14th International Conference on Clinical Biomechanics

Five students currently studying two different courses at the Institute of Motion Analysis & Research (TORT Centre) presented their research at the 14th International Conference on Clinical Biomechanics at Staffordshire University Campus, Stoke-on-Trent on April 21-23, 2016.

Professor Rami Abboud and Dr Graham Arnold from the Institute of Motion Analysis & Research accompanied the students from the TORT Centre who spoke on their current research for ten minutes each followed by short Q&A sessions:

  • Iona Robertson (Intercalated BMSc) - Flat foot slide or toe slide in curling: which one is better to prevent knee injury?
  • Marita Marshall (MSc in Sports and Biomedical Medicine) - Using a treadmill: forward or backward?
  • Seraj Haque (Intercalated BMSc) - Do weightlifting shoes improve posture and prevent back injury in barbell squats?
  • Eilidh Gillen (Intercalated BMSc) - Can yoga assist in the management of children with Cerebral Palsy?
  • Fernando Bueno Neves (Intercalated BMSc, Science without Border 2016 cohort) - Is it possible to accurately determine the state of motion based solely on barefoot 2D impressions?

Photographic Elements

Left: Marita, Eilidh, Iona, Seraj and Fernando all ready and prepared; Right: Iona Robertson presenting her fascinating research.

The international conference is organised each year by Nachiappan Chockalingam, Professor of Clinical Biomechanics at Staffordshire University. The focus this year was on musculoskeletal biomechanics of the lower limb, with sessions dedicated to the biomechanics of the foot at risk and a session dedicated to footwear. The keynote speakers outlined the latest developments in the area of pathomechanics and pathology of the foot at risk and highlighted the role of technology in understanding biomechanical principles with a focus on diagnosis and management of patients. There were opportunities for debate and analysis of issues surrounding these topics. This year’s pre-conference workshop featured the first UK meeting focussing on Footwear Biomechanics.

Photographic Elements

Left: Marita expertly handling her Q&A session; Right: Seraj confidently presenting his research.

Photographic Elements

Left: Eilidh presenting her research which generated lots of interest amongst attendees; Right: Fernando presenting his forensic research on the final day of the conference.

After the first UK meeting focussing on Footwear Biomechanics on Thursday, the IMAR team relaxed at a local carvery for a bite to eat and a biomechanical digestive challenge was developed quickly to see how well Seraj could demolish an “extra-large” carvery dish and at what speed – the images speak for themselves! There was an end of conference dinner at Keele Hall on the Friday night, allowing our students the opportunity to intermingle and discuss their research in a more relaxing environment.

Photographic Elements

Left: Eilidh, Dr Arnold, Professor Abboud, Seraj, Marita and Fernando in the gardens at Keele Hall for the conference dinner; Right: Seraj proving that powerlifters require vast amounts of calories for peak performance!

Professor Abboud, stated: “It is always a joy to see our students present at major scientific conferences. They all presented with skill, knowledge, confidence and enthusiasm and the whole experience gives them a great insight of how scientific conferences work. This year it was almost impossible to pick only five students from a total of over 40 currently studying on various courses with us at TORT as the standard of research remains so high. I felt like a Cup Final football manager having to leave some players out of my starting line-up! The 14-hour round trip by car was well worth the effort and I hope our students enjoyed the experience”.

Eilidh Gillen added: “The conference was a thoroughly invaluable experience for me. Very few students get the opportunity to attend an international conference while at university so I felt very fortunate to get the chance to be there, let alone present at it. The prospect of presenting my research to experts in the biomechanics field was a little daunting but primarily exciting. The conference as a whole was very friendly and several people made the effort to chat to us about our research after hearing our presentations. For experts to show an interest in our work was really rewarding. I learnt a lot from listening to the other speakers and was fascinated by the variety of interesting research that was presented. It was a really great experience and my confidence and presentation skills have definitely grown as a result from it”.

Fernando Bueno Neves echoed the other students’ thoughts when he stated: “It was a unique experience to present my research at this conference on clinical biomechanics. As an exchange student, I was not expecting that such a thing would happen at all. The University of Dundee is a pioneer institution in the UK in accepting Science without Borders students as Intercalated BMSc undergraduates, and I have worked hard to match the opportunity given to me”.