Retirement of Dr Sheila Gibbs

Dr Sheila Gibbs has been forced to retire due to ill health from her position as Senior Clinical Gait Analyst and Honorary Consultant Clinical Scientist at the Institute of Motion Analysis & Research (IMAR) at the TORT Centre.

Sheila was one of the leading Gait Analysts in Europe with over 20 years of experience in clinical gait analysis and was a regular contributor to European Society ESMAC’s (the European Society of Movement Analysis for Adults and Children) workshops.

Sheila has been employed at IMAR at the TORT Centre since 2003 and in that time has been involved in the management of children with cerebral palsy as well as contributing to relevant motion-based research projects conducted within the Institute. In 2010 she was elected Vice Chair of CMAS (the Clinical Movement Analysis Society for the UK and Ireland), and two years later was elected Chair for the society.

Professor Rami Abboud, Head of Department and Director of IMAR, encouraged Sheila to pursue a PhD programme originally based on “Pregnancy and gait analysis” before reverting to study a topic closer to her heart related to cerebral palsy, “Hump reversal: are the vertical peaks of the GRF impact and push-off?”, where she investigated the role of each of the legs in controlling the descent and ascent of the body’s centre of mass during normal walking, which she completed successfully in 2014 at the University of Dundee. The team at IMAR played an important role in supporting Sheila with her PhD along with Dr Barry Meadows whose input as an external supervisor was vital for the success of the project.

Photographic Elements

Left: Dr Gibbs analysing gait data; Centre: with Sophie Williams and Dr Barry Meadows; Right: IMAR team preparing a runner for BBC's 'One Show' in 2012.

Sheila qualified as a physiotherapist from Queen Margaret College, Edinburgh in 1984 and worked in various fields of medicine in Carlisle and Glasgow before moving to Dundee in 1988 where she specialised in orthopaedics. In 1992 she undertook a Master of Science Degree by research in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Dundee, whilst working in the Gait Analysis Laboratory based at the Dundee Limb Fitting Centre. She became a state registered Clinical Scientist in 1995 and managed a national clinical gait analysis service. The laboratory moved to new premises at Ninewells Hospital in 1999, and in 2003 it amalgamated with the Foot Pressure Analysis Lab/Clinic to become part of The Institute of Motion Analysis and Research (IMAR).

Sheila has published research papers and presented at conferences extensively and will be missed by all the children she has cared for and seen grow up over the years. All at the TORT Centre, and her associated NHS colleagues, wish her well in her retirement where we are certain she will enjoy her gardening pursuits, her cats, and her hobby of wood turning.

Professor Rami Abboud stated: “Sheila is well respected among her peers in the world of clinical gait analysis and for her passion and commitment towards her CP patients, and I am sure that the patients will miss her presence as much she will miss their progress.

The success of a service does not rely on an individual but rather a team and the IMAR team is committed not to only maintain the service but to grow it exponentially especially that we are still considered leaders in the field of gait, motion and foot pressure analysis in treating patients, alleviate pain, correct deformity and in addition to enhance performance and prevent injury with athletes.

We would like to wish Sheila a long and rewarding retirement”.