International Society of Biomechanics
Gold sponsor

PhD Studentship: Development of a field-deployable equine gait analysis system using wearable sEMG and IMU sensors

PhD Studentship
03 Mar 2023
16 Mar 2023
Preston, England
United Kingdom
University of Central Lancashire

Applications are invited for a PhD (via MPhil) studentship in the School of Sport and Health Sciences. The studentship is funded through the UCLan Doctoral Training Centre for Industry Collaboration and is tenable for up to 3.5 years full time [subject to satisfactory progress].  Both Home and EU/International Applicants may apply but EU/International Applicants will be required to pay the difference in tuition fees between the UK and EU/International fee rates. The studentship will provide successful applicants with an annual stipend in line with UKRI rates (Currently £17,668 per year), subject to satisfactory progress.

Project Description:

Equine gait analysis (EGA) has long been confined to research laboratories, requiring significant investments in time and finances for specialist equipment and training. However, advancements in wearable sensor technology provide the potential for efficient and affordable field deployable EGA systems. Early advancements have been embraced by the veterinary field, where clinical decision-making for movement disorders (lameness), is increasingly aided by commercial EGA systems that employ only motion sensing technology (IMU) but have yet to incorporate surface electromyography (sEMG) to quantify muscle function. sEMG is used to study neuromuscular control during normal equine gait, and more recently, lameness. Despite this, a user-friendly sEMG interface has not been developed for EGA, representing a barrier to its widespread use. Delsys, a global leader in in the design, manufacture, and marketing of a portfolio of high-performance sEMG and motion analysis instruments, manufactures wearable sensors with a unique capability to capture both sEMG and IMU data, which according to laboratory studies, can be reliably collected from horses. Their systems however do not include apps for turnkey analytics for EGA.

Thus, this project aims to develop preliminary design specifications and procedures for a field deployable EGA system. Consultancy with industry, research, and veterinary stakeholders will assess the needs, boundaries, and desired uses of combined sEMG/IMU for EGA. This information will be supplemented by equine sEMG/IMU data to generate preliminary design specifications and outcomes for a streamlined, intuitive, field deployable EGA system. This project will form foundations for further R&D; creating new markets for sEMG to benefit equine health and welfare.  

The successful applicant will work with Delsys Europe (Sale, Greater Manchester), providing a unique opportunity to conduct research alongside industry professionals and to learn about the design, manufacture, sales, and support of sEMG technology in a research market.

Further information

Informal project related enquiries about the post can be made to Dr Lindsay St. George, 

For the full details go to: 

Applications should be completed on our online application system, selecting the following options:

  • Type of Study – Research Degree (Postgraduate)

  • Course - Master of Philosophy/Doctor of Philosophy

  • Campus – Preston Campus

  • Mode of Study – Full Time

Please quote the Studentship reference number DTC41 on the online application form in the personal statement section. You will not be able to enter the number in the Studentship reference section.

Closing Date: 31st March 2023

Proposed Interview Date: TBC

Expected Start Date: September 2023