Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Food Matters for staff and students

UCLan SENS' staff and students recently attended the prestigious 'Food Matters Live' event in London.

Lecturers Dr Steph Dillon, Dr Brigit Ramsingh, Dr Marisol Warthon-Medina and April Melia accompanied 25 students to London's ExCel for the annual gathering which is dedicated to food, health and nutrition.

The event brings together the food and drink industry, retailers, food service providers, government, academia and features seminars, workshops as well as a vast array of exhibitors.

The trip was an excellent opportunity for the group to learn about the latest food innovations, make contacts with members of the food industry and health professionals, and sample products from companies that have developed allergen-free alternatives, functional foods, and tapped into trends such as the Paleo diet and 'raw' and 'natural' snacks.

Students had the opportunity to network with exhibitors from the Institute of Food Science and Technology (IFST) and the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF International) about industry related topics and also discuss student placement opportunities.

Master's by Research student Suruci Pradhan (right) commented: "It was an extremely innovative and educational event.

"It was interesting to know about food products, technologies and different careers in food industry through wide range of exhibitors. I'm really looking forward to attending this event next year."

April Melia added: "The event was an ideal opportunity for staff and students to meet exhibitors from all areas of food safety, food hygiene and food science.

"There were so many interesting and exciting development areas covered by exhibitors and the students really engaged with the whole experience.

"It was also an opportunity to attend seminars and conferences covering the latest research from around the world.

Friday, 5 December 2014

PhD Studentship in intermuscular coordination

The role of intermuscular coordination in the transfer of strength gains to maximal sports performance.

Location: Sport City Manchester and Sheffield Hallam University
£13,863 per annum stipend plus fees
Closing Date: 19th December 12.00pm.

In collaboration with the English Institute of Sport (EIS), the Centre for Sports Engineering Research (CSER) at Sheffield Hallam University (SHU) invites applications for a PhD exploring the role of intermuscular coordination in the transfer of strength gains to maximal sports performance.

Increases in strength, in general, transfer positively to the performance of maximal sports movements. The magnitude of performance gain can vary dramatically across training modalities and sporting movements.

For example, while the majority of training studies demonstrate performance increases with strength gains, some report that strength gains are not accompanied by increases in performance, and others even report a decrease in sports performance.

It is hypothesised that these counter-intuitive findings can be explained by the notion that intermuscular coordination needs to be adapted to exploit the increase in muscle strength. That is, without appropriate adaptation in intermuscular coordination, the increase in muscle strength will not result in improved performance.

This issue raises a host of interesting motor control and biomechanics questions, as well as providing an opportunity to enhance sports performance by improving the transfer of strength gains to maximal sporting movements.

This PhD project will explore the biomechanical, motor control and morphological changes following a period of strength training. Using a maximal cycling model, the effect of strength changes on intermuscular coordination will be investigated both computationally and experimentally.

Adopting an ecological dynamics theoretical framework, the PhD will also seek to use this understanding to design interventions that improve the transfer of strength to performance, possibly utilising biofeedback.

Applicants should have a 1st or 2:1 honours degree (or equivalent) in sports science, biomechanics, engineering or a related area. An MSc. in a related area would be beneficial, as would experience of providing applied support to athletes.

As well as academically talented, applicants should be self-motivated, autonomous and have excellent problem solving abilities. Suitable candidates from outside the UK/EU can apply but non UK/EU students must fund the difference between the International and UK/EU fee. Applicants for whom English is not their first language are required to have an IELTS overall band 6 with a minimum score of 5.5 in all skill areas.

Please send a one-page covering letter outlining your interest and proposed approach with an accompanying CV (maximum length two A4 pages) to by 12 pm (midnight) 19th December 2014.

For further information please email Dr Jon Wheat or Dr Paul Barratt.