17th Staffordshire Conference on Clinical Biomechanics

Five students at the Institute of Motion Analysis & Research (TORT Centre) were given the opportunity to present their current research at the 17th International Conference on Clinical Biomechanics at Staffordshire University Campus, Stoke-on-Trent on April 4-6, 2019. The conference is organised each year by Professor Nachiappan Chockalingam, Professor of Clinical Biomechanics at Staffordshire University.

Dr Tim Drew and Dr Michael Black from the Institute of Motion Analysis & Research (IMAR) accompanied the students representing the School of Medicine, whilst Professor Rami Abboud joined from Lebanon via the newly introduced live-stream facility for anyone unable to attend the conference, allowing a live stream of all the talks.

Each student is currently studying an Intercalated BMSc Applied Orthopaedic Technology and presented their research for ten minutes each followed by short Q&A sessions:

  • James Brown presented “The optimum angle of approach when striking a football to minimise the force through the standing leg without compromising power”.
  • Callum Frew presented “How footwear variation may affect the kinematics of the barbell deadlift and this may influence injury”.
  • James Paxton presented “A comparison of forces through the lower limb while using modern and traditional running shoes as well as barefoot”.
  • Ruaridh Mcleod presented “Optimisation of running shoes for shock attenuation and injury reduction”.
  • Jessica McCleery presented “Healthy walking style in your lunch hour: does it affect your gait adversely?

All five research projects were supervised by Professor Rami Abboud and supported by Dr Graham Arnold and Mr Sadiq Nasir from the Department of Orthopaedic & Trauma Surgery at the TORT Centre.

Marc Foster, Jack Frankish, Narendra Mahara, Cinthuja Pathmanathan and Damien Ramsden, who are all studying MRes Sports Biomechanics and Rehabilitation at the TORT Centre, also attended to gain an understanding of the conference experience and to support their fellow students.

Photographic Element

Left to Right: James Paxton, James Brown, Ruraidh Mcleod, Marc Foster, Jack Frankish, Dr Tim Drew, Damien Ramsden, Narendra Mahara, Dr Michael Black, Jessica McCleery, Callum Frew, Cinthuja Pathmanathan

As in previous years, this conference provides a forum for information dissemination on lower limb clinical biomechanics and facilitates discussion on research and case studies in this field via plenary sessions. The overall conference content focussed on musculoskeletal biomechanics of the lower limb, with sessions dedicated to (1) footwear biomechanics and orthotics (2) clinical outcomes based on biomechanics and gait analysis and (3) soft tissue biomechanics of the foot.

Keynote speakers included Dr Alberto Leardini from Italy who is a specialist in the mechanical modelling and prosthesis design of the ankle joint; Dr Bruce Williams from the USA, a past president of the American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine and Dr Kris D'Aout who works as part of the Institute of Ageing and Chronic Disease at the University of Liverpool.

Dr Michael Black, Podiatrist and Honorary Lecturer, stated:

“Driving to Staffordshire was the usual long journey and everyone was happy to eventually reach the destination. Dr Drew and I attended the pre-conference dinner where we met most of the keynote speakers. All our students were a credit to the University with polished performances, quite at odds with their young age and experience. I had lots of positive feedback from delegates regarding the quality of the research our students presented. One delegate who was involved in professional football even approached James to express his interest in his project. The organisation of the event was fabulous and special thanks goes to Nachi for looking after us so well.”

Professor Rami Abboud, Director of IMAR and Head of Postgraduate Division, added:

“This is now the 16th year we’ve been giving our students the opportunity to disseminate their research at a prestigious international conference. Once again it was a hugely difficult and unenviable task deciding which students were to present – luckily I don’t have to do this next year! The standard of students and the diverse nature of the research being conducted at IMAR at the TORT Centre is so exceptionally high that we could easily have picked any of the current students, confident they would represent the School of Medicine and the University with skill and distinction. Unfortunately I couldn’t make the trip in person this year due to a prior commitment so I’d like to thank Dr Drew and Dr Black for leading the team. I am confident that all students who attended gained valuable experience and were exposed to the friendliest scientific international conference which would have allowed them to engage with other participants easily. I was delighted to hear you present via the live-stream, you all did us proud!”