Start date: October 2017
Application closing date: June 5th 2017
Interview date: Week commencing June 19th 2017

Primary supervisor: Dr Laura-Anne Furlong (SSEHS)
Secondary supervisors: Dr Baihua Li (Computer Science) and Dr Matthew Pain (SSEHS)

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Project Detail:
Between 2003 and 2009, over 25,000 lower limb amputations were performed in the UK (Ahmad et al., 2014). A successful return to everyday tasks such as walking or running requires significant compensatory adaptation by the neuromuscular system, with alterations observed in muscle size, strength and activation parameters. Biofeedback refers to systems where an individual receives information on their body’s function, focusing attention on it which can hence enable modification of its behaviour. It is a commonly used technique in rehabilitation to improve patient outcomes, and has significant potential for use with amputees to improve long-term health and function.

The aim of this project is to develop a biofeedback system for use in rehabilitation of lower-limb amputees, and is part of an ongoing collaboration with the Royal Centre for Defence Medicine, Birmingham. The project will involve collecting electromyography and motion analysis data from healthy and patient populations, developing computational models, algorithms, analytical and software tools to quantify activation and coordination, and developing appropriate biofeedback systems based on this information to optimise muscle function during movement.

Find out more:
Students will be based in the National Centre for Sport and Exercise Medicine at Loughborough University (http://www.ncsem-em.org.uk/). General information about the School of Sport, Exercise and Health can be found at: http://www.lboro.ac.uk/departments/ssehs/about/. There is more specific information on the Sport Biomechanics and Motor Control group at: http://www.lboro.ac.uk/microsites/ssehs/biomechanics/ and the Department of Computer Science at: http://www.lboro.ac.uk/departments/compsci/.

Entry requirements:
Applicants should have, or expect to achieve, at least a 2:1 Honours degree (or equivalent) in Engineering (e.g. biomedical, biomechanical, electrical), Maths, Physics, Sport Science, or a related subject. A relevant Master’s degree and/or experience in biomechanics, engineering or rehabilitation technology, and experience in a computing language (Matlab, C++, etc.) will be an advantage.

Funding information:
Funding is provided by the EPSRC National Productivity Investment Fund. The studentship is for 4 years and provides a tax free stipend of £14,553 per annum for the duration of the studentship plus tuition fees at the UK/EU rate. Due to funding restrictions, this is only available to those who are eligible to pay UK/EU fees. To qualify for a full award, all applicants must meet the EPSRC eligibility criteria including the minimum UK residency requirement (https://www.epsrc.ac.uk/skills/stude...p/eligibility/).

Contact details:
Name: Dr Laura-Anne Furlong
Email address: L.A.M.Furlong@lboro.ac.uk
Telephone number: +44 (0) 1509 223059

How to apply:
All applications should be made online at http://www.lboro.ac.uk/study/apply/research/. Under programme name, select ‘Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences’. In addition to the online application, please include a short (less than 300 words) bullet-point summary which outlines potential ways biofeedback may be helpful for rehabilitation of an individual with a lower-limb amputation. Please quote reference number: SSEHS/LAF/EPSRC