PhD Studentship – Field Hockey – Optimising Sport Surfaces for Play Performance

Posted 8 months ago

Application details: Reference number: ABCE18/PF2
Start date of studentship: January 2019
Closing date for applications: 22/10/2018
Interview date: w/c 05 November

Primary supervisor: Dr Paul Fleming
Secondary supervisor: Dr Jon Roberts

In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, 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 as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’ for its influence on society, the economy and policy. The School boasts world class facilities, with £1.4m recently invested in the 3,000m2 laboratory facilities and a £1.24m High Performance Computing facility – one of the UK’s fastest clusters. A key part of the University’s ethos is the extensive links with industry for funding and collaboration, and Loughborough graduates are extremely sought after by industry and commerce world-wide.

Project Detail:
Applications are invited for a three-year PhD studentship on the player requirements and playability of elite level field hockey surfaces, currently predicated on short pile artificial carpets with large volumes of water required to provide ideal play conditions.
This research aims to address the limitations in current guidance, balancing field compliance testing and player feedback.
The research will investigate player feedback on the quality of the surfaces used in competition and training and will include player testing, ball and mechanical testing approaches to measuring the surfaces’ playability. The feasibility of using video-based match game analysis of play performance will also be explored to enhance data quality.

The key outcomes anticipated are:
New player (and mechanical) field testing protocols to measure playability (and state) of a surface from a user’s perspective; Comparisons between attributes of different playing surfaces and their conditioning requirements (i.e. watering); underpinning research to inform future FIH regulations and product innovations.
The successful candidate will join the internationally recognised Sport Surfaces Research Group, with academics and researchers working across a broad range of projects around sport surface safety and performance.
The research is supported by the International Hockey Federation (FIH) through its innovation partnership with Loughborough University, collaborating with several parties regarding programme management and access to players and facilities.

Find out more:
Entry requirements:
Students will normally need to hold, or expect to gain, at least a 2:1 undergraduate 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 measuring player perception and/or experimental testing (field and laboratory) is desirable.
Funding information:
The studentship is for three years and is intended to start by January 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 research project, please contact:
Name: Dr Paul Fleming
Email address:
Telephone number: (01509) 222616
For information about the application process, please contact: Name: Mr Berkeley Young, Email address:
Telephone number: (01509) 222 611, How to apply: All applications should be made online at Under programme name, please select Civil and Building Engineering.
Please quote reference number: ABCE18/PF2