View Full Version : PhD studentship at the Royal Veterinary College London

10-10-2006, 08:52 PM
Dear moderator: we would quite like to advertise the following PhD
studentship which is available in the Structure and Motion Lab at the
Royal Veterinary College in London:

The Structure and Motion Lab at the Royal Veterinary College, London is
offering a PhD studentship on the 'biomechanics of lameness in

Deadline for application: 1st Nov 2006

Please contact tpfau@rvc.ac.uk for more information.

Application forms can be found at:

Biomechanics of lameness in quadrupeds

Supervisors: Dr. Alan Wilson, Dr. Thilo Pfau and Prof. Martin Sheldon

We want to explore the changes in locomotion that occur in lame animals,
how these are achieved in musculoskeletal terms and whether they can be
used to automatically detect / classify / diagnose lameness. As such
this project sits on the exciting boundary between biology and
maths/signal processing (the balance of the project will depend on the
interests and skills of the successful applicant). The lab contains
substantial expertise in both areas.

We have recently installed, with DEFRA funding a system for automated
collection of biomechanical and clinical scoring data from dairy cattle
and a new purpose built locomotion lab with facilities for five
forceplates and optical motion analysis (see www.rvc.ac.uk/sml). We are
also working with colleagues in the equine hospital looking at horses
with specific causes of lameness and human subjects in our human gait
lab at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital in Stanmore.

Lameness is both a welfare and an economic problem in large quadrupedal
animals like cows and horses. For example ~50% of dairy cattle are
affected by lameness each year. Farmers still only detect a fraction of
the lame cows and this problem increases with increasing herd size.
Improved detection of lameness is therefore beneficial both in terms of
welfare and production.

The scope of the proposed thesis includes but is not necessarily limited
to the following areas (emphasis can be chosen appropriately to suit the
knowledge and skills of the successful candidate):

* gait scoring in quadrupeds
* variation of kinetic and kinematic parameters in sound and lame
* effect of foot trimming on kinetics
* computer modeling of the locomotor system in quadrupeds to
understand how animals compensate for specific lesions
* novel techniques for collecting and processing of lameness data

You will be working within the Structure and Motion Lab
(www.rvc.ac.uk/sml) at the Hawkshead Campus of the Royal Veterinary
College (a rural site 16 miles north of London), in a 25 strong
multidisciplinary team of researchers of animal locomotor biomechanics
whose interests range from basic locomotor mechanisms, biomechanics of
extinct animals, muscle function, signal processing and pattern
recognition to imaging techniques and more. The group has excellent
facilities and equipment for studying comparative animal locomotion and
is well funded with significant grants from the BBSRC, EPSRC, The Royal
Society, HBLB and DEFRA.

You will have a 2:1 or better degree in a biology, engineering, maths or
veterinary related subject and are confident in working with computers.
You will have the opportunity to be trained in and use a variety of
state of the art software packages (e.g. MATLAB, LabVIEW or SIMM) for
data analysis and mechanical modeling as well as a variety of modern
biomechanical measurement techniques (e.g. force platforms and optical
motion analysis systems). You will receive training in state of the art
research methods, basic biomechanics assessment techniques, computer
based data analysis and automated pattern recognition. The position is
available immediately.

Please contact tpfau@rvc.ac.uk for more information.


Dr.-Ing. Thilo Pfau

Postdoctoral Research Associate

Structure and Motion Lab

The Royal Veterinary College

University of London

Hawkshead Lane, North Mymms

Hatfield, AL9 7TA


phone: +44 1707 666327

email: tpfau@rvc.ac.uk