Project title: The biomechanical mechanism of sports-related concussion

Location: School of Biomedical Sciences, University of Leeds, UK

Description: There is a growing body of evidence regarding the risk of several neurodegenerative diseases associated with sports-related concussion (SRC). The development of better technologies and systems to prevent and/or mitigate the severity of SRC requires an improved understanding of the injury mechanisms. Accordingly, the aim of this multimodal project involves elite-level rugby athletes, in-vivo head kinematics, computational biomechanics, and biomarkers to identify the underlying biomechanical injury mechanism of SRC.
In brief, Impact Monitoring Mouthguards (IMM) will be used to measure in-vivo 3D head kinematics during SRC events. Furthermore, finite element brain models will be developed to understand the deformation response of the brain to SRC head trauma. The aim is to develop SRC risk models that link head-impact kinematics to finite element brain model outputs and/or clinical biomarkers to aid side-line medical staff in removing concussed players from the field in the future. Additionally, the field data protocol will be used to quantify the severity and identify the main causes of SRC and head accelerations in rugby to guide future prevention strategies.

Funding Notes: This project is funded for 3.5 years for a UK/EU student. Tuition fees (Home/EU rate) and a stipend equivalent to the Research Council rate will be provided.

Candidates should have:
• Expected 2:1 or higher in either Engineering, Computer Science, Physiotherapy, Physics or Sports Science/Medicine Degree
• Passion for Sports Biomechanics and Engineering

Ideally candidates will have:
• Experience working with wearable technology, Finite Element Analysis, programming (e.g. Matlab/Python) and/or predictive modelling
• Experience working with sports teams

If interested, please send a CV and a brief cover letter detailing your interests, experience and skills/qualifications to Dr Gregory Tierney MEng PhD (

Deadline: Friday 24th April 2020

Full details:

The University of Leeds is currently ranked in the top 100 universities in the world. We were ranked 1st in the UK for world leading 4* research in the field of sport and exercise sciences in the most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF).