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Postgraduate research project

Improving propulsive efficiency in Swimming and Rowing

Fully funded (UK only)
Type of degree
Doctor of Philosophy
Entry requirements
2:1 honours degree View full entry requirements
Faculty graduate school
Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences
Closing date

About the project

The sports of Swimming and Rowing present the engineer with a complex multi-physics challenge where marginal performance gains can make the difference between success and failure. 

The cyclic nature of rowing and swimming propulsion make it very difficult to accurately determine how changes in technique and equipment selection affect an athletes overall performance. The Performance Sports Engineering laboratory has worked closely with the English Institute of Sport Research & Innovation. Their research has contributed to Olympic successes in London, Rio and Tokyo. 

Much of this work has been through focussed PhD programmes examining in detail the physical mechanisms of resistance and propulsion, technique and athlete interaction with equipment. 

The Performance Sports Engineering Lab is looking for 1 or 2 PhD students to investigate the links between stroke kinematics and athlete performance. Areas you could research are the:

  • development of experimental methods for measuring kinematics and propulsive forces
  • use of remote sensors for capturing data whilst training
  • development of data analysis and machine learning algorithms to evaluate large data sets 
  • mathematical modelling of stroke or race performance

You will have the opportunity to work closely with sports coaches and athletes. This will provide a unique opportunity to improve athletes' performance and see the impact of your research. You will measure the individual components of efficiency and assess equipment performance in the University's new 138m towing tank