Dr Dominic Farris
Associate Professor of Neuromuscular Biomechanics / Co-Director of Global Engagement
Richard's Building, University of Exeter, St Luke's Campus, Heavitree Road, Exeter, EX1 2LU, UK
I am an academic with broad interests in neuromuscular biomechanics of the human musculoskeletal system. Having pursued knowledge and skills in this area by working in different research groups and in several countries, I now look to further the field as part of Sport & Health Sciences at the University of Exeter. I am always interested in hearing from potential collaborators and research students who wish to join me in this endeavour.
2010 - PhD in musculoskeletal biomechanics, University of Bath
2006 - BSc(Hons) 1st class in Sport and Exercise Science, University of Bath
I attained my PhD from the Department of Health at the University of Bath in 2010. I then worked as a post-doctoral researcher in the Joint Dept of Biomedical Engineering at UNC-Chapel Hill and North Carolina State Universities (USA) for 3 years. In 2013 I joined the School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences at the University of Queensland (Australia) where I worked as a Research Fellow in the Centre for Sensorimotor Neuroscience for 5-years. I took up an appointment as a Senior Lecturer within Sport & Health Sciences at the University of Exeter in 2018 and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2023.
Human movement requires that many muscles exert forces on the skeleton in an efficient and coordinated manner. By studying how we coordinate muscle force production to generate bodily movement, we can understand how muscle structure has been shaped by evolution to perform a function. Armed with this knowledge, we can better understand impaired musculoskeletal function, and inform biologically inspired prosthetics or assistive devices.
To investigate muscular function in human movement, my work incorporates ultrasound imaging, motion analysis, electromyography and computer simulation techniques to experimentally and theoretically study muscle mechanics during locomotion. I am also interested in taking inspiration from biological musculoskeletal mechanisms to help develop wearable devices that augment or assist human movement.
Enquiries from prospective research students interested in this general area and related topics are always welcome. Some potential opportunities to fund a research degree can be found on this web page including the EPSRC DTP scholarships.
Current project themes include:
- Examining the adaptable neuromechanical function of the human foot during walking and running
- Musculoskeletal modelling of human foot function
- Lower limb exoskeletons and their interaction with the human neuromuscular system
- Studying lower limb and muscle mechanics during jumping to understand movement preferences and design a jumping exotendon
- How do muscles with series elasticity contribute to mechanical work in a range of tasks
- How does the human foot interact with different surfaces
- 2023-2025: DSTL. LISA- Low-Impact Soldier Augmentation Research Phase 1 [PI]
- 2022-2023: DSTL (Human Social Science Research Capability). Project HS1.052d Human Augmentation: strategies to enable on-demand adaptation to operational stressors [PI]
- 2020-2022: DSTL (Human Social Science Research Capability). Project HS1.020-Exoskeletons [PI]
- 2020: DSTL (Human Social Science Research Capability). Project: Kinematics of Knife Detection [PI]
- 2017- 2020: Optimising the spring in your step to enhance footwear design. Australian Research Council Linkage with ASICS Oceania and Australian Institute of Sport [Co-I]
- 2014-2017: The role of muscle & tendon mechanics in human muscle damage. Australian Research Council Linkage Project with Australian Institute of Sport [Co-I]
- 2014: modulating muscle mechanics for powering human locomotion. University of Queensland Early Career Researcher Grant [PI]
- 2012 - Modelling the effects of wearing spring-loaded ankle exoskeletons on lower-limb muscle function during two-legged hopping. National Centre for Simulation in Rehabilitation Research Visiting Scholars Program [PI]
- 2020 dstl
- 2017 Australian Research Council
Optimising the spring in your step to enhance footwear design
- 2013 Australian Research Council
The role of muscle & tendon mechanics in human muscle damage
Dominic_Farris Details from cache as at 2023-12-03 15:57:32
External Engagement and Impact
2018 : present - Honorary Senior Research Fellow - School of Human Movement & Nutrition Sciences, The University of Queensland (Australia)
2019 - OpenSim Fellow (National Centre for Simulation in Rehabilitation Research -Stanford University, USA)
2019 - Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
2013 - Outstanding Researcher Award - National Centre for Simulation in Rehabilitation Research
2012 - Visiting Scholar - National Centre for Simulation in Rehabilitation Research, Stanford University
2022-present: Associate Editor for Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise
2022-present: Editorial Board Member of Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports
2022-present: Editorial Board Member of Journal of Biomechanics
Conferences and invited presentations
2022 Reflections on using OpenSim for student projects. 9th World Congress of Biomechanics. Taipei
2022 Linking the muscle-tendon and joint-level ankle mechanics required for accelerative strides in human walking. 9th World Congress of Biomechanics. Taipei
2022 The interaction of active and passive tissue contributions to human foot mechanics. Annual Congress of the European College of Sports Science. Seville
2021 Muscular adaptability of Human Feet to Various Underfoot Conditions. Staffordshire Conference on Clinical Biomechanics, Virtual Conference
2019 Muscular adaptation of ankle-foot function to produce accelerations in human gait. 24th Annual Congress of the European College of Sports Sciences, Prague
2019 Assessment of muscle mechanical properties – how and why? International Symposium on Ultrasound Elastography for Musculoskeletal Biomechanics. Nantes, France
2018 New perspectives on human foot mechanics. Ruhr University – Bochum, Germany.
2017 B-mode Ultrasound Imaging Methods for Investigating Muscle-Tendon Function. Invited tutorial session at the International Society of Biomechanics Congress XXVI, Brisbane, Australia
2016 Introduction to UltraTrack. Invited workshop at American Society of Biomechanics Meeting in Raleigh, North Carolina, USA
2015 The mechanics and energetics of normal and exoskeleton assisted locomotion: towards a muscle level understanding. Autumn School on Movement Science, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany
2015 Putting a spring in your step: studying the role of elastic tendons for robotic bioinspiration. Centre for Musculoskeletal Research Seminar Series, Griffith University, Gold Coast, Australia
2014 Paradoxical effects of elastic ankle exoskeletons on plantar-flexor muscle mechanics and energetics. In 'Elastic Mechanisms' at the 7th World Congress of Biomechanics, Boston, USA
2014 Training for Optimal Power: The Influence of Resistance and Muscle Mechanics on Power Output. Australian Institute of Sport SMART talk, Australian Institute of Sport, Canberra, Australia. (link to recording)
2014 B-mode ultrasound imaging for studying muscle -tendon interaction in-vivo. in 'An integrative multi-scale assessment of ankle and foot function in human locomotion' at The Gait & Clinical Movement Analysis Society Annual Meeting, Newark, Delaware, USA.
2014 Does unloading muscles save you energy? Paradoxical effects of elastic ankle exoskeletons on plantar-flexor muscle mechanics and energetics. In 'Lower Limb Biomechanics & Muscle Function' at Sports Medicine Australia Be Active Conference, Canberra Australia
2014 An OpenSim framework to estimate muscle dynamics during locomotion with elastic ankle exoskeletons. National Center for Simulation in Rehabilitation Research Webinar Series. (available on the NCSRR website)
2013 Sources of Mechanical Power in Human Locomotion. Australian Institute of Sport SMART talk, Australian Institute of Sport, Canberra, Australia. (link to recording)
2013 The Mechanics & Energetics of Normal & Robotically Assisted Human Locomotion. School of Human Movement Studies Seminar Series, School of Human Movement Studies, The University of Queensland, Australia.
2012 B-mode ultrasound imaging for studying human muscle mechanics. Direct measurement techniques to characterize musculo-skeletal performance in animals & humans. Dynamic Walking, Pensacola Beach, FL, USA
2012 Muscle mechanics in human locomotion: implications for injury and function. Sport Health & Exercise Sciences Group Seminar. School for Health, University of Bath, UK.
External doctoral examining nationally and internationally
PhD Examiner for: University of Jyväskylä, Norwegian School of Sports Sciences, University of Western Australia, Griffith University (Australia)
- ESS1006 - Human Anatomy and Kinanthropometry
- ESS1204 - Foundations of Biomechanics
- SHSM005 - Biomechanical Aspects of Lower Limb Injury
- SHSM006 - Laboratory Techniques in Physiology
Supervision / Group
- Ruth Tavares
- Sam Wisdish
- Jonathon Birch
- Scott Brennan (University of Queensland - Co advisor)
- Logan Wade (University of Queensland)