This PhD studentship aims to develop a new approach to measuring the Traction Behaviour of Artificial/Hybrid Turf, supported by Labosport UK Ltd. the global leading commercial sport surfaces test house. The industry partner has a strong track record in introducing new testing technologies to the sport surface industry. They are a global provider of sport surface testing and development services.
Current industry standard mechanical testing of sport surface (player) traction is recognised as inadequate relying on simple technology developed in the 1980s, and comprises a single 6-stud configuration on a circular disc. There exists no standardised testing method(s) for assessing actual footwear-surface combinations for traction behaviour.
The PhD aims to investigate and develop better understanding of the mechanisms of traction, via extensive testing; enhancement of current LU testing methods; and development of a simple mathematical model. The project builds on and extends several previous PhD programmes that have instrumented and developed rotational and linear laboratory-based traction equipment, but to date stopped short of measuring and modelling actual footwear outsoles and studs on artificial turf surfaces. This work will make a significant contribution to the player-surface traction topic and support the development of new testing capabilities for the company’s services to manufacturers both of artificial turf and sport shoes.
The industry partner will co-manage the project, with regular steering meetings. The company is keen to provide specialist training to the student and an opportunity for the PhD student to carry out the research at their premises. The company will support the project financially and in addition supply samples, access to specialist test equipment, and background data on sport surface traction testing. See https://labosport.com/offices/labosport-uk for further information about the company.
Dr Fleming & Labosport have collaborated previously on several related topics, and two successful past PhD students who studied player-surface traction now work in the company. Past collaborative projects include evaluating the industry standard rotational traction device and enhancing its capabilities; development of a novel turf stability mechanical test for natural and hybrid turf; and evaluation of the ‘Securisport’ surface ‘skin’ friction tester.
The key objectives of the work are:
1. Review previous research into the mechanisms of studded shoe-surface traction behaviour
2. Develop, and refine, a conceptual model of the detailed mechanisms for contribution of the elements of interaction (studs, outsole, carpet, infills etc.) to the total traction resistance
3. Investigate and observe the physical interaction mechanisms during the development of resistance.
4. Develop and evaluate a mathematical model to predict the total traction resistance up to and including failure
5. Propose outline designs and support prototype development of a laboratory test rig(s) to evaluate the traction interaction for evaluating new technologies in surfaces and shoes.
The Student will utilise the modified rotational traction rig and new linear traction rig developed by LU in the work by Webb (2016) and adapt these to reduce operator influence and to include testing of whole boot outsoles. Novel techniques to observe and record the surface response are envisaged, using image tracking for example. The work will also benefit from data mining the wealth of commercial laboratory and field-testing data held by the company. The project is expected to make a significant and novel scientific contribution to player-surface traction research and provide excellent employment opportunities to the researcher.
The student will join the internationally recognised Sport Surfaces Research Group, with academics and researchers working across projects in sport surface safety and performance.
Advanced Rotational Traction Rig Standard Test Foot
Bespoke Translational Traction Rig
Academic supervisors: Dr Paul Fleming (ABCE) & Dr Steph Forrester (STI)
Industrial supervisor: Dr Kathryn Severn, Labosport UK Ltd.
Find out more:
Loughborough University is a top-ten rated university in England for research intensity (REF2014). In choosing Loughborough for your research, you’ll work alongside academics who are leaders in their field. You will benefit from comprehensive support and guidance from our Doctoral College, including tailored careers advice, to help you succeed in your research and future career.
Find out more about study at Loughborough: www.lboro.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/supporting-you/research/
The School of Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering was ranked first for research environment in Architecture, Built Environment and Planning, with 95% of research rated ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’ for its influence on society, the economy and policy.
The Sports Technology Institute (STI) is home to the Sports Technology Research Group, one of the world’s leading research groups of its kind and the largest in the UK.
Applicants should have, or expect to achieve, at least a 2:1 honours degree (or equivalent) in a relevant scientific or engineering discipline. A relevant master’s degree and/or relevant employment experience will be an advantage. A strong interest or/and experience in designing and conducting mechanical tests (in the field and/or laboratory) is desirable.
The studentship is for three years and is intended to start by July 2019. The studentship provides a tax-free stipend of £14,777 for the duration of the studentship plus tuition fees at the UK/EU rate. Due to funding restrictions, this studentship is only open to UK/EU applicants. The project funding includes a budget for training, travel and IT support.
For information about the project, please contact:
Name: Dr Paul Fleming
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Telephone number: +44 (0)1509 222 616
For information about the application process, please contact:
Name: Mr Berkeley Young
Email address: email@example.com
Telephone number: +44 (0)1509 222 611
How to apply:
All applications should be made online at www.lboro.ac.uk/study/apply/research/. Under programme name, please select Civil and Building Engineering.
Start date of studentship: by 1 July 2019
Closing date of advert: 3 March 2019
Interview date: w/c 11 March 2019
Please quote reference number: ABCE18/PF4Läs mer