This PhD studentship aims to develop a new approach to measuring the Traction Behaviour of Artificial/Hybrid Turf, supported by Labosport Ltd. the global leading commercial sport surfaces test house. The research outcomes have the potential to make a step change in the design of player’s boots and playing surfaces in the future.
The industry partner has a strong track record in introducing new testing technologies to the sport surface industry in collaboration with, for example, FIFA and World Rugby. They are a global provider of sport surface testing and development services.
Current industry standard mechanical testing of sport surface (player) traction relies on simple technology developed in the 1980s. The current industry test to measure the traction of a playing field comprises a single 6-stud configuration on a circular disc. Furthermore, there exists no standardised testing method(s) for assessing actual footwear-surface combinations for traction behaviour. There is a need to develop new test methodologies that better reflect the experience of players.
This PhD aims: to investigate and develop a better understanding of the mechanisms of traction via extensive experimental testing; to enhance current LU traction testing methods; and to develop simple mathematical models. 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. The successful student will utilise our modified rotational traction rig and new linear traction rig (developed in-house by the research group) and adapt these to include evaluation of whole boot outsoles and surface combinations. Novel techniques to observe and record the surface response are envisaged, using image-tracking for example to monitor how the resistance builds up in the artificial turf system. The work will also benefit from data-mining the wealth of commercial laboratory and field-testing data held by Labosport.
This project has the potential to make a significant and novel contribution to the player-surface traction topic and support the development of new testing capabilities relevant to manufacturers of both artificial turf and sport Footwear. It will also provide excellent employment opportunities to the researcher. The successful student will join the internationally recognised Sport Surfaces Research Group, with academics and researchers working across projects in sport surface safety and performance.
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 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.
The collaboration between the Sport Surfaces Research Group at Loughborough and Labosport Ltd. is well established and includes two successful past PhD students who studied player-surface traction and are now working for the company. Past collaborative projects include: evaluation of 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’ skin friction tester for artificial turf.
Academic supervisors: Dr Paul Fleming (ABCE) & Dr Steph Forrester (STI)
Industrial supervisors: Dr Kathryn Severn & Prof David James, Labosport Ltd.
Advanced Rotational Traction Rig Standard Test Foot
Bespoke Translational Traction Rig
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 2020. The studentship provides a tax-free stipend of £15,009 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 or Dr Steph Forrester
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
Telephone number: +44 (0)1509 222 616, or 01509 564824
For information about the formal application process, please contact:
Name: Mr Berkeley Young
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
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 2020
Please quote reference number: ABCE19/LabosportContinue reading
|Title||PhD Project Title: Getting a Grip on Artificial Turf!|
|Job location||Loughborough University, LE11 3TU Leicestershire|
|Published||January 8, 2020|
|Job types||PhD  |
|Fields||Sport Science,   Surface Chemistry,   Manufacturing Engineering,   Mechanical Engineering  |