however little is understood as to how these changes affect a woman exercising and the possible role that sports products could have in supporting exercise during these periods.  There is a growing trend for the development of female specific sports and exercise products but it is unclear how suitable these are for pregnant or postpartum women when exercising given the substantial changes they experience. These insights can be useful for adidas, who will be supporting this PhD, in providing knowledge for users and developing new and innovative products.

The studentship will appeal to students with a sports science or sports engineering/technology background.  Initial studies will build on established research in the Sports Technology Institute.  It is intended that a variety of qualitative and quantitative data collection techniques will need to be used.  There is also scope to use advanced analytic techniques to determine subject specific biomechanics requiring some existing experience of using software such as Matlab, R, Python or similar.  The direction of the PhD is flexible and can be partially moulded to suit the strengths and interests of the successful candidate.

If interested in this PhD please send a CV and covering letter to Dr Aimee Mears, Lecturer at the Sports Technology Institute (  It is anticipated that the PhD would start in April 2022 or July 2022 depending on the suitable applicants availability.  If any further information is required then please direct them to


General Enquiries

If you wish to make a speculative enquiry, please forward details and a CV to